Nike released the Air Jordan 10 “Powder Blue” retro sneaker on Saturday, 20 years after the first Jordan 10s hit shelves. Like all the Jordan retro releases, this one was highly anticipated and first-day sales hit $35 million. For perspective, in all of 2013, Adidas sold $40 million in the U.S. of the signature shoes of its top star, Derrick Rose. The Bulls’ current star guard isn’t the only one operating in the shadow of Jordan. Reigning MVP LeBron James is the top seller among current NBA players with $300 million at retail last year for his Nike shoes, according to data tracker SportsOneSource. Jordan crushed those numbers with $2.25 billion in U.S. retail basketball sales in 2013. It has been more than a decade since Michael Jordan last appeared in an NBA uniform, but MJ most certainly has still got it. Jordan made an estimated $90 million last year thanks to the rich partnership he enjoys with Nike. His 2013 earnings eclipsed those of all other retired or current athletes save boxer Floyd Mayweather. It marked Jordan’s biggest earnings year yet in a career paved with monster paydays, which peaked in Jordan’s last season with the Bulls (1997-98) at $80 million. Jordan entered the NBA three decades ago after three years at North Carolina, where he announced himself to the country his freshman year with the game-winning shot in the 1982 National Championship game. Nike saw the marketing potential of Jordan, drafted third overall by the Bulls, and offered him a five-year contract worth $500,000 annually plus royalties. It was a huge sum at the time for a shoe deal, but it was a partnership that would lead both parties to unprecedented heights. Jordan took the court his rookie year in 1984 in a pair of red and black Air Jordans, which matched the Bulls’ uniforms, but did not feature any white per NBA protocol. The league banned the shoes and fined Michael $5,000 every game for wearing them. Nike covered the fines and capitalized on the attention with a commercial with the following voiceover: “On September 15th, Nike created a revolutionary new basketball shoe. On October 18th, the NBA threw them out of the game. Fortunately, the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them.” A marketing juggernaut was born.
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan Made $90 Million In 2013
Forbes.com | Mar 1