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Michael Jordan Nearly Lost Out On $1.3 Billion He Earned From Nike

by : Lucy Connolly on : 05 May 2020 16:57
Michael Jordan Nearly Lost Out On $1.3 Billion He Earned From NikeNetflix

There are certain moments in our lives we look back on and realise our parents really did know best, despite the fact we convinced ourselves otherwise at the time.

Remember that time they convinced you not to spend your entire pocket money on fizzy cola bottles when you were about eight? Or that time in college when they made you realise choosing a university based solely on where your friends were going was a bad idea?

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Or how about that time they stopped you from making a decision that would ultimately stop you from becoming a billionaire? No, that’s never happened to me either – I wish – but it’s exactly what happened to Michael Jordan.

Michael JordanPA Images

Let’s start from the beginning. Jordan signed a lucrative deal with Nike in 1984, a deal that has since made him approximately $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.

The deal was a win-win for both parties: Jordan received the richest athlete endorsement deal ever while Nike was transformed from an underdog into one of the largest consumer brands in the world – all thanks to the His Airness’s involvement.

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However, that nearly wasn’t the case because it turns out Jordan initially didn’t want to sign with Nike and instead had his heart set on Adidas. Enter: the NBA star’s parents, who weren’t letting him make such a rash decision.

Speaking on the fifth episode of The Last Dance, ESPN and Netflix’s docuseries about Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, which aired over the weekend in the States and dropped this morning in the UK, the former professional basketball player explained how it was his mother who made him give Nike a chance.

He said, as per Insider:

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My mother said, ‘You’re going to go listen. You may not like it, but you’re going to go listen’. She made me get on that plane and go listen.

Although convinced he wanted to sign with Adidas, when he met with Nike the company offered Jordan a $500,000-a-year deal for five years as well as his own shoe, the Air Jordan, something Adidas was not prepared to do.

Jordan said he was given a ‘big pitch’ by Nike before being told by his father: ‘You’d have to be a fool, not taking this deal. This is the best deal.’

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And it certainly proved to be – Nike projected $3 million in Air Jordan sales in the first four years of the deal, they ended up selling $126 million in the first year alone.

Just goes to show that parents really do know best (sometimes).

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Sport, basketball, Michael Jordan, NBA, Nike

Credits

Forbes and 2 others