Conceived in 1984, Nike's Jordan brand Air Jordan reportedly made $3.1 billion for the company last year. While Michael Jordan now has a lifetime deal with Nike, he was reluctant to sign with the brand as a rookie and wanted to opt for Adidas. His parents convinced him to meet with the team, where his agent David Falk convinced them to give Jordan his signature line brand.
While on Andrew Brandt's Business of Sports podcast, David Falk revealed details on Michael Jordan's first meeting with Nike. Falk had told Jordan that they would visit multiple companies to see what everyone was offering, somewhat like college recruiting. However, the six-time NBA champion expressed that he had 'zero' interest in seeing Nike.
Jordan told Falk that he had a 'long season at California', just played in the Olympics and does not wish to see Nike. However, Falk talked to Jordan's mother Deloris, who promised Jordan would be on the plane for the meeting.
When they reached the office, things apparently did not start smoothly. Falk recalled Nike's video of Jordan's highlights not playing, an executive 'sweating profusely' and another executive entering late. Nike eventually got the VCR to work, showed Jordan the video along with all the merchandise for his line. They even worked on the Chicago Bulls legend's love for cars and showed him model cars. The whole time, Jordan did not 'crack a smile' and looked like he was angry and was going to fire Falk after they left.
Nike even took them to dinner, where Jordan barely said a word to anyone. However, after the dinner, Jordan revealed that he felt Nike were 'amazing' and did not want to go anywhere else. Falk revealed that he realised that the 21-year-old rookie in front of him was really smart and did not 'reveal a single emotion' while Nike showed him his own line.
He even revealed how he came up with the name 'Air Jordan' on the spot as he was the one who suggested the idea. Nike had hoped for a $3 million sale of Air Jordan, but the brand ended up making $126 million. Jordan originally earned $500,000 from his initial five-year deal with Nike. Now, the 57-year-old NBA legend reportedly makes around $130 million per year.