Adidas apparently still cannot get over the fact that the company didn’t sign someone named Michael Jordan back in 1984. Jordan signed with Nike, and Adidas made probably the company’s biggest mistakes.
Meanwhile, Michael Jordan still makes $100 million per year off his shoe deal.
In 2014, Adidas fell behind Under Armour as the second biggest sportswear company in the United States.
Jordan actually wanted a sponsorship deal with Adidas when he went professional, said 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?’ ”
Jordan, at 6’6″, signed with Nike instead, forming a dominant shoe empire off which he still makes $100 million per year.
A six-time NBA champion, Jordan earned fame and fortune on the basketball court, as well as through endorsements and movies. The Hall of Fame player won the NBA Most Valuable Player award five times and was named an all-star 14 times.
His on-court success and commercial endorsements have made him one of the most recognizable and prosperous athletes in the United States. Jordan played in total 1072 NBA games (1039 started), averaging 30.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg in 38.3 minutes per contest.
Adidas did sign centers of that NBA era, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who still has Adidas sneakers named for him today. However Nike went a bit further with Jordan.
In the NBA, Adidas is the second most popular sneaker, but it still trails Nike by a lot:
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