02/12/2012 // New York, New York, USA // LJ550 // Lebron Jordan Inc.
A Major Sneaker manufacturer tried to stop them with a cease and desist order back in 2011, but rebel shoe designers Lebron Jordan are back, with their brand defying limited edition sneakers available for pre-order now.
It was regarded as one of the strangest stories in fashion, sport and business branding in early 2011 when a new shoe company, launched by a dating company called Gotham Dating Partners Inc., appeared on the market with their limited edition $100 Lebron Jordan sneaker. These shoes, the design of which was still in prototype, were heralded by the nerds at “popular” sneaker collectors’ websites, as a cynical attempt to cash in on the two biggest names in basketball related footwear – Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
A certain shoe company obviously took the presence of this new shoe a little more seriously, issuing a cease and desist order to the company, who responded by ignoring it and raising the question of how far one would go to try and claim ownership of other people’s brands. Lebron Jordan were making a stand.
Because of some issues with the original prototypes for the design of the actual Lebron Jordan shoes, the design has now been reimagined and the site, www.lebronjordan.com relaunched, ready to take preorders for both models in what is now a two tier range – the entry level LJ 550 sneaker which retails at $49.99, and the top end Lebron Jordan 2012 shoe which sells for $124.99.
These are shoes for individuals with a sense of humor, who want to respect the legacy of two of America’s greatest sporting heroes without lining the pockets of big business or buying in to a big behemoth brand. Lebron Jordan don’t care about branding. They care about it so little that they don’t even have a fixed logo – every customer can choose any one of 15 completely different Lebron Jordan logos to feature on their own pair of sneakers. Lebron Jordan are challenging everything that is accepted about the sneaker industry – that the brand is all important and that you need to shift millions of units to change the market.
The original Nike Air Jordan shoes from the 1980’s were also a source of controversy, with Michael Jordan being fined $5000 every time he wore the black and red ones on the court because they weren’t compliant with the NBA rules of the time. Nike of course, paid for those fines. The publicity around this rather contrived controversy brought them priceless additional publicity to help them make the sneaker, which was in its day the most expensive mass produced basketball shoe in the world, a household name. This would certainly appear to be a far more cynical case of cashing in on a big name in sport than an upstart shoe designer launching a shoe named after some undeniable sporting legends fans may want to show a connection to without following the herd and having the exact same shoes as everyone, ever has owned since 1985.
Anyone interested in getting their hands on the shoes behind the upset should go to www.lebronjordan.com to customize and preorder their Lebron Jordans and stake their claim on one of the only 10,000 pairs ever to be made.
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