Michael Jordan originally wanted to sign with Adidas, not Nike

Photo: nba.com

When he was an NBA rookie, Michael Jordan was looking for a shoe deal. The future six-time NBA champion was a fan of Adidas and wanted to sign with the German company, as revealed during episode 5 of ‘The Last Dance’. It was a mutual interest but Adidas was unable to release a signature shoe for MJ at the time. The other option was a small startup company, Nike.

Being an Adidas fan, the young Jordan had no interest in signing with Nike. His agent, David Falk, had to ask Michael’s parents to convince their son to at least come to meeting with the company. It ended with Jordan signing a $250,000 deal with Nike which resulted in a release of the ‘Air Jordan’ shoes.

The company expected to sell 3 million pairs of Air Jordans at the end of year four of the deal. All expectations were exceeded, as at the end of year one 126 million pairs were sold. The rest is history.