In the fifth episode of The Last Dance we can see how Michael Jordan forever changed the world of contracts with sneaker brands forever. It must have been painful for Adidas and Converse executives to do it then. During the episode MJ reveals that he had no intention of signing with Nike and that he did not want to go to campus. It was his agent, David Falk, who had to call his parents to try to convince him:
“I couldn’t even force him to get on a plane to go to campus.” Michael says that until his mother called him, he did not give in and ended up agreeing to go to campus. Logically, when Nike offered him a quarter of a million dollars for his first contract, the shoe business changed forever.
In the documentary MJ makes it clear that he had a preference when choosing which brand he wanted to sign: “Adidas”.
“Did you have a shoe company that you wanted to go with?”
Michael Jordan: “That was Adidas.”
Welp, that’s one hell of a missed opportunity for Adidas. Worked out pretty well for Nike. #TheLastDance pic.twitter.com/qU0j8PVs2f
– Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 4, 2020
Falk how much Jordan did not sign with the German brand: “Adidas did not work properly in those days. They told me that they would love to work with Jordan, but that they could not make suitable shoes for them at that time. And I wanted them to sign with Nike because they were the best”.
Converse’s reasons for not signing Jordan were different: “We have great players and we can’t put you ahead of them.”