Mars Blackmon is a fictional character in the film She's Gotta Have It (1986), played by the film's writer/director, Spike Lee. In the film, he is a "Brooklyn-loving" fan of the New York Knicks, sports, and Air Jordans (the basketball shoes worn by Michael Jordan). This led to late 1980s and early 1990s appearances in Nike Air Jordan commercials alongside Jordan and Mars becoming well known for his use of the phrase, "It's gotta be da shoes." The ad campaign with Lee as Mars has been credited as a landmark in the evolution of sneakers into massively profitable items of fashion. When Lee was first approached to co-star with Michael Jordan for Nike, Lee thought the offer was a prank from his friends. The Jordan Mars shoe line is named in honor of the Mars Blackmon character, with Spike Lee's son, Jackson Lewis Lee, being the designer of the Jordan Mars 270.
Merchandise designed and produced with Academy Award-winner Spike Lee’s company 40 Acres and A Mule, exclusively for the Academy Museum’s grand opening Lee is the first director featured in the Director’s Inspiration gallery as part of the Academy Museum’s core exhibition Stories of Cinema.