Jordan brand had its first $1 billion quarter, and it's just one of the many things Nike is doing right

When Nike (NKEreported Q2 earnings and revenue that beat expectations on Thursday, it also revealed its Jordan brand had its first $1 billion quarter.

Reaching $1 billion is no small feat, and it was due in no small part to the Air Jordan I, which Nike refers to as “one of the world’s hottest franchises.” Nike plans to expand the Jordan I further in 2020 with added colorways.

But how soon before there are just too many Jordans on the street?

Sam Poser, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, says that as long as Nike controls the quantity of the Jordans it puts on the market, oversaturation of the beloved model should not be a problem for the Swoosh brand. 

“I think it depends on how many pairs they put out. They could come out with lots of different colors, but it depends on the quantities that they do that support it,” he tells Yahoo Finance. 

Poser notes that that as good as the Jumpman brand is, it’s just a piece of Nike’s enormous pie. 

Air Jordan's new collection is displayed at official NBA corner at Sun & Sand sports shop in Bahrain City Center, Manama, Bahrain, May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Despite some problems in Nike’s apparel business due to timing issues, Poser highlights the overall strength of the company.

“The footwear business in the U.S. was up 8%,” he said. “But the balance of their apparel businesses was up 10% currency-neutral, and their direct [to consumer] business is through the roof.”

Nike also said during its earnings call that digital sales had spiked 38% in the quarter, and that revenues for Converse were up 15% on a currency-neutral basis thanks to growth in Asia and Europe.

Still, there’s no denying the prowess of the “Jumpman,” the logo Nike uses to promote its Air Jordans. Poser compared the Jordan brand to all Nike’s basketball business to illustrate the point to Yahoo Finance, and it was staggering. Jordan brand brought in $3.1 billion in 2018, while Nike’s basketball businesses brought in $1.6 billion.

A limited edition of the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 sneaker is displayed in a shop as part of the 'raffles' on October 8, 2019 in Paris. (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP) (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

“I think that when you get to the scale that the Jordan brand has in the U.S. ... it’s more complicated,” he said.

In 2020, a new CEO will be tasked with developing the Jordan brand and other Nike properties. Mark Parker, who took over as Nike CEO in 2006, will be replaced by John Donahoe. The former CEO of ServiceNow and eBay, Donahoe will bring expertise in the digital space to Nike.

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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