Be Like Mike: Nike Hypes Gatorade x Air Jordan Release


Nike Jordan Brand x Gatorade collaboration

Nike is revving up  release the “Like Mike” collaboration between Jordan Brand and Gatorade (hence the juicy colors, above) and fans are losing their minds.

The Air Jordan I OG High Gatorade Collection will be released on December 26 and the “Gatorade” Air Jordan VI releases on December 30. The Air Jordan I OG High Gatorade comes in four flavorways (as opposed to colorways): Orange, Lemon Lime, Grape and Cool Blue (launching Dec. 26) and Air Jordan VI Gatorade (launching Dec. 30).

Gatorade x Air Jordan

Nike used a geo-specific release using its SNKRS app because—as, Uproxx comments—“they have totally game-ified these kinds of sneaker releases. For the Air Jordan 1 OG High Gatorade collection, the brand secreted pairs in 7-Eleven stores in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.” The SNKRS platform also uses an in-app camera used for augmented-reality drops.

Jordan Brand x Gatorade collaboration

To celebrate the opening of its new Hollywood location, Foot Locker released the Gatorade x Air Jordan 1 early. Customers had the opportunity to purchase all four colors from the collection and receive a Jordan Brand Gatorade bottle or towel.

Helping fuel the Jordan x Gatorade frenzy, Foot Locker and Jordan Brand released a joint holiday campaign promoting the collection. It features NBA star Kawhi Leonard and cameos by rapper Nipsey Hussle and Leonard’s teammate LaMarcus Aldridge.

The spot, titled “Bold Like Kawhi” humorously highlights Leonard’s day full of Jordan-level surprises in his new Air Jordan I OG High Gatorade sneakers. He does karate, drives a low-rider, drops by a recording studio with Hussle, parties at a nightclub with Les Twins and chronicles the whole day on social media.

“I was hacked. I had a ton of fun partnering with Foot Locker and Jordan Brand to show off another side of my personality that most fans don’t get to see every day,” stated Leonard. “Being part of a holiday campaign that pays homage to the original ‘Be Like Mike’ Gatorade ad is really special.”

Each color uses a premium leather upper with “Be Like Mike” wordmarks on the inner tongue and the Gatorade logo featured throughout, while the Air Jordan logo mimics the finish of a Gatorade bottle cap. A hand towel and matching hangtag branded with Jumpman and Gatorade are included in the Like Mike branded shoebox.

The Air Jordan VI, the shoe worn by Michael Jordan during the original Gatorade campaign, is fitted with green synthetic suede with bright orange details, highlighted by a squeeze bottle-inspired lace lock, Gatorade branding on the insole and “If I could be” embroidered on the inner tongue.

“We were thrilled to partner with Kawhi Leonard for our Jordan holiday campaign,” stated Patrick Walsh, VP of Marketing for Foot Locker North America.

“We all know Kawhi is bold on the court, but highlighting his style and confidence in the new Air Jordan Gatorade Collection will help all of our customers at Foot Locker make bold sneaker selections this holiday season.”

The spot, created by BBDO, makes its broadcast debut on ESPN during the NBA Christmas Day games on Dec. 25.

The original “Be Like Mike” campaign debuted in August 1991, with Gatorade inspired millions with a cheerful yet simple challenge to tap their inner Jordan. For 26 years, the ad has personified the spirit of aspiration to “move like him and groove like him.”

The film tapped into the personal aspirations of every viewer and inspired them to pursue their own greatness through his unrivaled on-court drive, fueled by Gatorade. struck a chord with millions of fans, encouraging them to pursue their own dreams—fueled by Gatorade.

While most advertisements come and go, the spirit of the “Be Like Mike” campaign continued to grow. Over time, trying to “move like him and groove like him” has evolved into much more than just hoop dreams—it’s become a rally to pursue greatness in every form, as Nike puts it.

Nike Air Jordan x Gatorade x Michael Jordan

Now, 26 years later, Gatorade and Jordan Brand are coming together to celebrate what “Be Like Mike” has come to represent today. What was originally meant as a challenge to be like the greatest of all time now means being your greatest at all times, as Nike’s campaign urges fans.