Michael Jordan signed with Nike on October 26, 1984.

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No matter how many decades pass; Michael Jordan remains one of the most famous figures in the world. The NBA legend has racked up countless accolades throughout his 15-year career and found success off the court as well.

On this day, 38 years ago, Jordan signed his first sneaker contract with Nike. The upstart American business placed all of its eggs in the basket of the 6’6″ North Carolina goaltender.

Despite his preference for Adidas, Jordan signed a five-year, $2.5 million contract with Nike. It was a record deal at the time. However, Nike’s gamble quickly paid off. In his freshman season, Jordan was voted to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team and All-NBA Second Team, in addition to winning Rookie of the Year.

Nike launched the Air Jordan sneaker line in 1984 with the goal of making $3 million in the first three years. The first shoe shattered expectations, earning $126 million in one year.

Michael Jordan celebrates his first NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls in 1991.

The rest was Nike and Jordan history. On September 9, 1997, the two partners launched Jordan Brand (originally called “Brand Jordan”). Since then, Jordan Brand has become a global leader in fashion and performance.

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The brand has built an enduring business model by releasing retro models, innovating new designs and collaborating with popular artists. Jordan Brand has a strong hold on sports and popular culture.

Nike has also benefited greatly from this partnership. It has become the world’s largest supplier and manufacturer of athletic footwear and apparel. In October 2022, Nike had a market capitalization of $143.5 billion, making it the 66th most valuable company in the world.

When it comes to basketball shoes, the conversation always begins and ends with Jordan. It’s been 38 years since the “GOAT” entered the sneaker business, and there’s no end in sight.

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