Nike is no stranger to marketing gold (count ‘em: seven of its campaigns made our top 10 list), though the shoe giant’s signature voice usually leaves little doubt who is pushing the gear. For its latest marketing move behind the retro Air Jordan 9 release, debuting Oct. 6, there’s misdirection at play — albeit that slight-of-hand trick ties into a 1990s-era campaign you may have forgotten. The payoff of it all is a colorway of the 9 that’s never before been seen.
The vitals: The black/metallic platinum gym red colorway will retail for $160. Nikeblog has tracked the release of the Johnny Kilroy edition since the first bits of info leaked out onto the official Twitter account, @TheRealKilroy4, with snapshots of the original campaign that imagined what basketball would be like if Michael Jordan came back in disguise out of his first retirement to play in Chicago as No. 4, Johnny Kilroy.
— Johnny Kilroy (@TheRealKilroy4) September 26, 2012
The original campaign features Steve Martin investigating Kilroy’s identity, convinced he’s found MJ hiding on small-town teams, wearing disguises just to get back into the game (hey, anything to get out of baseball in Birmingham, right?).