The Jordan Brand athlete roster looks a lot different today than in it has years past, replete with top-tier WNBA talent including FN cover star Aerial Powers and several others. Much of that transformation can be attributed to its basketball field rep for women’s sport marketing Jasmine Jordan.
On Wednesday night, Jasmine — the daughter of NBA icon Michael Jordan — attended the 2022 FN Achievement Awards in New York City, where Jordan Brand accepted the Brand of the Year honor. The athletic label made strides across the board in 2022, but arguably its biggest gains were with women. A June earnings call for parent company Nike Inc. revealed that the Jordan Brand women’s business has tripled since fiscal 2020.
Here, Jasmine reveals what she believes Jordan Brand’s biggest accomplishment with women was in 2022 and shares her plans for further transforming its women’s ambassador roster.
What has your father said about your impact on Jordan Brand and the women that you’ve signed as ambassadors?
“My father is for it. He has made it crystal clear that not only our female athletes but our women consumers and our women fanbase needs a voice. They need to feel like they’re heard and seen and we’re finally getting to that point with our roster. He’s definitely been supportive and understanding. We wanted to make sure we did our due diligence and our homework to understand how our consumers, how our fans buy into our brand. By doing so, we were able to get the athletes that represent what they want to see from us and how they see themselves. We did our homework, and he was just like, ‘I’m here for it, I support you and I love it as long as it’s authentic to what you see and believe. I’m going to support it 100%.’”
Does he have a favorite woman baller on the Jordan Brand roster?
“I always ask him, ‘Who are you watching? He’s like, ‘I watch them all, what do you mean?’ I’m like, ‘That’s such a politically correct answer,’ but truthfully, he does. He doesn’t have a favorite. Maya [Moore] set the tone for us as our first athlete, she is truly the GOAT when it comes to WNBA in general, so when we look at our roster from there, it just continues to build. He definitely doesn’t have a favorite, but I’m at least proud to know he’s watching and keeping up in full and locking in as we go.”
How would you like the Jordan Brand ambassador roster to transform, specifically with women athletes?
“We wanted to start off apologetically true to our culture, true to our consumer, true to our fans — but we’re not stopping there. We want to show up in different spaces. It’s not going to end with basketball. It started in basketball, but we want to continue to expand. Signing Jess Sims as a Peloton instructor is completely unexpected. You may be like Jordan and Peloton, what does that look like? But when you look at Jess, you see she embodies everything that Jordan Brand stands for, so it’s like OK, that authentication is there. That’s just the tipping point of what we’re hoping to do. We’re definitely going to show up in other spaces, in other sports. What that looks like is still yet to be determined. It’s an exciting place to be right now for the brands to know like, ‘Whether you’re in soccer, tennis, softball, volleyball, whatever it may be, you’re on our radar.’ It’s only a matter of time before we’ve got the green light to go ahead and press go and start expanding in those spaces. We’re ready to do so, we just need to find the right athletes to authenticate it.”
Jordan Brand strengthened its focus on women in 2022, and the efforts are paying off. What would you say was the greatest female-focused accomplishment this year?
“I’m going to say Tunnel Walks. Our Tunnel Walks project [during WNBA All-Star weekend in Chicago], without a doubt, was near and dear to me because it’s everything that we’d like to bring to the brand in one. It’s culture, it’s streetwear, it’s basketball, it’s love, it’s fashion — it’s everything. We had [WNBA stars] Aerial Powers and Izzy Harrison, who have been killing it [in fashion], whether it was them going into their games or doing shoots and things like that outside the game. We also had [pro basketball player] Arella Guirantes, who is not active in the WNBA but still is resonating with her Puerto Rican culture and her background. It’s not just about being on an active [WNBA] roster. As long as you’re connected to the game, you’re connected to the culture, we’re going to tell your story as a brand. Tunnel Walks allowed us to do that. It was a huge moment. It was amazing to put the spotlight on them. Being able to do that was incredibly exciting and that’s probably the most impactful project I’ve worked on to date.”