The true story of Nike: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck will star in Amazon’s gripping drama following the birth of a global brand

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Viola Davis will star in Amazon’s gripping true tale of how Michael Jordan made Nike a global brand

Posted by for Entertainment

Amazon’s star-studded drama explores the true story of a partnership between a running shoe company and a rising basketball star that changed the face of fashion.

Nike may be the biggest sports brand in the world, but once upon a time, it was a fledgling running shoe company.

Founded in 1964, the trainer label was known less for style and more for practicality until the mid-80s, where it sought the endorsement of then-rising basketball superstar Michael Jordan.

The rest – a $37.4 billion (£28.7bn) a year revenue – is, as they say, history, and that gripping tale is exactly what’s being brought to our screens in Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s new Amazon drama. 

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck will star in, write and produce the drama, with Affleck directing
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck will star in, write and produce the drama, with Affleck directing

The as-yet untitled project will see Damon star as former Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro while Affleck plays Nike co-founder Phil Knight. The drama follows their relentless quest to sign Jordan to what was then a third-place shoe company, a journey that took Vaccaro to Jordan’s parents and, in particular, his powerful, dynamic mother, as well as to former coaches, advisers and friends.

Because Nike x Jordan wasn’t just a slick marketing deal. The endorsement seemed impossible at the time, but thanks to the maverick sneaker salesman it became the most significant relationship between an athletic brand and an athlete in history.

The deal launched the global, multi-billion-dollar contemporary sneaker industry and also helped the sport do the same.

Jordans have become some of the most popular shoes of all time, on and off the court
Jordans have become some of the most popular shoes of all time, on and off the court

Throughout the series, Jordan is said to be a mythic figure hovering above the movie and never seen, even as Vaccaro tries to reach him by gaining access to those close to him and around him.

Affleck will also direct, write and produce the series, with Damon also turning his hand to writing and producing. Jason Bateman, Viola Davis, Chris Tucker and Marlon Wayans have also signed on to the star-studded project.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bateman will play an attorney-turned-branding-guru, Davis will star as Deloris Jordan, Michael Jordan’s mother, while Tucker will play Nike exec Howard White, and Wayans will play a pioneering Black coach. 

The project marks the first time Affleck will direct a feature starring Damon, his long-time friend, after the two famously won an Oscar for writing the script for Good Will Hunting.

Basketball star Michael Jordan wears the Nike Jordans on the court in 1998
Basketball star Michael Jordan wears the Nike Jordans on the court in 1998

As one of the most influential figures in sports and pop culture, Jordan has been the subject of multiple projects, most recently the Emmy-winning series The Last Dance.

But whether you’re a sports fan, sneakerhead or neither, we have a feeling the gripping Nike story, helmed by two of Hollywood’s most celebrated actors no less, will have something for everyone.

Be sure to stay tuned as more exciting details emerge. 

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Images: Getty

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