After Nike entering the lifestyle Era with musicians and sports
celebrities, the company found a great marketing segment in sitcoms.
Probably the most impressive selection to me was to be seen on
The Cosby Show(1984-92):
but Nike also brought up the big guns for series like Seinfeld(1989-98),
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990-96) or Home Improvement (1991-99).
“The first house call anyone can remember the Nike Lady making
was to the Seinfeld set. Her impact was immediate–especially on
the show’s star, who apparently had an unambiguous sense of
entitlement. Seinfeld’s appetite for free sneakers became legendary.
His office overflowed with shoe boxes, and one ex-writer remembers
Jerry emerging “like Evita, tossing extra sneakers to the staff.”
In time the staff members too became hooked, and for them Tracy
provided a catalog in which they could check off whatever they
wanted. “It was everything–running shoes, hiking boots, sandals.
People were taking up extreme sports just to get the shoes.”
(From ‘Sneakers In Tinseltown’ by Garry Trudeau — Time Magazine,
1994′s ‘Air Seinfeld’: a canvas Nike GTS from 1994.
Here some examples of Jerry's appearances in Nikes
(see more of Gary Warnett's selection here)
Watch any re-run of Home Improvement, and witness just how much
Nike Air gets screentime. Tim Allen was prone to wear Agassi signature
shoes with lurid color pops, and the Tool Man's kids had bulky
basketball classics for days. Her's my faves selection:
How do you repay that kind of loyalty? To celebrate the 100th episode in May
1995, Nike made a special makeup with Binford Tool company branding on it.
The sneakers were simple but culturally significant.
The 1995 Nike ‘Binford’ ‘Home Improvement (Nike Air Edge II ?)