Photo credits: Erick Klambara
On April 4, I had the honor of representing The Quad at an advanced screening of the new movie “Air.” The screening took place at the United Artists Regal in King of Prussia, which is about a 20-minute drive from West Chester University.
Many media representatives were in attendance for this exclusive event, which was shown just days before the showings to the general public. Anticipation set in as the crew members introduced the movie and laid out the guidelines for the screening, which included no photography, videography or cellphone use during the showing that lasted 112 minutes or one hour and 52 minutes.
“Air” featured a star-studded cast, including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Viola Davis and Jason Bateman. Damon was cast as Sonny Vaccaro, who was responsible, in large part, for recruiting and ultimately signing Michael Jordan to the Nike family in 1984 over competitors such as Adidas and Converse.
Throughout the movie, we see the struggles that Nike is having in the basketball sneaker business. This was due, in large part, to the success of running sneakers, which were used far more often. Vaccaro came up with the idea to pursue Michael Jordan despite the fact that he was unwilling to negotiate with Nike and was committed to Adidas. Nike was not on board initially with the idea and wanted three players to showcase their brand. Vaccaro put his job on the line in pursuing Jordan and committed the company’s entire basketball budget to do so. In the end, Nike was successful and the rest is history!
The signing of Michael Jordan was monumental in the sneaker business. Jordan was the first player to receive a cut of each individual sale, paving the way for future athletes such as LeBron James, Allen Iverson and Kevin Durant to receive lucrative sneaker deals. Nike initially expected to make $3 million in the first year with the signing, which was a fair estimate given the sneaker sales at the time. It is safe to say that they were successful in doing so as they sold over $126 million in the first year alone. Screen Rant reports that as of 2021, the Jordan brand’s revenue sits at $4.8 billion, making it the most successful sneaker deal of all time.
Damon did a stellar job in the film of showing the determination and grit of Vaccaro and how he was able to win over Nike founder Phil Knight (Ben Affleck’s character) and ultimately the Jordan family in his sales pitch. The cast does a great job of making a story about a business deal very entertaining and interesting for the viewers.
This was my first advanced movie screening and I had an awesome experience representing The Quad. All in all, I thought the cast performed exceptionally well and told the story in an informative yet comedic manner. This movie is a great watch for everyone but especially sports fans as Michael Jordan is one of the most influential and polarizing athletes of all time. He is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time and this movie does a stellar job at showing his beginnings as an athlete and businessman.
“Air” is out now everywhere worldwide! Check it out at a theater near you!
My rating: 8.7/10
Erick Klambara is a fourth-year media and culture major with a minor in journalism. EK924666@wcupa.edu