Home > News > Post Content

How Nike And Jordan Brand Invested In The City Of Charlotte This NBA All Star Weekend (360 hits)

For arguably the most inspirational player to step on to a basketball court, All-Star Weekend being hosted in the Carolinas and specifically Charlotte, NC brought a unique opportunity to Michael Jordan and Jordan brand. Not only did MJ start his ascent to stardom at the University of North Carolina, but with stake in the Charlotte Hornets, he is now the only current African-American majority NBA team owner.

Initiated in 2015, the Jordan Brand's Wings Scholars Program has helped over 200 students by offering full rides to over 65 colleges. For Charlotte specifically, Wings kicked off the Jordan Scholars Program where six of Charlotte’s youth (inspired by MJ’s six championship rings) that embody greatness in the classroom and are owning their game by pursuing their dream of college graduation will receive a Jordan Brand Wings Scholarship. They also initiated Jordan Designers Program in partnership with Carolina Youth Coalition and Rise 2 Impact offering youth designers the opportunity to work through the ideation and design processes similar to those of Jordan Brand designers.

Throughout the weekend, there were mini workshops in the same spirit as the new designers' program. Jersey and t-shirt customization station were available at the Jordan Brand and Nike takeover of Charlotte’s Mint Museum for their "Own The Game" programming which included everything from an NBA 2K video game face off between Giannis Antetokounmpo and a pint sized video gamer and basketball player to an intimate interview with LeBron James in from of a sea of local youth basketball players. Nike and Jordan athletes like A’ja Wilson and Blake Griffin surprised local kids participating in the workshops.

Wilson, the 2018 WNBA Rookie Of The Year and 2019 Slam Dunk Contest judge said, “I think Jordan and Nike are really capitalizing on the moment and that's what it takes for growth everywhere. For them to go all out in Charlotte is definitely something special. Of course being from the south and from the Carolinas and having something as big as NBA All-Star here, so close to home, I do take a lot of pride in it. We have a lot to showcase and we get overlooked for the big cities. I love being involved here specifically and working with the league as well."

Additionally, Jordan partnered with local streetwear and sneaker culture purveyor The Social Status, James Whitner’s homegrown shop. The Charlotte native and resident also has stores in Atlanta, GA and Washington D.C. The partnership with Jordan included programming Whitner already does like Cuts For Kids and Women Within women's panels and offered a signal boost to The Social Status’ new creative hub and community space beSocial which is attached to the Central Avenue store. "I think it's been good for the world to see things that are already happening here. Nike and Jordan being involved adds visibility to all these things. I live here. This is my home. I live 10 minutes from here."

Wings also announced their Jordan Wings Game Changer Award. Never to be sold to the public, the brand created a special Jordan 4 “Wings” colorway to present to individuals who have made positive contributions to their community. As he'd already laid the groundwork for community focused programming through Social Status, it was announced over the weekend and Whitner was the inaugural recipient of the of the award.

Of being surprised with the award, he said, "It was mind blowing! We're in this business and we do what we do because we love it, right? We're motivated by so many things and you keep going with no expectation to get anything for what you do outside of thank you. I'm fortunate as hell and blessed to have the opportunity to wake up everyday and do what I love, and that's enough. When people start to acknowledge that and honoring you, it's nothing short of amazing!"

There’s undoubtedly a special connection to Charlotte for Jordan Brand thus their investment in the community. With next year’s All-Star Weekend heading to Chicago, it’ll be interesting to see what the brand has in store for the the city where His Airness cemented his legacy in.

Rae Witte

Following a year as the editor of the style and sneakers channels at Complex, I started boundlessly freelance writing for sites like Esquire, W Magazine, GQ, iD, Dazed, HighSnobiety, and Wall Street Journal, among others, covering music, style, dating, art, sports, travel and highlighting any woman of interest I could sell a story about.

Photo: Air Jordan IV "Wings" special edition shoe.Jordan Brand



JCSU is blessed with a $350,000 gift from the Jordan Brand.

by Stephen-Michael Thompson Jr

NBA All-Star weekend was a success for the Charlotte area. Johnson C. Smith has benefited because of this.
Brayboy Gym has been JCSU’s home court since 1961

Johnson C. Smith’s Brayboy Gym benefited from a $350,000 gift from the Jordan Brand. The organizers brought in a basketball showcase during last week’s festivities and blessed the Golden Bulls with some new features. New scoreboards, shot clocks and seating for the bench areas were donated to the program. And the Jordan brand is just getting started. Brayboy Gym will also good new courts and locker rooms in the near future.

“It’s a big deal for us,” said JCSU basketball coach Steve Joyner. “It’s an upgrade from what we have, and it makes us a better program.”

Posted By: Elly Moss
Tuesday, February 19th 2019 at 9:25PM
You can also click here to view all posts by this author...

Report obscenity | post comment
Share |
Please Login To Post Comments...

More From This Author
Applications for the Techstars accelerator are due Oct 31. Let us refer your company!
10 Little-Known Uses for Vicks VapoRub
National Student Exchange - Apply Now for your 2020 Taste of Culture!
Attend the "Destination HBCU" College Fair in Cleveland happening 11/21 - 11/23!
Random Photo Upload On Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 12:26PM
Random Photo Upload On Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 12:26PM
Register For Amazon's Hiring Event for HBCU Grads in Texas on October 17th!
Forward This Article Entry!
News Home
Sponsored Content Create an Ad
Follow Us!
Link To Us!
Do you have a website? Link to HBCU Connect!