Alternative history fiction writers are able to imagine scenarios that boggle their readers’ minds, like “what if the south had won the Civil War?” or “what if the Nazi’s had won World War II and colonized Mars?” Now, the people at Sneaker Freaker have joined the canon with “What If Mike Didn’t Like Nike?”
You can read the whole story here, which posits how our world would be different today if NBA legend Michael Jordan had aligned himself with adidas instead of Nike way-back-when. I’m sure some accountants over at adidas will read this story and just cry and cry.
You can also check out an excerpt from the story right here. Take a moment, won’t you, and imagine how your life would be different if Michael Jordan hadn’t liked Nike:
“The year is 1984 and business isn’t great at Beaverton. The Swoosh has been shaken up after suffering its first ever quarterly profit slide the previous year. Once a brand for hardcore jogging kooks, Nike is now stretched thin. Court sports are their biggest seller, but sales are declining, particularly in basketball. The share price is plunging and Wall Street’s message to twitchy Nike stockholders is ‘Just sell it!’ Reebok now rules the roost with their Tubbs and Crockett approved all-white garment leather Freestyles. Nike needs to find the next big thing and soon.
Nike’s college hoops guru Sonny Vaccaro has an idea. A natural hustler and basketball promoter with impeccable connections, Vaccaro has been watching a kid called Michael Jordan come through the ranks. He knows the kid’s going to be something and convinces Nike bigwigs to make an all-or-nothing bet on the flubber-footed rookie. Instead of scattergun player endorsements across the NBA, they devise a plan to put all their chips on the single chosen one. Their pitch is seductive. They will market Jordan as a brand in his own right, complete with his own line of sneakers. Everyone agrees it’s a brilliant, ballsy play that could redraw the sports marketing map.”
What do you think? Would you still be where you are today if Mike didn’t like Nike?