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AIR tells the story of Nike's marketing manager Sonny Vaccaro, who contracted Michael Jordan in the early 80s and turned the company's basketball trainers into a global brand.


There‘s a time before Michael Jordan and a time after Michael Jordan. This applies to the US professional basketball league the NBA and also the sporting goods manufacturer Nike. The story of how Michael Jordan landed at Nike and turned a company that was way behind competitors Adidas and Converse in the basketball arena into a global brand is a very American and thoroughly capitalist story. It mostly took place like it does in Ben Affleck‘s AIR, in which Michael Jordan is constantly present without actually ever appearing. You only see the athlete in TV clips, he‘s sitting together with his parents at the negotiation table, can only be seen from the back and doesn‘t say a word. No actor could withstand the comparison, explains Affleck, and this makes dramaturgical sense as well. AIR is chiefly about marketing expert Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon), who is the head of Nike‘s floundering basketball department in the early 80s. Sonny believes that Jordan is the player that would turn Nike into more than a shoe company: a global brand, cool and hip. The average joe sets out to sign Jordan with the same passion that Jordan revolutionized basketball with, The film is so thrillingly made that you forget that you‘re watching the story of a corporation that usually has low-income countries produce their goods. The consequences of the excessive marketing of a superstar can still be seen today, not just in the US, but also in the global soccer business. However, that‘s another story that is only lightly touched on in AIR.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Air
USA 2023, 112 min
Genre: Drama, Sportfilm
Director: Ben Affleck
Author: Alex Convery
DOP: Robert Richardson
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Cast: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Viola Davis, Chris Messina, Barbara Sukowa, Marlon Wayans, Chris Tucker
FSK: 6
Release: 06.04.2023



  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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