Nike – The Jordan Legacy

Nike at footasylum
Nike at footasylum
Michael Jordan has been credited for boosting the Nike brand into the big time.

Michael Jordan is perhaps the biggest name in American baseball. Nike has sponsored many successful athletes over the years. Like Adidas, Nike prides itself on high profile sponsorship. But regardless of big names like Carl Lewis and Sebastian Coe on the Nike label, it was Michael Jordan in 1984 that provided a massive boost to Nike’s publicity.

Michael Jordan – Nike’s Turning Point

Many see Jordan’s signing to Nike as a major turning point in the sporting giant’s image and sales. Now retired, Jordan is still an active businessman, no doubt learning plenty from his time working in sponsorship and branding with Nike. Whether Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time like his biography states may be debatable, but he was certainly the best marketed player thanks to Nike.

The Air Jordan Phenomenon

Jordan’s height and ability to slam dunk from great heights, earned him the ‘Air Jordan’ nickname – a name that would end up on a pair of Nike trainers. The Nike Air Jordan trainers may have been launched in the mid-eighties, but they are still enduring and popular today. Not surprisingly, when his son Marcus Jordan entered the basketball court, there was interest in the brand of trainers he wore. And the fact he wore Nike, like his dad, has caused some embarrassment for the University of Central Florida, where the teenager plays. Although the University promised Jordan he could wear Nike, they could be endangering their existing $3 million contract with Adidas. Jordan spoke out to the local press about the Nike – Adidas clash at the University: “They said they had talked to the Adidas people, and it wasn't going to be a problem,” Marcus Jordan told the Orlando Sentinel. “I think everybody understands how big of a deal it is for my family.”

Adidas Pull Cut Sponsorship Contract

Although the university is contractually obliged to use Adidas equipment exclusively, it seems Marcus Jordan’s pair of Adidas trainers will remain in his locker as he wears a pair of Nike Air Jordan trainers in honour of his dad. Although the matter was said to be cleared up, Jordan’s insistence on wearing Nike did seem to come at a price – Adidas would not agree to extend its contract with the university to five years.

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