Before Micheal Jordan could establish himself as a basketball legend, Nike approached the then-NBA rookie. Nike was not one of the front-runners. However, both Adidas and Converse already had deals with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Jordan liked Adidas more than Nike back then and actively wanted to sign with them, according to The Wall Street Journal. He believed Adidas offered him the best opportunity to make money and maintain control of his brand. And while some Adidas officials internally advocated for signing Jordan, the company’s final decision-makers were set on sponsoring big men.
His agent David Falk and mother Deloris convinced him to fly and meet Nike in Portland, who were ready to give Jordan his own signature brand 'Air Jordan'. In The Last Dance, the NBA legend revealed that his mother told him he would listen to them and attend the meeting, even though he might not like it. Reports reveal that Jordan was not happy with the presentation and even said that he could not wear those shoes as they were 'devil colours'.
In 1984, a 21-year-old rookie Michael Jordan signed a five-year deal with Nike worth $500,000 per year. Nike was a struggling company back then. Nike agreed to give Jordan his signature line, which reportedly earned around $3.14 billion in 2019. Today, The Nike Air Jordan 1 is known as the shoe which kick-started a revolution. When introduced for the first time, the Nike Air Jordan 1 was black and red, which was banned by the league for being controversial. However, the Chicago Bulls legend continued to wear his shoe whenever he played at the Chicago Stadium. The NBA fined Jordan almost $5000 per game, which Nike paid for.