When done properly, a celebrity endorsement can literally make a company. The most famous example is when then third string sportswear company Nike (behind Adidas and Converse) signed first year NBA player Michael Jordan in 1984.
Jordan had just been picked third in the NBA draft after centers Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie, but Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight really liked the free-scoring Jordan and courted him personally.
When Jordan signed, Nike’s stock price was below 60 cents. When he finished his first three-peat in 1993, Nike’s stock price was $8.80 and now the biggest sportswear company in the world. When Jordan announced that he was retiring from basketball a few months later, Nike stock sunk to $5.20 and when he sent out his famous two-word “I’m back” press release, Nike stock surged again.
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