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Sneaker Legend Behind Nike Jumpman Logo Dies at 78

Peter Moore, an influential designer and leader at Nike and then Adidas, has died at 78.

Moore, Nike’s first global creative director, was a “pivotal player” in the launch of the Air Jordan 1, designing not just the shoe, but also both the Wings and Jumpman logos, according to retired Nike historian Scott Reames. In 2015, Nike co-founder Phil Knight told USA Today Moore and an early Nike executive, Rob Strasser, were “the MVPs” in Nike’s 1984 deal with basketball legend Michael Jordan. The design of Nike’s still-popular Dunk sneaker is also attributed to Moore.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Peter Moore, an iconic designer, whose legacy will forever be connected to Jordan Brand, and the sneaker culture he helped to create,” Howard “H” White, senior vice president, Jordan Brand, said in a statement. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the Moore family during this time.”

Peter Moore was a "pivotal player" in the launch of the Air Jordan 1.
Peter Moore was a “pivotal player” in the launch of the Air Jordan 1. Sotheby's

According to Reames, Moore was also “the driving force behind dozens and dozens of Nike ‘personality posters.’” Their popularity in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s drove professional athletes to negotiate for their own such poster in their contracts, the historian-emeritus said.

“His name may not be as recognizable as others in Nike history, but his impact cannot be overstated,” Reames wrote on LinkedIn. “If there was a list of the 50 most influential employees in Nike’s first 50 years, Peter would be on it.”

Strasser and Moore left Nike in 1987 to form the consulting agency Sports Inc. Recruited by Adidas in the early ‘90s, the pair would launch the company’s Adidas Equipment line. Moore is credited with designing the triple-stripe mountain logo. He left Adidas in 1998, but served as a consultant for several years.

The triple-stripe mountain logo has become synonymous with the Adidas brand.
The triple-stripe mountain logo has become synonymous with the Adidas brand. Adidas

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“The Adidas family is saddened by the passing of our dear friend Peter Moore,” a company spokesperson said. “Our hearts are with Peter’s family, friends and everyone who knew him. Peter was a true legend and icon in our industry, and it is impossible to overstate the impact he has had on Adidas. He will be greatly missed and his legacy will live on forever.”

David Knies, now the chief growth officer at Essential Design, served as a global brand manager at Adidas from 1991 to 1994. In a LinkedIn post memorializing Moore, he described himself as a “very junior member of the team tasked with rebuilding the troubled Adidas brand at the company’s HQ in Germany.”

“It’s no understatement to say that the company, brand, sports industry and global popular culture were forever changed by Peter + Rob,” Knies wrote Monday. “Those of us who were there in Herzogenaurach at the time had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn firsthand from two of greatest of all time. Not a day goes by when I don’t go back to something they taught me and the amazing people I was lucky to be there with.”