Michael Jordan didn’t want a ‘164 billion dollar’ company logo on his shoes
Michael Jordan nearly quit his beloved Nike and for some reason didn’t join until Tinker Hatfield decided to drop the logo.
Michael Jordan’s love affair with Nike is as iconic as it gets. But at some point he was sure to go and they only held him back by removing their logo from the shoe!
Yes, a brand maintained around a sponsored athlete by taking his own logo for the benefit of his. This is the story of how Nike created the Jumpman subdivision and why it was one of the smartest moves in business.
So let’s travel back in time to 1987, Michael Jordan and the Nike brand are at a crossroads. The chief designers of the Nike Air Jordans are about to leave the company and they want to poach MJ. Trouble in paradise.
So what does Nike do? They seek Tinker Hatfield’s help. Tinker flies off to see Mike and figure out what kind of shoes he wants. But not everything was smooth between Nike and Jordan.
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9) With MJ ready to leave Nike, Phil Knight called Tinker Hatfield to present his design.
But here’s the best part.
Although Nike told him no, Hatfield designed the Air Jordan III with the Jumpman logo instead of the patented Nike Swoosh.
“No one knew I was doing this.” pic.twitter.com/YLw1dWFq8t
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) June 30, 2022
Michael Jordan asked Phil Knight: “Show me what you got!” by threatening to leave Nike!
Nike wouldn’t be the multi-billion dollar brand it is today without the presence of Michael Jordan. So when there were problems in the water, they did everything to keep it. However, the real stroke of genius was yet to come.
Nike had 5 weeks to design and present the Air Jordan III. Tinker personally asked Mike what he wanted, and the answer was simple. A mid-height shoe in exotic printed leather.
But within three weeks, Michael met the two shoe designers who left the company and they even introduced him to their new brand of clothing and sneakers.
Michael Jordan told Phil Knight: “Show me what you got!“. The threat was real and it was clear. So how did Nike keep it on board?
Enter Tinker Hatfield.
The removal of the Nike logo in favor of the Jumpman: The birth of the Jordan brand
When Tinker presented the shoe to MJ, the most notable thing about the design was the lack of a swoosh, something Nike had specifically told him to keep.
Tinker hid the idea from everyone until the presentation. Hatfield then presented a pitch for creating a brand centered around the Jumpman logo. Naturally, Jordan loved the idea. Create a brand instead of collecting checks.
This moment marked the birth of the Jordan brand. He also announced the arrival of Hatfield as a shoe designer. Since then, both have become legendary names in the world of clothing and footwear.
The iconic dipping image in this article was achieved while wearing the Air Jordan IIIs. It is considered the most emblematic silhouette of the brand, just after the AJ1.
Also Read: Charles Barkley Recalls Incident Where Michael Jordan Bet $300,000 During a Crazy Day on the Golf Course