February 12, 2024
Michael Jordan’s Game-Changing Investment Propels Michigan To National Football Glory
Back in 2015, basketball legend Michael Jordan took a leap into the realm of college football apparel by partnering with the Michigan Wolverines.
In a strategic move back in 2015, basketball legend Michael Jordan took a leap into the realm of college football apparel by partnering with the Michigan Wolverines, according to Sports Illustrated. Little did anyone know, this investment would turn into a triumphant celebration in 2024 as Michigan secured its first national title since 1997.
From the skybox, Jordan, alongside notable figures like Derek Jeter and Travis Scott, exuberantly cheered as the Wolverines dominated Washington, claiming victory with a score of 34-13 in the CFP National Championship back in January.
The genesis of this groundbreaking collaboration traces back to Michigan’s head coach, Jim Harbaugh, who embarked on a mission in 2015 to revive the Wolverines’ football program. It was during this period that the school’s shoe contract had ended, coincidentally aligning with Jordan Brand’s desire to make its mark in college football.
“When we first took the job here, there was a shoe contract that was up,” recalled Harbaugh in 2018. “There’s a lot of good shoes out there, etc. My son, Jay, came up with the idea. He’s like, ‘There’s no Jordan football school. That would be pretty awesome.'”
This idea birthed a monumental collaboration, resulting in a 15-year, $173.8 million deal between the University of Michigan and the Jordan Brand, solidifying the iconic Jumpman logo as the school’s exclusive apparel sponsor. At the time, this agreement made headlines as the most substantial apparel deal in college football, a distinction it held until Ohio State secured a 15-year, $252 million deal with Nike.
Desmond Howard, a Michigan alumnus and former Super Bowl MVP, emphasized the transformative impact of the partnership on the school’s recruiting efforts. The association with Jordan Brand elevated Michigan’s appeal to highly sought-after recruits, offering them the unique opportunity to sport exclusive Jordan Brand apparel and shoes while on the field.
“I believe it all started when they (Michigan) signed with Jumpman because when they did that, it gave them credibility with a lot of recruits they wanted,” commented Howard, underscoring the influential role the collaboration played in the Wolverines’ ability to attract top-tier talent.
Michael Jordan’s strategic investment in the Michigan Football team through the Jordan Brand has not only reshaped the landscape of college football apparel but has also become a symbol of success as Michigan clinches the national title after years of dedicated effort and partnership.