Jordan Brand Soars to $7 Billion In Sales Amid Nike’s Revenue Dip

While Nike’s overall revenue stumbled in the fourth quarter, the Jordan brand soared, achieving a remarkable $7 billion in sales. This growth stands in stark contrast to Nike’s 2 percent revenue decline, highlighting the enduring appeal and success of the brand founded by NBA legend Michael Jordan.

08 May 2022, US, Miami: Motorsport: Formula 1 World Championship, Miami Grand Prix, race: Basketball superstar Michael Jordan in the Mercedes box. Photo: Hasan Bratic/dpa (Photo by Hasan Bratic/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Jordan Brand Reaches New Heights

“Our fourth-quarter results highlighted challenges that have led us to update our fiscal ’25 outlook,” said Nike CFO Matthew Friend in a statement last month. “We are taking actions to reposition Nike to be more competitive and to drive sustainable, profitable long-term growth.”

During the earnings call, Friend stated that revenue for the 2025 fiscal year would decrease by “mid-single digits,” including a 10 percent drop in the first quarter.

For the fiscal year, Nike reported revenue of $51.4 billion, a slight 0.3 percent increase over the previous year. This modest growth marks one of the weakest performances in the past two decades, surpassed only by the initial impact of COVID-19 (2019-20) and the aftermath of the financial crisis (2009-10). The previous year saw a 10 percent rise in revenue.

The year-end results are also the only time Nike provides financial details of its wholly owned Jordan brand, which originated from NBA legend Michael Jordan’s endorsement deal in 1984. The Jordan brand was the strongest performer among Nike’s divisions, with a 6 percent sales increase to $7 billion, outpacing Men’s (1 percent), Women’s (0 percent), and Kids (1 percent).

Jordan’s groundbreaking deal with Nike in the 1980s not only revolutionized the athletic shoe industry but also created a cultural phenomenon with the Air Jordans. The Air Jordan line has become a cornerstone of Nike’s brand, generating billions in revenue and giving rise to the dedicated Jordan Brand sub-brand.

The partnership between Jordan and Nike has become one of the most significant deals in sports history. In 1984, with Nike’s sales dwindling, the company signed a groundbreaking deal with Jordan. His first signature shoe, the Air Jordan 1, quickly boosted Nike’s fortunes. In its inaugural year, Air Jordan 1 sales reached an impressive $126 million, more than 40 times the company’s three-year sales estimate, according to Inc.

Jordan brand revenue has doubled since 2020, expanding into women’s gear, non-basketball items, and international markets. While the “performance” basketball shoe market has declined over the past decade, the “retro” or lifestyle segment has more than compensated for these losses.

Nike has signed a new crop of young NBA stars to promote the Jordan brand, including Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, and Paolo Banchero.

Jordan’s soaring revenues have significantly boosted the fortunes of the former basketball player, who earns an estimated $250 million annually from Nike. He ranks as the highest-paid athlete of all time with $2.7 billion in career earnings from salaries and endorsements —$3.75 billion adjusted for inflation. Jordan’s net worth increased last year when he sold his majority interest in the Charlotte Hornets at a $3 billion valuation.

Nike’s stock is down 13 percent year-to-date to a recent $94 and dipped a further 11 percent in after-hours trading following the earnings release. The S&P 500 is up 15 percent so far in 2024.

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