michael-garcia - July 14, 2012
How different would the basketball shoe and apparel business be if Michael Jordan didn't sign with Nike? No Air Jordans, and later no Jordan Brand? It's nearly impossible to imagine. No Jumpman logo? That would be insane.
That was almost reality, and it was Michael's mom Deloris who might be the person who changed history. According to JackMcCallum's new book Dream Team, Michael wanted to sign with Converse or Adidas. Nike was pursuing Jordan, but he was going to flake on a meeting in Oregon. Jordan's mom solved that though, telling him 'You will be on that plane, Michael.'
Michael's agent, David Falk, also steered him towards Nike, feeling that the company had a better grasp on marketing than the others did, and that Nike was hungrier. He was right.
Jordan's original Nike contract was for five years and a whopping $2.5 million. Nike paid nearly as much in fines to the NBA the first year as they did to Michael because the original Jordans didn't fit the uniform rules. Michaels got fined $5,000 every game he wore them, and Nike ponied up the cash.
Obviously things worked out. Michael ended being a global icon, and it wasn't his Bulls salary that helped him to now be able to own the Charlotte Bobcats.
Jordan's current estimated net worth is around $500 million.