Magic Johnson is currently worth $600 million – he could have been worth nearly 10 times if he had made a different career choice.
Magic Johnson is one of the most famous athletes in history – he has one of the best All-Star Game photos. With his popularity at its peak in the 80s, Converse wanted to sign him as the face of their brand with a sneaker deal. Converse was the top shoe brand at that time, and it was no secret that they wanted it.
Phil Knight, the founder of Blue Ribbon Sports (the name of the company before it changed to Nike) approached Magic when he was out of college with a shoe deal of his own. But since it was a new business, she couldn’t offer hard cash – she could only offer shares. Converse, on the other hand, was offering him $100,000 in cash, and then it made more sense to accept that deal.
It was 5 years before Michael Jordan signed with Nike – a deal that would propel Nike to the rank of the greatest sportswear manufacturer of all time. Magic needs to ruin its decision now – the stock option would have been worth $5.2 billion in today’s market. That would make him untouchable as the richest athlete of all time – he would be richer than Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James combined.
Also Read: ‘If You Don’t Respond to Fans, It Seems You’re Isolated From Them’: When Michael Jordan Explained Why Players Like Magic Johnson and He Told the Crowd Trash
The world would have been very different if Magic Johnson had signed with Nike – he would have influenced Michael Jordan to sign with Adidas
If Nike had signed Magic Johnson before MJ, the sports world would be very different. There would be no Air Jordan with Nike, and in all likelihood Adidas would have signed him as they wanted. The iconic sneaker line would be Adidas, not Nike.
MJ would never sign with a brand that housed another established superstar – he wanted to be the face of something growing and lead it. The name of the shoe Johnson had was called “The Weapon,” but it was a torpedo that blew him away with the opportunity to be a billionaire.
The worst part is that Converse was bought out by Nike, and the Magic line is produced under the Nike banner anyway!
Also read: ‘I wonder if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are even a good fit’: Magic Johnson has second thoughts over recent debate that Nets duo are most talented ever