Inside Michael Jordan's Deal With Nike

A firsthand account at the historic deal that almost didn’t happen.

Footwear
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It’s difficult to imagine what the sneaker scene, and the sportswear industry in general, would look like had Michael Jordan never signed a deal with Nike to launch Air Jordan back in 1984. However, in a recent Bleacher Report video interview with MJ’s former agent David Falk, he reveals that Jordan was reluctant to sign with the Portland-based brand. His ultimate dream was to sign with adidas, notes Falk. At a time when heavyweights like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were all supported by Converse, Jordan was also approached by the brand but didn’t see the ability for any artistic freedom. As a fledgling upstart, Nike was eager to sign with Jordan, but he was ambivalent due to the company’s relatively unfamiliarity at that time. Eventually, his mother forced him to fly to Oregon to meet with the team. Falk cites that after an elaborate pitch and meeting with co-founder Phil Knight, Jordan was convinced then and there that Nike was it — and the rest is history. Watch the video above to see the memorable deal that kickstarted the acclaimed Jordan brand to the empire it has become today.

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