Would You Brush Off Michael Jordan?


by Kenny Hyder

In the land of oppor­tu­nity entre­pre­neurs, mar­ke­ters, and just plain smart peo­ple are cons­tantly loo­king for the thing that can give them an edge, an upper hand to their com­pe­ti­tion so they can domi­nate the mar­ket. But, if you had one shot, one oppor­tu­nity to seize everything — would you cap­ture it or just let it slip?

Last night as I was sur­fing You­Tube, I came across an extre­mely inte­res­ting Michael Jor­dan inter­view, that I think can serve as a valua­ble les­son to anyone in mar­ke­ting, bran­ding, or any rela­ted field:

Now it doesn’t take an avid sports fan to rea­lize the GIANT oppor­tu­nity that Adi­das pas­sed up by not giving MJ a con­tract. I like MJ’s humi­lity in not indul­ging in “what if’s” — but I would ven­ture to say that if they hadn’t made this mis­take, it’s quite pos­si­ble that Adi­das and not Nike would be worlds lea­ding sup­plier of ath­le­tic shoes. Con­si­de­ring that Michael Jor­dan was the grea­test bas­ket­ball pla­yer of all time and one of the most ico­nic and popu­lar ath­le­tes ever, I don’t think these “what if’s” are too far out of reach.

This poses the ques­tion: would you brush off Michael Jor­dan just like Adi­das did? Surely Adi­das had good rea­sons at the time for the deci­sions they made, even though it may seem un-fathomable to us today. What oppor­tu­ni­ties are you mis­sing out on because they aren’t a part of your plan or stra­tegy? Are you afraid to “gam­ble” on new oppor­tu­ni­ties or invest­ments for fear of losing? Can you afford to not make any mis­ta­kes and poten­tially pass up something that could trans­form you or your busi­ness in a way that you couldn’t pos­sibly foresee?

Adi­das made the mis­take of den­ying MJ a con­tract even though he wan­ted to sign with them because they didn’t feel it was right for their brand. Well sounds like it was the per­fect time to make it part of their brand. Remem­ber that your brand stra­tegy is a gui­de­line, not a rule­book. If oppor­tu­nity knocks and you don’t open the door, well there’s not much hope for you then, is there?

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