In 1984, a small shoe company called Nike began
their search for someone to market a basketball shoe in order for them
to compete with Converse. Around the same time, there was a player
from the University of North Carolina named Michael Jordan who was ready to
inter the N.B.A. draft. Nike offer Jordan several contracts, but they were
all turned down. Jordan wanted a contract with Converse, because that was
the shoe he wore in college, and wanted to continue wearing them. Converse
already had two big name player under contract, "Magic" Johnson and Larry
Bird, so they didn't need any other players to market their shoes.
After going to Nike's headquarters and watching a three hour presentation,
Jordan was talked into a $2.5 million contract, for five years by his agent
and the heads of Nike. Within the contract Jordan was offered his own signature
shoe line, The Air Jordan. This would cement Nike's grip on popular basketball
shoes. Now Jordan has become a premium brand of footwear and apparel inspired
by the dynamic legacy and direct involvement of Michael Jordan.