Skip to main content

How Nike landed Michael Jordan


Not a lot of people know that before entering the NBA in 1984 Michael Jordan was only interested in representing one brand. Adidas. But as they didn’t show much interest in him, Nike took the opportunity to snatch the disappointed phenom

Nike was a fast-rising brand at the time and MJ was the perfect fit for them, as both would skyrocket into popularity.

Nike decided to offer Jordan $500,000 a year in cash for five years, which at that time was a ridiculous number, as the previous highest contract was James Worthy's deal with New Balance, which was an eight-year deal worth $150,000 a year.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

An interesting part of the deal was the conditions Nike gave to Jordan in order to protect the company.

As he would complete these conditions, the deal was done. Air Jordan was in full effect. The Air Jordan Is, at an unheard of price of $65 a pair, hit stores nationwide on March 1985. Already by May, Nike had sold $70 million worth and by year's end; the Air Jordan franchise had collected more than $100 million in revenues.

In 2012, the Jordan brand sold $2.5 billion worth of shoes at retail, its best year ever as the move to get Jordan proved to be the best move ever in shoe brand history.

The question remained, could he had even more success if he signed with Adidas, but MJ doesn’t concern himself with that, as he is thankful that Adidas made it easier for him to walk away from the brand he always loved.

"In hindsight, it was perfect for me because it made my decision that much easier, and I ended up with Nike."

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler during media day

Is Jimmy Butler the ultimate troll or a business guru?

With Jimmy Butler moving towards the latter half of his career, it seems that he wants to start building his off-court brand.

Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan on Oprah Show

“He never understand what it takes to be a winner” — When Michael Jordan humiliated Charles Barkley on Oprah

It’s hard to tell if Jordan took Barkley’s joke personally, but what he said next changed the vibe and the entire atmosphere in a few seconds.

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan

"I don't think I could truly be happy until I retire" - DeMar DeRozan pulls the curtain back on daily rigors of NBA life

There's one thing Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan is looking forward to the most when he hangs up his sneakers for good.

Venus Williams and Shaquille O'Neal

When Shaquille O'Neal lied about having affairs with Venus Williams, Cindy Crawford, and Aaliyah

Venus Williams issued a strong statement upon hearing Shaquille O'Neal's claims.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan is defended by Detroit Pistons center James Edwards

“The Bulls complained all the time” — Kevin McHale reveals why the Detroit “Bad Boys” Pistons hated the Chicago Bulls

Unlike Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Kevin McHale believes the physicality the Bad Boy Pistons played with was valid and it made his Celtics even better.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and guard Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook still does the same offseason workout he and Kevin Durant used to do in OKC — “It definitely helps”

Russell Westbrook revealed that he has been running on sand dunes for about eight years now every offseason and it has been helping him a lot.

New Orleans Hornets center Chris Kaman

How Chris Kaman got Player Exclusive "Air Sasqhatuces" from Nike in 2012

After he became an All-Star in 2010, Chris Kaman triggered a clause in his Nike deal that he’d get Player Exclusives