Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jordan: The One and Only

MJ is being inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame later this week, and ESPN is counting down his top 23 moments. I could watch those videos all day. He was simply the perfect athlete for me growing up. Jordan could do no wrong.

No athlete has ever had a larger impact on the world around him. Jordan changed so many things in basketball, and in business. In 1998, Fortune Magazine called it the "Jordan Effect" and estimated that since he came into the league in 1984, Michael has generated $10 billion.

In business terms, he took a start-up company in Nike in 1984 and helped them become the premier shoe company. Fortune estimates that Jordan earned Nike $5.2 billion from 1984-1998. Jordan was a huge part of starting a basketball shoe culture, where shoes were not just a means to play basketball, but a status symbol. He has been the top athlete for a variety of companies, Hanes, Gatorade, McDonald's, Wheaties, etc. and continues to appear in ads even today, 7 years after he retired for the final time.

He has enjoyed unparalleled success in basketball and changed the game forever. Jordan's style has effected all of today's generation of players. This Nike commercial illustrates the point. MJ was the first guy to wear the baggy shorts. Jordan had so many dunks and highlight plays that are iconic, and are well known to any sports fan. He was The Man in the NBA for over a decade. In 13 seasons with the Bulls he won 6 championships and averaged 54 wins a season.
Jordan was basketball during the 90's. He was the reason people watched games. His rookie year, Bulls ticket sales increased 87% and their ticket revenue was $4 million. 5 years later in 1989, the Bulls were consistently sold-out and their ticket revenue increased to $23 million. When Jordan played, the world watched. For the Championship TV ratings since 1976, Jordan finals averaged a 16.7 rating, non-Jordan finals average a 11.1 rating (yeah, I did some really nerdy research). The bottom line is that Jordan dominated basketball, and the world of sports, more than anybody else ever has, and ever will.

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