Ben Affleck & Matt Damon Chase Michael Jordan for Nike in First “Air” Trailer
The first trailer for Air has arrived, the latest team-up between Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (they last sparred together in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, which they also wrote with Nicole Holofcener), only this time, the two are on the same side as they tell one of the greatest sports marketing and business stories of all time.
Affleck and Damon are teaming up to tell the true-life story of Nike co-founder Phil Knight (Affleck) and former Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro (Damon), centered on Vaccaro’s energetic efforts to sign a young phenom by the name of Michael Jordan.
When Nike was courting Jordan, he had yet to become the most transformational player of his time. In fact, he’d never played in an NBA game. Yet Nike at the time was well out of its league against the NBA’s shoe company of record, so to speak, Converse, or Adiddas for that matter, and they needed a signature athlete to help expand their basketball shoe division. It was Vaccaro who saw something nobody else did at the time—the young kid from North Carolina was the future. The key was for Vaccaro to nab Jordan before he signed with Converse or anybody else.
So how does he do it? The personal touch—Vaccaro shows up at the doorstep of the Jordan family, where Michael’s parents Deloris (Viola Davis) and James (Julius Tennon) are going to need to be convinced Nike is the right choice for their son. Vaccaro doesn’t just want to win over Michael’s parents, but he dreams of building an entire shoe line just around Jordan. It seemed pie-in-the-sky at the time, but we now know it was a stroke of genius. Jordan ultimately did sign with Nike, and the deal became the most lucrative, game-changing relationship between an athlete and a brand in history, and helped launch a sneaker industry that has become a global colossus, supercharging the NBA’s image across the world.
Affleck directs from a script by Alex Convery, and the cast includes some stellar performers alongside the aforementioned Affleck, Damon, Davis, and Tennon. They include Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, Marlon Wayans, and Jessica Green.
If you’re curious about who plays Michael Jordan, well, nobody does. As THR reported last April, Jordan will be “a mythic figure hovering above the movie and never seen, even as Vaccaro tries to reach him by gaining access to those close to him and around him.”
Check out the trailer below. Air hits theaters on April 5, and then will move to Prime Video after that.
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Featured image: Ben Affleck as Phil Knight in AIR Photo: COURTESY OF AMAZON STUDIOS © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC