As part of Jordan’s continued efforts to extend into the next generation, a new collective of 1st round picks join the Jumpman family.
Just ahead of the upcoming 2023-2024 NBA Season, Jordan Brand officially landed four new endorsers, signing a quartet of rookies from the league’s most recent Draft.
In adding 11th pick Jett Howard, 18th pick Jaime Jaquez Jr., 20th pick Cam Whitmore, and 25th selection Marcus Sasser, the brand continues the connection to players from its Jordan-sponsored grassroots and collegiate programs, bringing its talent into key markets at the NBA level.
“Jordan Brand is so much bigger than basketball, and that’s what I love so much about it and being a part of it,” said Jaquez Jr. “I am proud to say I’m now a part of a brand that has impacted people from all walks of life – from music to soccer to baseball to football and more.”
For each of the four athletes, there’s a pre-existing link and connection to the brand. Miami Heat forward Jaquez Jr. starred at Jordan-sponsored UCLA, where he capped off his stellar four-year career as the PAC-12 Player of the Year. Orlando Magic wing Jett Howard played at Jordan-sponsored Michigan under his father, Head Coach Juwan Howard, who was a longtime Jordan Brand athlete during his esteemed NBA career.
“I went to a Jordan camp when I was 7, and it was the coolest thing to me to see how MJ interacted with everyone,” recalls Jett Howard. “He came over and had real conversations, and that’s what this Brand does. It not only has real conversations with its athletes that are signed to the brand, but it has real conversations with everyone in the community.
“Jordan Brand means something so much bigger than a shoe.”
Both Sasser and Whitmore also played for Jordan-sponsored programs during their journey to the league, with Sasser starring at the University of Houston. Whitmore’s early AAU days outside of Baltimore were highlighted by his 7th grade season on Carmelo Anthony’s Jordan-sponsored Team Melo.
Since the summer of 2019, Jordan has looked to refresh its roster of athletes across the league, adding three new signature athletes in Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum, and Luka Doncic, all in a six-month span. Additional inked athletes included contending team staples like Bradley Beal, Bam Adebayo, and Rui Hachimura.
As their rookie seasons are set to begin, each player has laced up in models from Jordan’s trio of current signature athletes. Each new signee marks the next evolution of the brand into yet another decade.
Last season, a more narrowed focus led Jordan to signing the #1 Draft picks in both the NBA and WNBA. Paolo Banchero and Rhyne Howard each went on to win Rookie of the Year in their respective leagues.
Since that span, Jordan’s presence across the WNBA has also ramped up, going from just two athletes in 2019 to 12 in the most recent season. With the advent of NIL signings a year ago, Jordan also added college and high school stars in Kiki Rice and Kiyomi McMiller to the fold.
The full portfolio of current Jordan endorsers now extends globally, featuring athletes across basketball, soccer, football, baseball, and even NASCAR.
Ahead of their rookie season, Boardroom heard from all four of Jordan Brand’s newest signings, touching on their reaction to becoming an official endorser, their connection with the brand to date and the impact they’re looking to have in the community with their new brand partner.
The Feeling of Signing with Jordan Brand
JETT HOWARD: “The little kid in me is coming out again. Anytime I had played My Career on 2K, I picked Jordan Brand to be my signature shoe on that, so this is a full-circle moment. I’m excited beyond belief.”
CAM WHITMORE: “From starting on Team Melo’s 7th grade squad to being an official Jordan Brand athlete? This is crazy. I’ve been rocking Jordans since I was a youngin’, and I’m very grateful and appreciative to be a part of this family.”
MARCUS SASSER: “The Jordan Brand is elite and yet continuously gets better. It means a lot to me to be able to join this group and continue a movement on and off the court.”
JAIME JAQUEZ JR.: “The emotion that came to mind when I found out I was going to be a Jordan Brand athlete was pure excitement. It’s a dream-come-true. I’ve been playing in Jordan Brand shoes my whole life, but to be officially signed is another level of exclusivity.”
Wearing Jordan Brand before Entering the NBA:
SASSER: “Being at Houston, which is a Jordan Brand school, we always had the chance to test footwear and receive all the latest heat. So, it’s been a natural transition to sign with Jordan Brand as I start my pro career and look to continue to inspire young hoopers.
“When I was at Houston, we always talked about representing our brand well. So anytime we went out on the court, we know we had to represent that Jumpman logo on our upper right chest the right way. I am excited to continue to rock the Jumpman logo and represent the personal meaning that logo takes on for everyone.”
HOWARD: “It’s super dope to be signed to Jordan Brand after being at a Jordan Brand school. In college, I wanted this to happen. My dad probably had me laced in a full head-to-toe sweatsuit before I could even walk. It just feels right to be a part of this incredible brand.”
JAQUEZ JR.: “The Jumpman logo represents a legacy beyond basketball. It is integrated into the culture. You see it on shoes, you see it in music videos, you see it everywhere. It is a universal symbol that everyone in the world knows about that gives people hope and confidence.”
Representing Jordan as a Pro
SASSER: “The Jordan Brand is different. Everyone that’s a part of this family has a killer instinct when it comes to dominating in their sport, but everyone also has something unique to them. I’m excited to bring my flavor to this brand and keep that same mentality the brand is known for.”
WHITMORE: “The way Jordan carried himself on and off the court – that Jordan mentality – is something I am going to try and carry with me as I look to inspire the next wave of athletes.”
JAQUEZ JR.: “Being able to try and lead this brand into the future is what it’s all about. Always progressing and moving forward. It starts with the youth. That’s what my other fellow signees and I are here to do – inspire the youth and pushing people to be the best they can be.”
HOWARD: “To understand what Jordan did for the game of basketball, and what the Jordan Brand continues to do for the game of basketball, I’m excited to help carry this torch forward to the future.”
Impacting the Community with Jordan
SASSER: “I am big on having a big heart and doing the right thing. That’s just how I was raised, and I think Jordan Brand’s values aligned with mine, so I’m looking forward to being a part of something bigger than basketball.”
WHITMORE: “This is only the beginning of what I hope is an amazing journey on and off the court. Outside of basketball, I know the Jordan Brand is about actions over words, and I’ve always been about that, too. I’m hoping we can continue to make some changes together for communities that need it most.”
HOWARD: “I want my legacy to be someone who just kind of did it his own way. I hope to inspire everyone to do the same – to just be you and do things your own way.”
JAQUEZ JR.: “One of the main reasons Jordan Brand stands out is because of its connection to its community and giving back. I have a family scholarship fund in association with the Latino Bruin Association at UCLA that helps Latin American kids earn scholarships and ensure money is not a reason these kids don’t have an education. I’m excited to continue to get involved with giving back by signing with Jordan Brand.”
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