Nike to debut Jordan Brand stores called Flight 23

Nike to debut Jordan Brand stores called Flight 23

The Jordan Brand is opening the first of what it envisions to be a nationwide chain of retail stores. Also, Jordan Brand president Larry Miller could have, maybe, been president of the NBA Players Association.

First, the retail store:

Nike has partnered with the retail chain Footaction to open the Jordan Brand stores, which will be called “Flight 23” — after Michael Jordan’s uniform number. Nike announced Monday it would work with Footaction to open a Jordan-only retail store a block from Madison Square Garden in New York. The first hint was an 18-foot tall Jordan shoebox that appeared Friday at the site, serving as a construction barrier.

The store is “the first in a series of planned premium Jordan retail experiences coming to North America,” the news release says.

“We’re excited to launch North America’s first Jordan Brand exclusive retail experience for athletes at the top of their game who demand the absolute best in both performance and style,” Miller says in the statement. “We will work with Footaction to bring Flight 23 to markets across North America, and can’t imagine a better place to start than one of the best basketball cities in the world, New York.”

Footaction, owned by publicly held Foot Locker Inc., is a national athletic footwear and apparel retailer. The primary customers, Footaction’s website says, “are young males that seek street-inspired athletic styles. Its 319 stores are located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and focus on marquee footwear and branded apparel.”

Meanwhile, the blog reported that NBA Players Association representatives “reached out” to Miller to gauge his interest in the association’s presidency, left vacant by Billy Hunter’s exit. Miller was president of the Trail Blazers from 2006 to 2012; the one-time Jantzen sportswear president also was Jordan Brand president from 1999 to 2006. reporter Chris Haynes, who reported first that Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin was leaving Nike for Adidas, quoted a source that “Miller politely declined to entertain the proposition, being that ‘he’s extremely happy in his current role.'”

A Nike spokesperson declined to comment.

— Allan Brettman