November 5, 2009 BY Aaron Hope
As a sneakerhead, this story is likely to elicit a wide range of emotions. At a superficial level, we’re a little jealous to see Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus, wearing the ‘Rising Sun’ Air Jordan XII (12) even though we couldn’t get them last month as expected. Take a look at the headlines, though, and you’re sure to be confused by what’s going on down at UCF’s Orlando campus.
Signed to a multiyear contract with adidas, the University of Central Florida first told MJ’s ‘rising son’ that he could either drop his daddy’s kicks or face serious consequences. Since the Jordan family assets likely exceed UCF’s endowment, the lil’ Jordan kept right on going. Clearly, that didn’t sit well with adidas. Here’s the email adidas spokeswoman Andrea Corso sent to the Orlando Sentinel:
The University of Central Florida has chosen not to deliver on their contractual commitment to adidas. As a result we have chosen not to continue our relationship with them moving forward.
Simple enough . . . or is it? Apparently, regional adidas officals had told the young Jumpman that he could rock his namesake kicks, a decision later repealed by executive management. The Rising Suns look awesome with UCF’s home unis, so should adidas care that people are going to associate the team that includes Michael Jordan’s son with Jordan Brand?
Marcus even went so far as to white-out the tongue Jumpman, leaving the only logos visible on his feet a small ’23’ on each heel (dwarfed by the broad Three Stripes crossing his SpeedWrap ankle supports). This controversy begs the question, could adidas have ever prevented Marcus from drawing that kind of attention, even in a pair of their kicks?