What are the details of the contract between Michael Jordan and Nike? All you need to know

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Michael Jordan signed a deal with Nike during his rookie NBA season in 1984. At the time, Adidas and Converse were at the top of the sneaker chain. Prior to Jordan’s partnership with Nike, it looked like he was going to sign with Adidas. Nike, however, offered the rookie a more lucrative offer that Jordan couldn’t refuse.

Nike offered Jordan a five-year contract worth $500,000 a year. It was crazy for a sneaker company at the time to pay a player that much money. However, just like the rest of the NBA, Nike knew Jordan was special and decided to bet on Air Jordan.

Nike Air Jordan debuted in late 1984 when Jordan first wore their signature shoes. Jordan wearing the pair in-game was controversial. The league had a rule that allowed players to wear only white sneakers, regardless of brand.

The Air Jordans had a red, black and white colorway representing the colors of the Chicago Bulls. Because of this, every time Jordan wore these shoes, he was fined $5,000. It didn’t matter because Nike was willing to cover all the expenses just so Jordan could promote his shoes.

Michael Jordan managed to generate enough hype ahead of the official launch of the Air Jordans in retail stores. Nike’s Air Jordans were released in 1985 and exceeded sales expectations. In the first year alone, Air Jordans sold for $126 million. These shoes are what put Nike on the map.

Jordan became arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. His shoe line expanded and became arguably the greatest sneaker line of all time. According to Centuro Global, in 2020 Jordan earned $1.3 billion from his deal with Nike.

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Michael Jordan’s best Air Jordans

Air Jordan I

Michael Jordan game worn Air Jordan 1.
Michael Jordan game worn Air Jordan 1.

The pair that started it all. Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan 1 is undoubtedly a classic that never goes out of style. Celebrities and sneaker lovers make sure to have these bad boys in their shoe collection. Moreover, there are so many modern versions of the shoe that everyone loves to wear for their lifestyle.

Air Jordan XI

Air Jordan XI "SpaceJam."
Air Jordan XI “Space Jam”.

Air Jordan XI should definitely be on this list. Jordan debuted these shoes when he made his comeback after his first retirement in 1995. What makes the pair even more special is the fact that Jordan wore them in one of the basketball movies -ball, “Space Jam”.

Air Jordan III

Air Jordan III
Air Jordan III

When Tinker Hatfield took over from Peter Moore, this was his first design. He got off to a fast start. In addition to pushing the Air Jordans into a separate category, Hatfield continued the Swoosh-less style first introduced with the Air Jordan IIs. He also added eye-catching elephant print panels on the uppers in either black or white.

It expanded the possibilities of shoe design. But what really elevates the sneaker’s popularity is the addition of Jordan’s Jumpman logo.

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