Michael Jordan initially preferred adidas over Nike


Nike is considered the biggest sports brand and one of the most successful corporations in the entire world. No matter what part of the globe you are in, people have heard about and most likely love the Swoosh. From the wide range of products that they have to offer to their consumers, to the star athletes that are signed to #TeamNike, Nike has established themselves as the pinnacle of sportswear for quite some time now.

Although Nike has had many turning points that credit them to being so successful, very few of them (if any) were as big as the signing of Michael Jordan. Once Michael Jordan signed with Nike, the Swoosh managed to eclipse all the other brands. Nike may not have known that then and there, but time proved that the Jordan signing was as crucial as any other move that the brand has ever done. 

Michael Jordan’s partnership with Nike  — and the Nike subsidiary Jordan Brand — has without a doubt changed the way people look at sneakers. Before that, sneakers were mostly viewed as performance footwear, with aesthetics and style taking a back seat. The moment Jordan entered the scene, the consumer began to view sneakers as something that is considered cool and fashionable. Ever since then, the Nike Swoosh and Jumpman logo have earned the name of “iconic”.

But what if we told you that Michael Jordan almost didn’t sign with Nike? It’s true. Initially, Jordan preferred to sign with his brand of choice, adidas. Jordan adored the brand with the Three Stripes. So why didn’t adidas end up signing Michael Jordan? Get this, adidas opted not to sign the basketball prodigy because they did not have a shoe designed for Jordan at the moment. Although we can’t confirm since we’re not MJ, we’re sure he still would have signed with his favorite brand as long as they committed to making a shoe for him in the near future. To make matters worse, not only did adidas not have a shoe for Jordan ready to go, they opted to not even offer him any type of contract or endorsement deal. They basically let him walk out the door. Talk about dropping the ball on a deal that could have potentially changed the entire landscape of your company?! Woah. 

It goes without saying that Nike stepped right in and did what adidas should have done when they had the opportunity to do so. So although Nike should be patting themselves on the back for making all the right choices, they should also be eternally grateful to adidas for doing (or not doing) what they chose to do when they had the chance. 

Over time, Michael Jordan has released some of the most iconic basketball sneakers with Nike/Jordan Brand. I’m talking about the timeless Air Jordan 1, the revolutionary Air Jordan 3, the street-ready Air Jordan 4, the beloved Air Jordan 11, and so on and so on. That said, could you even imagine what these Air Jordans would have looked like had Jordan signed with the Three Stripes? Kind of makes your head hurt a bit, right? Kind of how adidas must be feeling ever since they saw what MJ was the real deal. 


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