Bodega presents Air Jordan Skyline with Youth Service

Bodega presents Air Jordan Skyline with Youth Service


Although it might not seem like it, sometimes even greatness needs a support system.

The sneaker world that we know today would be a very different place if it weren’t for the fateful partnership between a young Michael Jordan and small Beaverton sneaker company called Nike. Leading to one of the most recognizable and historical sports franchises to ever exist, the Air Jordan 1 was the sneaker that started it all and not only achieved record-breaking sales but became a cultural phenomenon. From redefining basketball’s relationship to style and the sport’s connection to youth counterculture to kickstarting the game’s creative potential beyond the court, the AJ1 changed everything.

But before all this, it started as a quest to build Nike’s basketball program, an effort largely credited to former basketball scout and Nike exec Sonny Vaccaro. Everything changed when Vaccaro saw Jordan play at the 1982 Final Four in New Orleans. So confident in what he saw, Vaccaro convinced fellow Nike executives to make an exclusive deal with MJ, hedging their bets on a player who hadn’t played a single professional basketball game yet.


After some negotiations and intense nail-biting, a deal was closed, and Peter Moore's AJ1 in Chicago Bulls colors was ready for the market with a projected $3 million in sales by the end of year 3 in Jordan's five-year contract. It sold $126 million worth in the first year. Not bad for a shoe initially banned by the NBA.

Nike’s historic and risky bet on Jordan is perfectly summed up in their 1985 photoshoot showing MJ appear to dunk over the Chicago skyline, illustrating to the world that even the sky wasn’t a limiting factor. With the AJ1 Skyline, Jordan pays homage to all the hard work, emotions, sacrifices, and things yet to prove through the gradient of a Chicago sunset. With a career that was impossible to achieve without the help of family, friends, and community, the Skyline is as much a celebration of the support system as it is a celebration of a star.

That is why, for the release of the AJ1 Skyline, Bodega is pleased to link up with LA-based Youth Service. Founded by first-generation Ghanaian American K.O. Asante and first-generation Nigerian Americans Obiora Anozie, and Ebichi Nduka, Youth Service is a creative agency reminiscent of the legendary 95’ - 96' Bulls' triangle offense, leveraging the trifecta’s attention to collective greatness to create impactful projects that bring communities together.

With interests and backgrounds running the gambit from music and fashion to entrepreneurship and engineering, the inspiration for the collective comes from Nigeria's 'National Youth Service Corps' program, which serves as a tool to combat tribalism. Youth Service has taken this concept and expanded it across the diaspora through local events in the LA area with the goal of growing their village and sharing their experiences as first-generation immigrants in America. Youth Service's initiatives represent the culmination of all the creative projects the trio has been working on for the past nine years and are aimed at promoting unity across the globe and showing that you can accomplish so much more when you team up.

Celebrating the legacy of Youth Service alongside the Skyline, we'll be hosting an event at our LA Store including a cook-off highlighting 3 types of Jollof - from Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria, and custom heat press stations to commemorate the Skyline launch with a free long-sleeve tee while supplies last.