THROWBACK THURSDAYS – Vintage Print Ad for the Nike Air Jordan XI

Back in the 90s before everyone had access to the Internet and YouTube or could record everything on TV with their Personal Video Recorder (PVR), all we had was VHS  tape recordings. That being said if you were brave enough to tape NBA playoff games you would be going through a lot of tapes. But, there was one moment that all sneakerheads will remember during the 1995 NBA Championship playoffs. It was the moment where Ahmad Rashad held up the unreleased Nike Air Jordan XI for all of us to see…even though it wasn’t supposed to be released that way…it was a prototype.

Prototype or not I WANTED IT! I remember the next day going to school and damn near lost my mind trying to describe the sneaker that was unveiled during the playoffs on NBC. No one saw that portion of the game, so me trying to explain a sneaker that was all white with patent leather around it sounded like one of the biggest lies ever spoken of in regards to the Air Jordan brand.

But one day I got home from school and looked in the mail box to check in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated was there.  To my delight it was there with a sports figure on the front that escapes me, BUT the back cover of the magazine pretty much was what caught my eye…


THERE IT IS!!! That very same sneaker that Ahmad Rashad was speaking of…I have to tell everyone now! Show everyone…but wait…there is a phone number! Will I get to talk to Michael Jordan (give me a break, I was young, stupid…and seeing the Nike Air Jordan XI in an official capacity had me weak!) You better believe I called that number and it was a recording of some sort…I don’t want to lie and tell you I remember what it was, but I must have called it a thousand times. I mean it was a 1-800 number why not?

In the end, this ad saved my reputation as a sneakerhead because it proved that I wasn’t lying about what I had seen during that NBA Playoff broadcast! Such a great sneaker moment…

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Sole Theory is a sneaker lifestyle guide that explores the social impact of the sneaker culture. Users can expect to gain insight on recent trends, historic brands and signature styles that have heavily influenced the shoe industry. Content will be driven by articles, interviews and reviews that will uncover interesting facts and stories that have rarely been told.