DX Award :: Jumpman23


Jumpman23 is the product of Agency.Com, one of Silicon Alley’s most famous development firms. Commissioned by Nike, the site showcases Michael Jordan’s athletic shoe line.  Tie-in marketing reaches its peak at a site like this. The popularity and cult following that one of basketball’s reigning superstars brings to Nike is parlayed into one of the most professional marketing efforts we’ve seen online to date. Combine this with Nike’s tradition of an identity based almost exclusively on brand personality (the emotion is the thing), and you’ve got the recipe for success.


ARCHIVED DESIGN AWARD PAGE :: 1997 DX AWARDS

This page is republished for historical and archival reasons, highlighting the history of online design and the work of some of the many talented individuals who were instrumental in the early days of online media.


We are honored to select Jumpman23 as this week’s recipient of the IPPA’s Award for Design Excellence.


Jumpman23 is the product of Agency.Com, one of Silicon Alley’s most famous development firms. Commissioned by Nike, the site showcases Michael Jordan’s athletic shoe line.  Tie-in marketing reaches its peak at a site like this. The popularity and cult following that one of basketball’s reigning superstars brings to Nike is parlayed into one of the most professional marketing efforts we’ve seen online to date. Combine this with Nike’s tradition of an identity based almost exclusively on brand personality (the emotion is the thing), and you’ve got the recipe for success.

Imagery and layout are very well composed. Faced with the problem of background expansion, the designers FRAMED the entire site. Scale your monitor resolution and you’ll see that the window is a fixed size, giving the designers complete control of layout and composition. We find this strategy less sophisticated than those that are designed to smoothly scale and look good across various screen settings, but it does work.

Image processing is done to near perfection. GIFs are properly indexed, file sizes are all reasonable, and the overall approach to color is very effective. Check out the way black and white imagery is overlaid with high chroma color highlights.

Agency.Com’s copy writing is perfect for the WWW. Tight and concise with high energy, the site is fast and great read (and we’re not even basketball fans). Throughout, there is a poetry in the writing that breeds exclusivity and an air of strength. You get the feeling that you are reading into Michael Jordan’s soul.

The only problem with this site, technically, is that it regularly crashes your browser. Between the sound, the visuals (QT movies), and Shockwave, you’ve got a witches brew of memory intensive browser killers on the hoof. Just have patience with it, though, and you’ll be rewarded with what is simply a great presentation.

Throughout the site, sound is used to its maximum advantage. Although the compression technologies degrade the sound quality overall, they actually enhance the energy in this site. You feel like you are right down on the court. This is dirty and distressed but utterly cool.

On the downside, the sounds automatically launch on page entry, so if you keep returning to the Home Page, you’ll be assaulted with the deep rhythm of the game a few too many times. Eventually, you feel that you’ve just got to turn off your speakers.

Regarding Sound
Sound is gaining momentum as the next revolution in site design. We are already seeing the more sophisticated shops adding sound components to their work. This will soon be yet another factor that separates out amateurs from the professionals (‘…and you thought you could learn HTML in a week’).

Coincidentally, even as the use of sound is exploding online, Netscape 4.0 has left the sound player (media player) out of the entire family of 4.0 browsers. If you want to play common .WAV and .AU files, you’ve got to download the old plug-in from the previous browser versions. Can you say, “Oops…”?

If you are a Michael Jordan fan, don’t miss Jumpman23. Our hat is off to Agency.Com for a great little site.

Scoring (10 is Maximum):
Graphics Design…….. 9.1
Programming………… 8.5
Content and Copy…… 9.3