Michael Jordan takes great pride in the Jordan Brand being diverse and groundbreaking, which is why he celebrated the 25th anniversary of the WNBA’s inaugural game with a historical deed.
The Chicago Bulls legend and Charlotte Hornets majority governor has always had a desire to form an expansive and inclusive family at the Jordan Brand. So, it wasn’t surprising to see what he did for some of the brightest WNBA players.
Michael Jordan announces the “WNBA Family” campaign
On Monday, the Jordan Brand announced the unveiling of the “WNBA Family” campaign, marking the most ever players (11) to endorse the brand in WNBA history. In April, Jordan was photographed alongside the brand’s active WNBA athletes: Jordin Canada, Te’a Cooper, Crystal Dangerfield, Chelsea Dungee, Arella Guirantes, Dearica Hamby, Kia Nurse, Aerial Powers, and Satou Sabally.
All 11 of the WNBA athletes are Black women. MJ said it’s important for the world to listen to female voices and give women a platform.
“The world needs female voices, and we can’t ignore that or else we’re not growing,” Jordan said in a statement. “The Jordan Brand is committed to giving women a platform to amplify their voices, which influence, inspire and push culture forward. These amazing athletes are defining a lot of things about Jordan Brand and leading a true conversation that’s impacting culture and our communities across the globe.”
In September 1997, Nike officially launched the Jordan Brand as a subdivision of the global footwear company. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that the brand found its face for women’s basketball.
Michael Jordan signed Maya Moore in 2011
In 1998, the Jordan Brand released its first women’s sneaker. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that Jordan found his face of women’s basketball.
Maya Moore became the first woman to sign an endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand. She wore Jordan’s shoes on the court while playing for the Minnesota Lynx before stepping away from basketball in 2019 to focus on off-the-court initiatives. The Missouri native won four titles with the Lynx and is one of the best players in WNBA history.
The Jordan Brand has signed more WNBA players than any other shoe company. It shows that His Airness is serious about giving women the same opportunities as men and breaking the stigmas of women’s basketball. Canada says she’s grateful to have an opportunity to be with the Jordan Brand and instill change.
“Representation really matters at this point in time,” Canada said. “To have eleven black women be a part of this brand allows the younger generation and younger women to see that they can be like us — they can have that opportunity. I didn’t see that growing up.”
Jordan is arguably the greatest player in NBA history. Despite no longer being an active player, he’s still finding ways to make history.
Wearing Jumpman in the WNBA is surreal for all of the players
As expected, the WNBA stars who are with the Jordan Brand are thankful for the opportunity to rep Jumpman. Cooper, who plays for the Los Angeles Sparks, was shocked that the six-time NBA champion even knew who she was.
“When you get that call like, ‘Jordan wants you to be a part of the brand.’ Then you get invited to a Zoom call, then you’re getting gear … It’s like, ‘Whatttt? You picked ME? No way!’ I was amazed that Michael Jordan knew about me,” Cooper told Aaron Dodson of The Undefeated. I was really shocked. I felt real special.”
Jordan continues to show why he’s the GOAT, both on and off the basketball court. He’s committed to helping the WNBA grow and giving the players powerful platforms and avenues to shape the future of women’s basketball.