Adidas’ Biggest Mistake Cost Them Michael Jordan

Photo Credit: Anat Givon/AP Photo

Adidas’ Biggest Mistake Cost Them Michael Jordan

 

What started as a shoe deal for a rookie player, ended up being a billion dollar subsidiary for Nike – Jordan Brand.

Jordan brand sponsors 21 active NBA players, including stars like Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony. They also sponsor other leagues such as the MLB, NFL, NASCAR, WNBA, as well as Paris Saint-Germain.

Turns out Nike can thank its biggest competitor Adidas for this entire daughter company. How? Well, back in 1984, Michael Jordan himself wanted to sign with Adidas, but Adidas executives opted for taller players:

 

“In 1984, Adidas made a misstep that presaged others. A University of North Carolina basketball star named Michael Jordan wanted a sponsorship deal with Adidas when he went professional, say people familiar with the matter.

Adidas distributors wanted to sign Mr. Jordan, says someone who was an Adidas distributor then. But executives in Germany decided shoppers would favor taller players and wanted to sponsor centers, the person says, adding: “We kept saying, ‘no—no one can relate to those guys. Who can associate with a seven-foot-tall guy?’ ”

 

 

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