That Time You Signed Michael Jordan’s Paycheck — Quit Playing
Before yapping about Jordan's 2-way donation to the police community relationship organization and the NAACP, look at the entire situation and understand that Jordan showed an effort to work towards a solution FROM BOTH SIDES. And before yelling, blacks made Jordan rich, know that:
- Blacks didn't make Michael Jordan rich. Contribute to current wealth BY CHOICE maybe, but not the former. Why? Jordan is still fundamentally operating under the SAME contract he signed in 1984 targeting main stream audiences and sports teams not inner-city kids. Even though the first pair made over $1M in just a few months, Jordan's real wealth was built by the stock options that were a part of the contract AND by his own performance. If MJ didn't excel on the court in specific areas, Nike was to immediately pull the contract. Period. Dare I say, hard work. Remember. This was the 80's. Jordan's accomplishments over the next 5 years would guarantee him $7M on a $500K cash per year contract. Again - the 80's. In short, Michael Jordan helped to build the Nike brand by excelling as an athlete on the court his Rookie year forward. The harder he worked, the more he got paid. Remember. We’re talking about Nike. A company who’s first real commercial targeting urban communities featured Spike Lee. Yes. That Spike Lee — The Pro-Black Spike Lee. The theme, remember, was “It’s the Shoes” became a national campaign almost 6 years after Jordan signed with Nike and after Jordan had already made close to $6M on stock and sales alone. So, who bought the first million pairs of Air Jordans Nike sold in 85?
- We (blacks) made Air Jordan's a fashion statement; he didn’t and neither did Nike. Even after Jordan's "Brand Jordan" attempted to make lifestyle gear in the early 2000s, the actual athletic shoe continued to become a fashion statement within the urban community. Again, embraced by choice. It wasn't until recent years, Nike and Brand Jordan began heavily targeting urban communities which makes all the business sense in the world. If a demographic starts adding value to products bearing your name, why not market to them?
- Re: Killings over shoes — Choices. I digress.
- Talk to your informed Chicago contacts and ask about Jordan's influence and impact on inner-city youth in Chicago. Jordan doesn't do social media, so I guess what he's done never happened, huh? Remember, he just moved out of the state a few years ago. Oh and even after that, remember that lawsuit last year when he protected his brand and name? He won. He donated all $9M to 23 Chicago based non-profit orgs? Ummm yeah.
- Speaking of kids and social media, follow his adult kids on social media. They work, and his daughter works to start her own fashion line. See that continued theme of work ethic? Not perfect, but intentional nonetheless.
- Michael Jordan’s preference was to sign with Adidas, who was the brand of most black athletes during that time. They wouldn’t come close to offering what Nike offered. Some literature says Adidas didn’t want to give Jordan stock in the company but rather sign him to a sales based contract.
Imma just stop right here.