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Michael Jordan’s Billion Dollar Relationship With Nike Would’ve Been a Dream if Not for Mother Deloris’ Heroics

Imagine a world without the Air Jordan sneakers and apparel. It would have been a reality if it wasn’t for Michael Jordan’s mother Deloris’ intervention. 

In the docuseries “The Last Dance”, Jordan explained how his mother was the reason he signed with Nike. Michael had always worn Adidas sneakers during his college career. MJ revealed that he was about to sign with Adidas and wasn’t even thinking about hearing Nike’s offer. But his mother Deloris insisted that he listened to the offer from Nike. Jordan obliged and here we are. 

Jordan made less than $100 million from his NBA salary. His contract with Nike was an integral part of his present business empire. While Michael helped popularise Nike as the face of the brand, it opened up multiple opportunities for MJ. 

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Michael was the first athlete to be a billionaire and has an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion. The success of Air Jordan knows no borders. While many athletes tried to follow suit with their own brand, none was as successful as Jordan.

Michael Jordan and Nike’s partnership

The partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike started out just as a contract between a player and a brand. But it has evolved into something great and changed the industry for good.

And it proved to be a profitable partnership, not just for MJ, but for Nike too. It is estimated that Jordan earns $130 Million a year from sales of Air Jordan sneakers and apparel. The Air Jordan brand has a revenue of around $3 Billion a year according to Business Insider.

Even though it was a risk at the time, Nike tied up Jordan to a unique contract. The deal was to allow the Chicago Bulls star to make his own line of sneakers. Initially, the Air Jordan shoes were made only for Michael. It was only later, that Air Jordan sneakers were released to the public. 

During a time when only white sneakers were allowed in the NBA, the Air Jordan sneakers were banned for their red and black features. And the league fined $5000 every time Michael wore the sneakers in a game.

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The Air Jordan brand has 32 versions of the sneaker. And many of the models are re-released multiple times. The sneakers sell out almost instantly and the sneakerheads are always on the lookout to buy them from other collectors.

Now Air Jordan has dealt with 21 NBA players as brand ambassadors. It also includes other athletes in Football, NASCAR, Baseball, and Soccer.

All this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Deloris Jordan’s advice to her son Michael Jordan.

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