How Adidas, Converse screwed up with Michael Jordan: 'He didn't even want to be at Nike'
The Last Dance has delivered on insight into the Chicago Bulls locker room and front office during their rise with Michael Jordan.
On Sunday, it dished details about how Jordan transformed the sneaker game. It must have been a painful watch for Adidas executives. The folks at Converse probably won't be rewatching this one either.
During Episode 5, Jordan revealed that not only did he not intend to sign with Nike, but he didn't even want to visit the campus for a pitch. His agent, David Falk, had to call his parents to talk him into to visiting with the apparel company.
I couldn't even get him to get on the damn plane and visit the campus, Falk said.
Michael Jordan didn't want meet with Nike, much less sign with them. (Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images)
Jordan said that he relented when his mom talked him into taking the visit. When Nike offered Jordan $250,000 for his first endorsement contract, shoe history was made.
Jordan's first choice
Had Jordan had it his way and Adidas been better prepared, the shoe game would have looked entirely different.
"Do you have a shoe company that you wanted to go with?" Jordan was asked.
"That was Adidas," Jordan responded.
Falk then went on to talk about exactly why Adidas wasn't the right fit.
Converse screwed up, too
"Converse had big players," Jordan said. "They told me, We cannot envision you being put ahead of them. OK, fine. Even Nike representative Howard White knew Jordan didn't want to be at Nike."