Unlike Michael Jordan’s 3 Billion Nike Riches, Wild Fashionista Dennis Rodman Couldn’t Emulate Sneaker Success

Published 11/23/2022, 2:50 PM EST
The Bulls’ Michael Jordan drives to the basket as teammate Dennis Rodman and the Clippers’ Loy Vaught(left) look on during game at Sports Arena earlier this season. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Dennis Rodman played a crucial role in winning a second three-peat for the Chicago Bulls alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen from 1996-98. However, his wild personality and controversial actions often landed Rodman in financial trouble. While Michael Jordan has been the face of the multinational sports sneakers and apparel brand Nike since 1984, Rodman could not hold onto a prolonged partnership with the brand during his NBA days. Nike’s long partnership with Jordan reportedly earns the brand $3 billion annually. However, the wild fashionista Dennis Rodman could not emulate the same sneaker success with the world-renowned brand.

Rodman was known for his colorful and whimsical personality. He was perceived as a brilliant marketing asset for various brands. However, Nike did not feel the same about Rodman and reportedly displayed intentions to end its partnership with the Bulls legend in 1997. The same year, an unknown Nike official claimed that the sneaker brand was not interested in renewing a deal with Dennis Rodman.

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The Worm was associated with Nike since 1988 when he switched from Reebok to take on the Swoosh shoe line. He got his own signature shoe with the Nike Air Darwin, followed by the Air Worm Ndestrukt and the Air Shake Ndestrukt in 1996. However, Rodman had to ultimately switch to Converse in 1997.

Nike laid off Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman reportedly had a three-year, $500,000 per year, contract with Nike. Moreover, Nike spokesperson McClain Ramsey had stated that Nike was renegotiating a deal with Rodman as the five-time NBA champ continued to wear the brand’s sneakers. However, Rodman’s eccentric personality and bold moves like cross-dressing and nude photoshoots did not resonate well with the Nike ideology.

The unknown Nike source claimed in an interview that Rodman has ‘crossed the thin line’ and the brand was no longer comfortable with the kind of example he was setting. Moreover, Reebok’s Howard Smith had also claimed to hear the rumors about Rodman parting ways with Nike. Smith stated“We hear he’s as unhappy with Nike as the company is with him.”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by BETH A. KEISER/AP/REX/Shutterstock (6521335e)
RODMAN Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman reacts to a call during the third quarter of Game 5 with the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA finals, in Seattle. Seattle won 89-78
NBA FINALS, SEATTLE, USA

Eventually, unlike Michael Jordan‘s long-term relationship with Nike, Rodman’s run with the brand came to an end in 1997, a year after he joined the Chicago Bulls. In contrast with Nike, Converse was quite comfortable in making Dennis Rodman the face of their brand. Rodman wore several converse shoes during the partnership, like the Converse All Star Springfield, Converse AS Rodman, the All Star 91, and the All Star D-Rod.

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Air Jordan brand earns $2.6-3 billion per year for Nike

The Michael Jordan-Nike partnership is one of the most lucrative business deals in the business industry. MJ earns 5% from all sales of Air Jordans which is around $130-150 million per year. Meanwhile, Nike earns $2.6-3 billion in sales of Air Jordans annually as of now.

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Watch the Story –10 things Chicago Bulls legend Dennis  Rodman cant live without

Thus, the Jordan brand has played a key role in helping Nike reach a net worth of over $32 billion. However, Rodman could not repeat the same success with Nike and had to part ways with the sneaker brand in 1997.

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Rohit Kumawat

625 articles

Rohit Kumawat is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing an MBA in Media and Business Management, Rohit holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been working as a Sports and Entertainment writer for over a year.

Edited By: Satagni Sikder

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