The iconic shōnen franchise Naruto teams up with Nike’s Jordan Brand and New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson in an upcoming collaboration.
Ninja and basketball players are coming together for a brand-new Naruto collaboration.
Announced on Twitter, Nike’s Jordan Brand and the iconic shōnen series will seemingly collaborate on a new line of Naruto-inspired footwear. While details about the exact nature of the collaboration are forthcoming, it was revealed that New Orleans Pelicans’ power forward Zion Williamson will contribute to the project as well. “Excited to share this story with the world. The [Jordan] Zion 1 x Naruto Collection is inspired by our parallel paths of overcoming adversity. Stay tuned!” Williamson wrote on Twitter.
Both Williamson and Jordan Brand’s official Twitter shared an image of the Jumpman logo and Naruto Uzumaki performing a slam dunk, with Jordans captioning the photo, “The Shinobi Way.” Based on Williamson’s tweet, the upcoming collection will involve the athlete’s Zion 1 sneaker.
The Naruto manga series by Masashi Kishimoto was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1999 to 2014, producing 72 volumes. With over 250 million copies sold globally, it is one of the best-selling manga series of all time alongside classics like Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece, Gosho Aoyama’s Detective Conan and Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball. Studio Pierrot and Aniplex adapted the manga into two anime series: Naruto, which aired from 2002 to 2007 and covered the first part of the story, and Naruto: Shippuden, which ran from 2007 to 2017 and covered the post-time skip portion of the narrative. Between the two, there are over 700 episodes.
The new partnership with Jordan Brand isn’t the only recent collaboration for the Naruto franchise. Sanrio recently released a unique set of vinyl figures which saw Hello Kitty and Chococat dressed as Naruto Uzumaki and his rival Sasuke Uchiha, respectively. The figurines retail for $94.99 each and pre-orders are currently being accepted. Jewelry brand Mister SFC also launched a new collection in 2021 that featured rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings and pendants inspired by Naruto‘s iconic weapons, including Zabuza’s sword and Asuma’s chakra blades.
Nike isn’t the first footwear brand to embark on a Naruto-inspired line of sneakers. In January of this year, Japanese sportswear company Mizuno collaborated with Naruto on a line of sneakers designed after the anime’s three main characters: Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha. However, unlike the upcoming Jordan Brand collaboration, Mizuno’s “Contender” line is only available at certain Japanese retailers, or on the company’s website.
All of Naruto can be streamed on Hulu and Crunchyroll.