Twenty years in Greater China, and Nike celebrates the occasion by signing its first Chinese ambassador for its brand Jordan. In the campaign conceived by AKQA Shanghai, Chinese basketball player Guo Ailun never appears in the ad himself. A man is seen walking through a locker room that features sports kits including jerseys, shoes and gears of other Jordan ambassadors, to the voice of Micheal Jordan. The man, in the end, hangs up Guo’s uniform. The voiceover continues to says, “You are the first. Countless have dreamed of this. Represent them. Represent me. Represent yourself.” The message that appears reads, “We are Jordan. Guo Ailun, welcome to the family.” For the 24 year-old, the athlete’s team honours include the 2009 FIBA Asia Under-16 and 2015 FIBA Asia titles, and the 2015-16 China basketball regular season championship. He was also the leading scorer of the 2010 Under-17 World Championship team.
“We are excited to welcome Guo to the Jordan Family,” Michael Jordan said in an official release, adding, “From his competitive spirit and style of play on the court to his strong personality off the court, he’s a great fit for the brand. We look forward to Guo representing the game, Jordan Brand, and ultimately himself in Greater China.”
According to reports, the brand has signed the Chinese basketball player for $1.4 million a year.
However, he is not the first Chinese basketball athlete to be signed on by a multinational brand. Reebok earlier worked with Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian was signed on by Nike.
“Joining the Jordan Brand family is a dream come true,” said Guo, “It is an honour to be the first Jordan Brand athlete in China and I am thrilled to bring my love of the game to the brand.”
— Compiled by Ananya Saha