February 18, 2014 BY Aaron Kr. / 50
At its core, Jordan Brand has and always will be deeply rooted in the game of basketball, but that hasn’t stopped them from expanding into a number of different sports and other categories to help expand the Jumpman empire. Not long after Jordan Brand branched out as an independent offshoot of Nike in 1997, they quickly began to bolster their team roster with superstars from a wide variety of sports. In the early days, it was marquee names like Roy Jones, Randy Moss, and Derek Jeter that helped place the Jumpman logo in all kinds of new spotlights, fittingly aligned with the cream of the crop in each respective sport.
As the brand has grown, they have always continued to be on the lookout for new territory to claim, and that has even taken them to places as far away from basketball as the world of motorsports and a sponsorship of racecar driver Denny Hamlin. The fact that the Jumpman logo can so effortlessly cross over into all these different realms of sport is a testament to the greatness it signifies and the extent to which it has transcended the game of basketball, and sports in general, to permeate into every thinkable aspect of popular culture. After all, going back to the first Air Jordan models, the shoes have always wielded as much power off the court as they did on it.
That sentiment has always been warmly embraced in the hip-hop community where Air Jordans have been a revered status symbol since they first hit the scene in 1985, but somehow it took quite a long time for such a perfect pairing to actually materialize into any kind of official partnership. With the focus on being a performance brand first, teaming up with hip-hop acts to create lifestyle or retro products has historically not been high up on the priority list, but it’s also not completely unheard of either.
Jordan Brand teamed up with Eminem for a special Air Jordan IV colorway in 2004 and then again in 2008 for “The Way I Am” IIs, but outside of those super-limited gems, these kinds of collaborations have generally been very few and far between.
Things finally changed in a big way this past December when it was revealed that rapper, Drake, was in fact the newest member of the Team Jordan family. Although it’s a long way from the field of athletics, the rap game is a natural fit for Jordan’s growing list of brand ambassadors, and Drake certainly fits the MJ mold and mindset in terms of his work ethic and proven successes, and his love for the brand. Of course, his current popularity doesn’t hurt his case either and that’s what the partnership will capitalize on for the foreseeable future. We recently got word from JB that there were no plans for any Drake x Jordan retail products anytime soon, but that didn’t stop them from welcoming him to the team by whipping him up some special edition Air Jordan Xs and XIIs, complete with sections of stingray leather and co-branded with his OVO logo.
To the dismay of many, the shoes only went out to friends and family and it appears that there are no current plans for anything to materialize for public consumption. While some photos of the OVO Xs and XIIs have circulated online and a pair or two have even hit eBay, for the most part, we haven’t had too many opportunities to ogle these beauties. Lucky for us and all of you, collector extraordinaire, S. Sami, was able to get his hands on a pair of the white XIIs, and with that, we bring you the first extensive look at the finer points of a shoe that few of us will ever have to chance to see in person. Continue on for a detailed gallery of the white OVO Air Jordan XII, and a huge thanks to Sami for sharing a look at this major score.