If you’re a male ten years or older, a member of the opposite sex has probably asked you the question, “What do you think of my shoes?” Whether you heard it from your mother, sister, cousin, girlfriend, wife, teacher, coworker, or even grandma, chances are that you remain indifferent and just don’t want to respond in a way that’s going to cause you any trouble.
Now that we can agree with that, it’s safe to assume that if you’ve heard of a brand called Nike, you probably have some knowledge about their affiliation with the name Jordan.
Michael Jordan is widely considered the best basketball player to have ever stepped onto the court, yet it’s off the hardwood where he continues to build his legacy.
Jordan signed several endorsement deals after getting drafted in 1984 with the third overall pick by the Chicago Bulls.
During this time, Nike was not the conglomerate it is today, but rather a struggling shoe company trying to find its footing against brands like Adidas and Converse.
Converse already had stars like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson wearing their sneakers, so they were unwilling to compete with Nike in a bidding war for Jordan’s services.
Nike was a company that was slowly fading out—which forced them into a position to commit to one athlete, in hopes that their image would be reinvented and make them relevant in the mainstream market.
At first, Michael was disinterested.
Nike pitched him on the black and red colorway, some basic shoe models, and apparel designs—only to hear, "I can't wear that shoe, those are Devil colors."
But the rest is really all history.
Nike initially signed Jordan to a 5-year contract worth $2.5 million—only to see him go on and make both parties two of the most-recognized names in the entire world.
In honor of each championship that he won, here’s a look at the brand he built, and the source of his ‘Airness’.
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