JORDAN BASKETBALL ERA INSPIRES NEW PRODUCTS

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Call it Air Nostalgia.

That could be the name for a growing category of products aimed at those who hold dear their memories of Michael Jordan-the basketball player. For them, CBS/Fox Video, Nike and phone card marketer Leading Concepts have created products, available just in time for the holidays.

Despite a baseball salary of only $1,200 a month, Forbes notes that Mr. Jordan was still the top-earning athlete for 1994, citing his roughly $30 million in endorsements.

For those who couldn't get enough of Nike spots from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., chronicling Mr. Jordan's escapades with Bugs Bunny, not to worry; Warner Bros. is developing a feature-length motion picture starring Looney Tunes characters that mixes live action with animation, a la Walt Disney's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" The film could be ready by next summer. Quaker Oats Co.'s Gatorade brand, McDonald's Corp. and Nike-all Jordan sponsors-are being eyed as promotional partners.

Sports marketing executives say Falk Associates Management Enterprises, Washington, which handles Mr. Jordan's marketing, is exploring film projects and TV specials about his life.

The Jordan nostalgia season started in October with the retirement of his Chicago Bulls number in a slick, star-studded ceremony that Turner Network Television televised nationally.

That broadcast marked the introduction of a commemorative phone card marketed by Leading Concepts and Phame PhoneNet, a unit of Falk. NBA Entertainment, Secaucus, N.J., created print and TV ads with an 800-number to order the card. For $23, consumers receive 23 minutes of Air Time. The two companies are finalizing plans for a series of Jordan phone cards, as well as cards featuring other Falk clients like NBA stars Muggsy Bogues and Patrick Ewing.

Nike just introduced its new Air Jordan sneaker that lists Mr. Jordan's NBA career milestones on the outsole. The shoe is also featured in radio and TV spots from Wieden in Nike's nine biggest basketball markets.

On Nov. 2, CBS/Fox Video released "The Michael Jordan Gift Pack," bundling two best-selling videos, "Michael Jordan: Air Time" and "Michael Jordan: Come Fly With Me," with a booklet about Mr. Jordan's career.

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