Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts officially joins Jordan Brand — Andscape
It’s finally official: Philadelphia Eagles star Jalen Hurts is an Air Jordan-endorsed quarterback.
After wearing the Jordan Brand’s Jumpman logo on his cleats in all 18 games he played during the 2022 NFL season, including two pairs of Air Jordans in Super Bowl LVII, Hurts will enter the 2023 season officially signed with the Jordan Brand, as confirmed by Andscape ahead of the Nike subdivision’s announcement Monday.
“I’m excited and thankful to join the Jordan Brand,” said Hurts in an exclusive statement to Andscape. “I share a lot of important qualities with the Jumpman: dedication to goals, commitment to excellence and values, and an unwavering sense of self-belief that not only drives me but inspires me to make an impact for the next generation.”
The partnership cements Hurts as the latest in a long history of NFL players who’ve inked Air Jordan endorsement deals since 1999 when Minnesota Vikings wideout Randy Moss became the first pro football player to sign with the brand. Moss, the only player in football history who’s received a Jordan signature shoe, paved the way for NFL quarterbacks, most of them African Americans, to rep the Jumpman logo on the gridiron.
In 2001, Eagles star signal-caller Donovan McNabb became the first NFL quarterback to sign with the Jordan Brand. Other NFL quarterbacks who’ve worn Air Jordans since include Michael Vick, whose 2002 game-worn Air Jordans were sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio; Daunte Culpepper; Josh Freeman; Jimmy Garoppolo; Dwayne Haskins; and current Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott, who signed a five-year deal with Jordan in 2021.
“I’m proud to be counted among the athletes who have represented Team Jordan,” Hurts continued in the statement.
With his new deal, Hurts will officially join the Jordan Brand’s exclusive annual roster of more than a dozen NFL endorsers, which in 2022 featured Las Vegas Raiders wideout Davante Adams, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan and San Francisco 49ers playmaker Deebo Samuel, among other players who are expected to continue their Jordan partnerships in 2023.
Though the brand declined to disclose its full 2023 NFL roster, Andscape confirmed that Hurts would be one of only three quarterbacks officially signed to rep the Jumpman this season, along with Prescott and rookie Bryce Young, who signed with Jordan before the Carolina Panthers selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft held in April.
“It takes a special type of athlete to be a part of the Jordan Brand, so we’re thrilled to welcome Jalen to the family,” Jordan Brand president Sarah Mensah said in an exclusive statement to Andscape. In May, Mensah became the first woman and first Black woman to be named president of the Jordan Brand.
“On the field, Jalen’s commitment to excellence shines,” continued Mensah in her statement to Andscape. “But perhaps even more impactful is what he personally embodies. Jalen understands the importance of believing in yourself and staying dedicated to your passions. He empowers all of us to help one another rise. That characteristic and commitment is one of the hallmarks of the Jordan Brand, and is what makes Jalen a perfect fit for our team.”
Hurts’ Jordan Brand partnership, negotiated by his agent Nicole Lynn, who is also a Black woman, marks the first endorsement deal he’s signed with a major footwear company since entering the NFL three years ago as a second-round draft pick of the Eagles.
Hurts, however, donned Air Jordan cleats and apparel during his final collegiate season at the Jordan Brand-endorsed University of Oklahoma in 2020, one season before the Supreme Court ruling in June 2021 that allowed student-athletes to sign name, image and likeness deals, including with global sportswear companies. The NCAA changed its policy that conforms with the ruling in July 2021.
As a rookie in 2020, Hurts exclusively wore Under Armour cleats on the field despite no official partnership. Entering his second NFL season, he signed a two-year endorsement deal with the now-defunct Eastbay, which made him the longtime catalog and online sportswear supplier’s first brand ambassador.
The unique partnership with Eastbay, which shut down at the end of December 2022, presumably allowed the emerging quarterback to select and wear any brand of football cleats the retailer offered. So, Hurts operated as a free footwear agent throughout his pivotal sophomore NFL campaign in 2021, marking his first season as the Eagles’ starter. For the first 13 games of 2021, Hurts continued wearing Under Armour cleats. However, on game days, he was required by the NFL to cover all Under Armour logos he wore because the company declined to renew its league partnership for the 2021 season.
Hurts’ run of Under Armour cleats ended in Week 15 of the 2021 NFL schedule when he broke out a pair of nondescript black and white Air Jordan 10 cleats.
Ever since the Eagles’ 27-17 win on Dec. 21, 2021, Hurts has worn Air Jordan cleats exclusively. Hurts finished the 2021 season by making his first career playoff appearance in a 31-15 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 16, 2022, during which he wore two pairs of Air Jordan cleats.
Throughout the 2022 NFL schedule, Hurts wore 13 pairs of Air Jordan cleats. It’s also worth noting that in seven games last season, Hurts swapped between multiple pairs of Jordans in the same game, a sneaker trend more common and noticeable in basketball.
Between the 2022 regular season and playoffs, Hurts threw for 4,280 yards and 25 touchdowns while rushing for another 903 yards and 18 touchdowns. During his third NFL season, he led the Eagles to a 14-1 regular season record, two playoff wins, and almost won the Vince Lombardi Trophy in a 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.
That game, the first Super Bowl between two African American quarterbacks, featured Hurts in Air Jordans vs. Patrick Mahomes, who has his own signature cleat and training shoe with Adidas.
Hurts scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl LVII on a 1-yard run into the end zone while rocking a pair of Air Jordan 11s cleats inspired by Michael Jordan’s revered 1995 “Concord” Air Jordan 11s. But instead of the original shoe’s white, black and purple color blocking, Hurts’ cleats were designed in white and the Eagles’ midnight green.
The Air Jordan 11s Hurts sported in the Super Bowl resembled the player-exclusive (PE) pairs of turf shoes and cleats designed for NFL players signed to Jordan beginning in the early 2000s. Moss, McNabb and Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders notably laced up Air Jordan 11 PEs during their careers. Other Hall of Fame players who previously repped the Jordan Brand include Terrell Owens, Jason Taylor, Charles Woodson and Warren Sapp, who wore a pair of Air Jordan 9 PEs when he won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Buccaneers in 2002.
In the second quarter of Super Bowl LVII in February, Hurts switched from Air Jordan 11 to Air Jordan 1 cleats due to the unfit condition of the field, which has remained a topic of conversation. When asked by reporters afterward if the change of footwear fazed him, Hurts responded matter-of-factly: “I got a number of pairs of cleats. So, I found a way.”
One of the only occasions that Hurts publicly spoke about his Air Jordan allegiance was during OTAs in June, after reporters asked him how it felt to make his acting debut in a Jordan Brand ad.
Hurts appeared alongside brand collaborator Teyana Taylor in a six-minute short film promoting the release of her first Air Jordan design. A few weeks before, Hurts debuted Taylor’s shoe, the “A Rose from Harlem” Jordan 1 High Zoom Air CMFT 2, while visiting the Philadelphia Phillies and taking batting practice before a MLB game.
“She reached out to me and said she had an opportunity for me. She said I was the perfect fit for it, and I really appreciated that. It was a fun experience,” said Hurts, who tactfully did not mention the word “Jordan” in his response.
For nearly two years, Hurts kept his connection to the Jordan Brand quiet, despite wearing Air Jordans just about everywhere — from practice football fields to NFL stadium gridirons to an MLB batter’s box and even in a film. Meanwhile, Eagles reporters and fans speculated on social feeds about the imminent announcement of an official partnership between the star Eagles quarterback and the Jumpman.
Now, the question becomes can Hurts become the first NFL player since Moss, and only the second in league history, to receive his own Jordan signature shoe.