David Falk, Michael Jordan’s longtime agent, said in an interview that Jordan originally did not want to sign a sneaker deal with Nike.
“He didn’t want to go. He didn’t know anything about it, didn’t like the shoes, didn’t want to go,” said Falk on Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s interview series “The Boardroom.” (RELATED: Michael Jordan’s Nike Apparel Brand Makes $1 Billion In A Quarter For The First Time Ever)
The brand, known to all as the famous Air Jordan, began in 1984 when both Jordan and Nike weren’t considered as popular as they are today. According to Falk, “Adidas had everybody else that mattered. I thought that Nike was the hungriest for Michael, that they needed him the most, that they would do the most.” Converse, at the time, was the dominant shoe brand with sponsorships to Magic Johnson and an official sponsorship with the Olympic Games for 30 years.
A year after the deal, the sneakers earned Nike $100 million dollars. Nike went on to buy Converse in 2003 for $305 million. Today, Forbes estimated in 2019 that the Nike Jordan Brand was worth $3.14 billion dollars. Jordan himself took $130 million dollars from the deal in 2019. It’s annually estimated that Jordan makes $193 million dollars a year from the shoes.
Rare pairs of Jordans have sold online for up to $20,000 dollars, though some of them are valued at over $100,000. The most expensive pair of Jordans ever sold was a signed Air Jordan 12 which was played in when Jordan was experiencing flu-like symptoms. The shoes sold for $104,000 dollars.