Take Flight with Amazon Prime’s “Air”

AJ Tarzia '24, Junior Sports Editor

Air is a new basketball movie recently released on Amazon Prime Video based on true events. The movie is about a Nike employee Sonny Vaccaro played by Matt Damon, and how he was able to sign one of the greatest basketball players ever, Micheal Jordan, to Nike, which at the time was a small-market shoe company.

The movie’s main conflict is that Nike is competing against the largest basketball shoe companies in the world, Adidas and Converse for Jordan. At the time, Adidas and Converse were the two leaders in the basketball shoe industry, and Nike primarily sold running shoes. Additionally, Nike was still a small company, and these other companies were billion-dollar companies that were able to offer more money and benefits to their athletes. Despite Nike being a smaller company, Sonny uses many different strategies and solves many problems throughout the movie to fight for Jordan. As we all know today, Sonny was successful in signing Jordan, and it turned out to be a mutually beneficial relationship. Nike released Jordan’s first signature shoe in 1985, and his shoes are still flying off the shelves in 2023. 

Overall, this was a good movie, and I am glad I watched it. After binging The Last Dance on Netflix, this movie felt like an additional episode. I rate the movie a 7.5/10 because it was an interesting story I had not heard before, and it shared a different perspective on one of the greatest basketball players in the world. The movie displayed the business side and the strategies used to sign NBA stars to shoe companies, which was quite fascinating. This movie was not a 10/10 because the movie took a while to become interesting. The movie was 112 minutes long, and the first 30-45 minutes were slow and slightly boring. Although the movie had a slow start, once Sonny gets the authorization to pursue Jordan from his boss Phil Knight, the Nike CEO, the movie quickly picked up and was fast-paced for the rest of the film.

I recommend this movie to anyone, but more specifically to the people who grew up around the 80-90s when this took place and Jordan was playing. Also, if you enjoyed watching The Last Dance on Netflix about the Chicago Bulls dynasty, you would also enjoy this movie. Finally, if you enjoy documentary-style movies, I highly recommend you give this movie a shot.