The Swoosh & MJ:A Critical Analysis ofMichael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism In the history of business, there has been a clear record of industry heads finding something or someone as a mainstay and bedrock for their respective companies or corporations; there is often a chief product that keeps many businesses afloat, even in the rough times.Apple found it’s own in 2001 with the iPod.
McDonald’s has had the Big Mac since the late 1960s.Nike, however, found their goldmine in a person with Michael Jordan.Walter LaFeber’s Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism tells the paints the picture of the rise of young Michael Jordan from his middle-class family in racist North Carolina up through college and into the NBA where he becomes an international sports icon.
It tells the story of how Jordan catches the eye of Nike’s ambitious co-founder and CEO, Phil Knight, and how he was transformed from a young, rebellious black hoopster into the face of a multi-billion dollar transnational corporation while stretching its touch all of the way to the far reaches of Asia.LeFeber’s book also delves into the darker issues and topics addressing Jordan and Nike, such as race and sports and how they played a part during scandals that surrounded MJ off of the court along with the growth of Nike abroad and their dealing with technological changes in manufacturing while facing criticism for their labor practices. Walter LeFeber’s book serves as a cornerstone of reference for its content as it relates to race, black business and the expansion of global capitalism since the late 20th century.With regard to race, it shows how race effected middle-class Michael Jordan at a young age and how he grew in the star he became, yet still could not escape issues with race which then became those he had to deal with under the scrutiny of the public eye.Stemming away from Jordan personally, it also touches on how the expansion of Nike created issues with regard to race by way of cultural and value-based analysis of black culture and effect that the Air Jordan shoe had on its people.
One example of which is shown from the black on black crime that ensued as a result of the marketing of the Air Jordan in the 1990s. Significance in the arena black business is also evident.Obvious significance is shown from the growth of the business of Michael Jordan himself.It shows how a single man can amass wealth starting one-dimensionally as a person with extraordinary athletic talent and transitioning into one who takes the reigns as the leader of his own division of a transnational corporation while still working to his own and his brand’s marketability.
It’s also subtly important to show how the Nike product also spiked the dollar seen by inner city ‘mom and pop’ athletic apparel stores, mostly black owned.Chapter 4 touches on the effect of the Air Jordan on inner cities, both good and bad, and even though there was crime and drug money involved with the sales of Air Jordans, it is still hard to ignore the increase of money that resulted as well.Lastly, LaFeber’s book provides informational significance of the expansion of global capitalism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.It not only shows how Nike became the worlds largest company in sports apparel but also how the Chicago Bulls organization increased its value more than tenfold over the period of just 5-6 years, both by using Michael Jordan as their focal point.LaFeber shows how Nike and the NBA expand overseas and develop new marketing and manufacturing techniques to increase profits beyond original imagination and show how outside-the-box thinking not only.