PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ben Affleck will portray Portland native and Nike co-founder Phil Knight in the new movie titled “Air” that premieres this spring. “Air” follows the story of how Nike secured its brand-defining deal with legendary NBA player Michael Jordan.
Affleck, who is also directing the film, will star alongside Matt Damon who is taking on the role of Sonny Vaccaro. Former Nike executive Vaccaro was the man behind Nike’s deal with Jordan, which was signed in 1984 when he was just a rookie playing for the Chicago Bulls.
That partnership led to what is now known as the Air Jordan brand. FanNation, an extension of the Sports Illustrated Media Group, reported that Nike’s five-year, $2.5 million contract with Jordan was a never-before-seen, record-breaking deal that ultimately paid off.
According to FanNation, Nike hoped to make $3 million within the first three years of the Air Jordan brand, but the line brought in $126 million just in the first year.
The movie producers haven’t yet disclosed which actor was cast as Jordan. But Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Viola Davis, Marlon Wayans and Chris Tucker are just a few of the other actors in the star-studded cast.
Watch “Air” in theaters starting Wednesday, Apr. 5. Variety magazine reports that the drama will be released on Amazon Prime Video shortly after.
“Air” will be the first release from Artists Equity, the film production company launched by Affleck and Damon.