Peter Debruge Chief Film Critic Americans spend tens of billions of dollars on basketball sneakers every year. Sure, everybody needs shoes, but it shouldn’t matter if your choice bears the Nike swoosh, Adidas’ three stripes or the Converse star.
In most cases, consumers aren’t simply buying footwear; they’re investing in the fantasy of walking in someone else’s shoes — a sports star or personal idol — of believing that switching one’s kicks has a direct impact on your potential for greatness.
As the Nike marketing gurus in Ben Affleck’s “Air” put it, “A shoe is just a shoe until someone steps into.” If you’ve been alive on earth in the last 40 years, then you already know what happened when a rookie named Michael Jordan let Nike put his name and likeness on their shoes.
But “Air” isn’t about convincing the greatest basketball player in the history of the game to sign with Nike, although a “Jerry Maguire”-desperate Matt Damon — as paunchy, flop-sweating Sonny Vaccaro — might trick you into thinking this is just the (admittedly very entertaining) anatomy of a landmark business deal.Read more on variety.com