Air Jordan XX Launch Party

Sneaker freaks can rest assured: the Michael Jordan-only store opened in Chicago this weekend will be the first in what is expected to be a long line.

The store, a gift not only to all Chicago Bulls fans, is a massive three-storey homage to Michael Jordan, with one floor dedicated to retail and art designed by local artists, a second floor featuring a basketball half court and workout area for local students, and a top level dedicated entirely to customization.

Nike’s aggressive marketing strategy around Jordan Brand is easy to understand: Michael Jordan has never been more iconic, and Jordan Brand is a goldmine. SportScanInfo figures say that Jordan still sells eight times more than the signature sneakers made NBA current star LeBron James. 58% of the US basketball shoe market in 2014 was claimed by products bearing the “Jumpman” silhouette – more than a half of Nike’s overall share of basketball shoe sales (95.5%). The competition is way behind: with Adidas down at 2.6%, Under Armour 1.09%, and Reebok 0.8%.

Beyond the $2,6 billion US sneaker business, Jordan Brand apparel and non-domestic revenues add another $1 billion. Nike’s objective is to double these figures by 2020, according to the Chicago Tribune, a growth to be led by openings in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.

With an estimated $100 million, Michael Jordan earned more in 2014 than any other current, or retired athlete, according to Forbes. Even more than the $94 million he himself made over the course of his 15 years playing for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards.

Here is a brief gallery compiled with pictures from the web.