Michael Jordan’s Unexpected Split from Nike, Walking Away from a $1 Billion Lifetime Contract

In a moment that would shape the future of sports branding, Michael Jordan entered into a groundbreaking partnership with one of the world’s leading sports brands. Little did anyone know at the time that this agreement would evolve into the most monumental endorsement deal in history. Nike took the visionary step of launching the iconic Air Jordans, a signature line dedicated to MJ. These sneakers would not only redefine fashion but also experience an unprecedented surge in popularity that continues to endure to this day.Michael Jordan (Credits - New York Post and Republic World)

Recently an article on the Chicago Bulls legend leaving Nike went viral. It claimed that Jordan said, “They no longer align with my values. The partnership with their new friend is nice and all but it’s not for me. I can take my shoes to any company in the world. I’m not Kanye.” This surfaced on the internet after Nike signed Dylan Mulvaney.

Good for Michael Jordan‼️

Mike ends his partnership with Nike over the man child who likes to pretend he’s a female.

I truly hope Nike, AB, & every other sponsorship that has signed the man child looses a shit ton of money or goes out of business. #TranswomanAreConMen pic.twitter.com/1jwCBlsw0n


Dylan is a transperson which got fans wondering if Jordan’s exit was because of her. However, it was later revealed that the article was a complete hoax. The site even openly admits that its content is not true in its About Us section. “Everything on this website is fiction,” it states. The former 6x NBA Champion is still part of the organization.

When did Michael Jordan sign his first deal with Nike?

Michael Jordan was a massive hit coming out of North Carolina University. As soon as he came into the NBA, several brands were waiting to sign an endorsement deal with him. Mike was drafted No.3 overall in 1984 by the Bulls. Brands like Adidas and many others were racing to sign with the legend.

This iconic colorway of Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe draws comparisons to the design of the Nike Air Ship that Jordan was prohibited from wearing in 1985.

The Jordan 1 Mid ‘Banned’ is available now in-stores. pic.twitter.com/ZvVC2dQHi3


In 1984, Mike decided to sign with Nike. This became the biggest shoe endorsement in the history of sports. Jordan became the face of Nike and went on to become the greatest NBA player of all time. This worked well in Nike’s favor as they skyrocketed in net worth as well.

How much has Michael Jordan earned from Nike?

When Michael Jordan signed the deal in 1984, it was worth $2.5 million. He was a five-year deal between him and Nike which eventually transpired into a lifelong endorsement. They released the first pair of Air Jordan the following year and gained almost $3 million in three years. In 1997, they launched the Jordan Brand, a line that branched out from Nike.

When Nike signed Michael Jordan in 1984 they hoped to do $3 million in shoe sales in 4 years.

In the first year, Nike ended up doing $126 million in Air Jordan shoe sales. 😲 🐐 pic.twitter.com/BfKKcp1xMq


Since their collaboration, Jordan is said to have earned millions of dollars. According to Sporting News, he earned $256 million in 2022 alone. Mike is currently worth approximately $2 billion and Nike’s endorsement played a huge part in his success. Even to this day, Mike earns millions from the brand and continues to promote it as well. Jordan Brand has also been endorsing NBA players of today as well.


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