NBA Legend Michael Jordan's Adidas Obsession: The Surprising Rejection

By: Fatima Roshni Image credit: Getty Images

As one of the most iconic and legendary players in NBA history, Michael Jordan's endorsement deal with Nike and the introduction of the Jordan brand are still regarded as the biggest.

However, Jordan's linkup in the shoe endorsement deal with Nike would not have been possible if Adidas hadn't backed away from signing up such an emerging and popular NBA star of that time.

For Jordan, Nike was never the first choice. The Chicago Bulls guard and forward's initial choice was the Addidas brand with the three stripes, dating back to his college days in North Carolina.

Following his NBA draft in 1984 by the Chicago Bulls, Jordan, making his debut, was on the lookout for a shoe endorsement deal that led him to receive his first offer from Nike worth $25.5 billion.

With much affection from Adidas, no matching or counter-offer was however made by the German athletic company, closing up any further interest in the 21-year-old Bulls-drafted player.

Jordan's former agent, David Falk from ProServ, who had good contacts with Adidas at the time, later revealed the reason behind the athletic company's lack of interest shown towards the player.

“They were just not in a position to execute a deal of that level. Adidas Head of International Marketing said, 'We really appreciate Michael’s interest. There is no way we could make this deal'.”

Having not signed with Adidas, Nike in collaboration with Jordan, created havoc in the shoe industry after its launch, gaining worldwide popularity and billions of buyers.

With over 39 years in the industry today, Nike Jordan has established itself as one of the leading shoe brands with the launch of several collaborative collections with the legend Michael Jordan.

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