The world of sports is filled with plenty of ‘What ifs’ scenarios, with many of the most exciting ones involving Michael Jordan.
Despite rewriting the manual on greatness and marketing, Michael Jordan’s road to a billion dollar brand and six NBA championships is full of forks. What if Mike was drafted by Portland? What if Mike left Chicago and signed with the Knicks? Better yet, what if Mike never took the meeting with Nike and signed with adidas?
The last query may be the hardest to fathom but perhaps the closest to happening.
While Sonny Vaccaro and David Falk were big on MJ signing with the Swoosh, a young Jordan was in love with The Three Stripes. Just how much did a 21-year-old MJ like adidas? He’d wear the Three Stripes in UNC practices while the rest of the squad took the court in Converse. Wearing it often off the court and mentioning it in media, a young Mike loved adidas.
If he originally had his way, he’d be with the German juggernaut. However, thanks to some nudging from his mother, he took the meeting with Nike and as they say, the rest is history.
While all is well that ends well, what would Michael Jordan’s illustrious sneaker series look like if he never took the meeting with Nike and signed with adidas instead?
Do we know? Do we know? Do we know?
We do not. But we do have a good guess.
Looking at adidas’ arsenal, Mike’s needs and the industry’s trends, here is MJ’s signature series 1-14 reimagined if he signed with The Three Stripes.
Keep in mind that before Mike signed with Nike the idea of a rookie basketball player having his own signature shoe was absolutely unheard of and keeping the line going through and past a career was unprecedented. Could another brand have done what Nike did with Mike? Extremely unlikely. Would David Falk still have forced the hand of whoever signed Mike to at least attempt a signature series? We think so.