BROOKLYN, N.Y. — At it’s core, the Jordan Brand Classic is an enormous interactive branding exercise. There are Jumpman logos everywhere. On the floor. On every jersey. On every pair of shorts, shoes, socks. On everything. There are photo booths created specifically to showcase the brand, whether a fan wants to or not (most seem to want to, to be fair).
Yet there was one group that was not wearing all Jordan, and they were even on the court: The referees.
The three officials for the Jordan Brand Classic were not decked out in exclusively Jordan gear. Yes, their shirts were Jordan Brand, but their slacks were not. That’s understandable unless Jordan wants to go into more formal men’s wear. Incredibly, it was the most critical part of the Jordan Brand’s arsenal with which they unintentionally defied the clear aims of Jordan Brand officials.
The referees weren’t wearing Jordan shoes!
Yes, referees are required to wear all-black, but there’s no reason why Jordan couldn’t offer up a set of matte black sneakers for the referees to sport. Instead they were left to their own devices, with two refs choosing Nike and one opting for — wait for it — a pair of discontinued Reebok Zigtechs.
Somewhere, Peyton Manning was smiling. His Airness MJ, who was in the house? He probably would have been non-plussed, had he noticed the ridges up close.