Sneakerheads, how did superstar singer J Balvin land his signature Jordan line? He explains everything about SportsCenter today

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As part of its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, ESPN highlights the impact Latinx has had in the Sneaker culture.

Today one of the Sneaker culture stories starting in English and Spanish on Sports center features a conversation with Colombian superstar singer J Balvin. He shares his love for sneakers and the importance of landing his signature Air Jordan 1 kicks.

First row caught up Ricardo Zuniga, Associate Editor, ESPN Global, who led the production of the feature film.

How did this process start?
This project was born from an idea of Daniela Marulanda, associate producer, Features Unit, who wanted to explore the intersection between Latinx reggaeton artists, fashion and sports.

Being a sneaker enthusiast myself, I knew that artists like J Balvin and Bad Bunny, as well as athletes like Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor, are great sneaker collectors and fashionistas. The next step was to bring together the right group of colleagues to bring the project to life, that’s where the magic happens.

Our team ESPN Music and The Undefeated’s Nick DePaula, ESPN’s sneaker guru and someone with some of the best connections in the footwear industry, played a vital role in helping us get the project done right.

On working with J Balvin:
At the pre-production meeting, we asked J Balvin’s team if he could bring a pair of his signature Air Jordan 1 sneakers, and guess what? We were pleasantly surprised when he arrived with a suitcase full of sneakers from his collection!

When we discussed the names of Latino artists involved in fashion, J Balvin was at the top of our wishlist. He is a global icon and one of the greatest ambassadors of Latin culture in the world.

Why was it also important to show the impact Latinx has had beyond sports?
J Balvin is someone who has crossed the mainstream world in his own way – singing in Spanish and bringing the colors and sounds of Colombia and Latin America to the rest of the world.

Having the opportunity to celebrate its history gives ESPN a unique opportunity to serve a significant portion of the audiences it serves, but also to attract audiences that would otherwise not consume our content. As J Balvin said in the interview, “as Latinos, we are also citizens of the world”.

To learn more about ESPN’s Hispanic Heritage Month multiplatform programming, visit ESPN PressRoom.

Singer J Balvin (left) tells Nick DePaula of The Undefeated about his love for sneakers and how he presented Michael Jordan’s ideas in Paris. (Ricardo Zuniga / ESPN)



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