Nike Celebrates 25 Years of Air Force 1
December 11, 2006
NEW YORK (11 December, 2006) – Music history was made last night in New York City when artists Kanye West, Nas, Rakim and KRS-ONE took to the stage together at Nike's (NYSE: NKE) celebration of the Air Force 1's 25th year anniversary.
In celebration of this 25th anniversary those who made the Air Force 1 were honored by those who continue to define it. KRS-ONE, Rakim, Kanye West and Nas came together with legendary producer Rick Rubin to create an original track that was performed for the first and only time.
For the first time ever a collection of 1,040 unique pairs of Air Force 1s, assembled from the Nike archives and key collectors attending the celebration, were on display. This one time only collection featured some of the most sought after shoes from the Air Force 1's past and the yet to be released Air Force 25.
MTV cameras recorded the Air Force 1 event as this never-seen-before foursome paid respect to the culture that created and continues to support the Air Force 1. The performance will air on MTV in January 2007 as part of a program exploring the connection between the Air Force 1 and the communities that have made it their own.
Twenty-five Years of Perseverance Twenty-five years ago Nike released the Air Force 1 to satisfy the demands of the most uncompromising and forceful players in the game of basketball. In 1982, the Air Force 1 became the first basketball shoe to feature Nike Air technology. The comfort and protective qualities of the Air Force 1 changed the game forever and created a platform that launched Nike's long-running legacy in performance basketball.
At the same time, music critics were quickly asserting hip-hop music was just another fad, a genre that couldn't be sustained beyond its underground following. Twenty-five years later, both have graduated from being performance breakthroughs to icons transcending communities and people.
"Those that know the history of KRS-ONE's recordings will recall a song called "Advance." We signed to this label to put this single out. And what I remember was the advance, what came back from signing this contract was a pair of AIR FORCE 1s," said KRS-ONE. "You know, believe it or not, we were satisfied. We got a fresh pair of Air Force 1s and it was dope. I rhymed, and I got a fresh pair of Air Force 1s. The mentality was that my rhymes bring value. And the point was that Air Force 1s had value."
Embraced and revered by the basketball community the Air Force 1's impact was felt way beyond its hard court roots. The shoe was created for basketball. It was adopted by the basketball community and then progressed into the music scene of the East Coast, particularly along the I-95 corridor between Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City.
In celebrating the Air Force 1, 2007 will see the introduction of a new innovative performance basketball shoe, the Air Force 25. The Air Force 25 will be worn by some of the new generation of great players. Built upon the same craftsmanship and informed design principles as the Air Force 1, the Air Force 25 delivers a revolutionary era within the Air Force story.
About NIKE, Inc. Based near Beaverton, Oregon is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; NIKE Bauer Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan, which designs, markets, and distributes fine dress and casual shoes and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Exeter Brands Group LLC, which designs and markets athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.