If there is one thing we learned from Michael Jordan’s illustrious career, it is that you should never doubt him because he is going to make you pay. No matter if you were a player, coach, scout, or even a shoe company. Back in 1984, Adidas made a wrong decision as a Wall Street Journal article explained their decision to pass on Jordan.
“In 1984, Adidas made a misstep that presaged others. A University of North Carolina basketball star named Michael Jordan wanted a sponsorship deal with Adidas when he went professional, say people familiar with the matter.
Adidas distributors wanted to sign Mr. Jordan, says someone who was an Adidas distributor then. But executives in Germany decided shoppers would favor taller players and wanted to sponsor centers, the person says, adding: “We kept saying, ‘no-no one can relate to those guys. Who can associate with a seven-foot-tall guy?'”
They passed on MJ because they thought he was too short. That was a critical mistake, as Jordan went on to win six championships and build probably the most prominent legacy in the history of the NBA, as he was and still is regarded by most as the greatest basketball player of all time.
Sure, this mistake didn’t destroy Adidas, as they are still one of the biggest sports brands in the world to this day, as the company value sits somewhere at $5.8 billion. But then you look at Nike, which got Jordan at that time and now its value is estimated at around $16.5 billion.
You can’t help but think that things could have been the other way around if they made the right move and got Jordan when they could have.