When he initially joined the league, Michael Jordan was unruly. Still a young man, he was. He had hardly emerged from his teen shell. And this made Nike executives Phil Knight and others question their investment. However, all of their reservations were dispelled during a pitch dinner. Jordan’s charm and million-dollar smile were in full force. Nike understood that their $2,500,000 investment would soon pay off.
Such a description is far from accurate about Michael Jordan. He was a talisman, and everyone at Nike was awestruck by his contagious charm. They were just astounded when they initially encountered him at an executive pitch.
Phil Knight Was Skeptical of His $2,500,000 Investment in Michael Jordan
According to Michael Jordan: The Life, a bookPhil Knight was anxious about his investment in Jordan, according to Roland Lazenby. The UNC star did not then possess the mystique he does today. But one particular evening, they understood that his charm would rule the globe. An excerpt from the book allows us to glimpse the story’s emotional roller coaster.
As the meeting concluded, the Nike contingent had no idea how Jordan felt about the presentation. Afterward, he told Falk he was simply fed up with meetings. It wasn t until later that night at dinner with his parents, Strasser, and other Nike officials that Jordan began to relax. The young star was impressive that evening, gracious and charming, able to move among the clientele in the upscale restaurant with ease. His persona that night reassured the Nike executives that they were making a wise choice, that indeed this young man had that certain special something, an ability to connect with people of all backgrounds. The term post-racial hadn t entered the vocabulary yet, but it could have described what they sensed about Jordan.
Jordan’s disposition and innate capacity for conversation were on full display. Phil Knight wasn’t wasting his money. The transaction has a 5-year value of $2,500,000. the then-largest transaction of its kind in sports history. The risk Nike took paid off.
Therefore, when you pay a novice $2,500,000, you anticipate using his name to sell some shoes. Nike believed that a good return would be achieved if they sold $3 million worth of shoes in three years.
Such sums were seen as high at the time. We’re talking about 1984 here, and color television wasn’t yet a common fixture! So there was a lot riding on it.
Jordan, however, made a forceful delivery. He was able to transfer his charisma from the real world to the TV screen. Nike sold shoes worth more than $126 million in just the first year. Describe a return. The Air Jordan 1s are currently among, if not the most, recognizable footwear in the world.