AIR NEYMAR

Neymar is reportedly the first soccer star to be getting his own Air Jordans

Obsession
Business of Sport
Obsession
Business of Sport

The Jordan brand was built on basketball, but its future may be with soccer.

The sneaker label is reportedly going to release a signature shoe for Brazilian soccer star Neymar, which would make him the first footballer to have his own Jordan shoe. According to sneaker blog Sole Collector, no official details have been announced, but an Air Jordan 5 Low tied to Neymar is listed on retail calendars as a fall 2016 release.

While it’s not officially confirmed—and Jordan told Quartz that it couldn’t provide any information at this time—it’s not too much of a stretch. Nike, which owns Jordan brand, already sponsors Neymar, as well the national team of Brazil and his club team in Spain, Barcelona.

Jordan brand, meanwhile, is looking to expand well beyond the men’s basketball sneakers that helped make Nike and Michael Jordan the commercial powerhouses they are today. In 2014, it introduced its first running sneaker, and last year, it began targeting women for the first time. It’s also been putting out more sneakers generally, suggesting Nike might want it to become a standalone brand.

In fact, Nike CEO Mark Parker made clear at an investor presentation last October that he hopes to double Jordan brand’s sales to $4.5 billion by 2020. It’s part of a bid to grow Nike’s overall annual sales to $50 billion in that time, up from approximately $30 billion currently, and would require scaling Jordan brand globally. Adding a new sport to the Jordan roster, especially with the massive international fanbase that soccer enjoys, would certainly help.

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