I don’t want to argue about jumpman or no jumpman, but would like to note that when they first came out with the jumpman on the back of Jordans, I thought it was straight blasphemy, but – it definitely did what Nike and MJ designed it to do. It was the creation of a separate Jordan Brand as it’s own company and line of products. From what I remember, the general population didn’t say “I’m never buying Jordans with the jumpman logo”. Most everyone accepted it and moved on. I thought I would never see the Nike Air on the back of a Jordan shoe again. Then came the White Cement 3 88s. It was like Nike dropped a dream shoe from the heavens with the old Nike Air. I think this might have been when Jordan/Nike realized the real value of the original Nike Air branding although it is totally possible that they were waiting to bring back the Nike Air label all this time as a marketing secret weapon of sorts.
Maybe some of you guys with Nike connections can shed some light on this. But the white cement Jordan 3 ’88 Dunk opened a whole new possibility of the “true og” versions of retros which Nike capitalized on with the metallic 5s, true blue 3s, maroon 6s, wc4s, bc3s. Now that the window was open for Nike Air to come back, I think what a lot of people are saying is WTF???
Why go back or continue with non-OG when Nike knows that OG is what we all really want? Will using the jumpman make us buy less? Maybe. Will using the NA make us buy more? Very likely. So, essentially, the only reason to hold back on Nike Air is to build pent up demand or just not give us what we want for the sake of the distinction of the Jordan Brand. It also creates another level of product for Jordans. They can target the older guys who value the Nike Air more and add a little bit to their margin because the older dudes are more likely to be the ones with more savings and higher income that can afford an extra $10 to $20 for the NA. They are creating a whole new category of retros for the more than casual buyers that find the retros to be more special with the NA.
For Katrinas, would anyone have complained if they made Katrinas with Nike Air on the back? Probably not. I mean, would people really pass on Katrinas for the jumpman if they had NA on the back because OG Katrinas had the jumpman? No. So what’s the purpose, Nike? Is it to stay true to the original form of the original Katrina release or is it because, in 5 to 8 years, we will be getting a Katrina with a Nike Air tag for another $220 from our pocketbooks? Would be interesting to know. I hope there’s some reasoning behind it. The sad answer would be if no one at Nike thought too much about it at all and it was all about the cheapest way to produce the model in mass quantities for the most profit. Although it’s not the answer we want, profit is most likely the biggest factor with all the rest of the reasons as afterthoughts.