Together, Michael Jordan And Nike Have Made More Than A Billion Dollars
It’s hard to imagine a time when Nike was not synonymous with Michael Jordan. Jordan has a long line of shoes sold by the clothing company, he has starred in numerous advertisements for them, and Jordan’s “Jumpman” logo is just as recognizable as the Nike swoosh.
However, at the start of his career, Jordan wanted nothing to do with Nike.
While studying at the University of North Carolina, Jordan wore Converse sneakers. In the mid-1980s, Converse was also the official shoe of the NBA, and Reebok had recently launched rave reviews. However, Jordan was watching Adidas. At the time, Adidas made 50% more revenue than Nike. It seemed like the ideal solution.
Fortunately for Jordan, he had a few other supporters in his corner, giving him a little boost towards Nike.
One was his agent, David Falk. Falk worked in an agency where Nike mainly represented tennis players. He liked the idea of treating Jordan as if it were an individual sport rather than a team game. He told Jordan to listen to what Nike had to say – which included his own signature shoe. Falk threw out the name “Air Jordan”, and … well, it has a nice ring.
Jordan also followed the advice of his parents. As he explains in The last dance documentary, Jordan Deloris’ mother encouraged him to visit the Nike campus, saying that he had to give them an opportunity. After hearing the speech, Michael’s father James said it would be silly not to work with Nike.
Nike and Jordan have agreed to a five-year deal worth $ 500,000 a year. In the first year of the first Air Jordan sneakers, Nike sold shoes worth $ 100 million.
Last year, Jordan made about $ 130 million from Nike. In total, he has earned $ 1.3 billion since partnering with this little-known company in Beaverton, Oregon.
The relationship is of course mutually beneficial. Nike’s last year’s revenue is $ 40 billion, or 43 times the company’s revenue before it signed Jordan. And Jordan’s success paved the way for other successful endorsements.
In reality, Baller Shoes DB Reports almost 77% of NBA players wear Nike or Jordan Brand sneakers.
Jordan has set the bar for approval agreements. And he almost never even met Nike. Maybe Spike Lee was right after all. It must be the shoes.