Allen Iverson looked up to Michael Jordan in several ways on the basketball court, but he was also trying to capture the legend’s sneaker dominance.
Jordan has built himself as a name not only in basketball, but in the shoe department as well. With Nike and the Jordan brand, the Jumpman has made a good deal of money in a market that people will be forever interested in.
Iverson wanted to build something with his brand, Reebok, creating a name for the shoe company in the sports world the same way MJ had with Nike and the Jordan brand.
Michael Jordan prob still ain’t forgave Allen iverson for this crossover pic.twitter.com/9GU4XDU7HD
— BIG BABY THANOS (@bigbabythanos) August 2, 2021
Allen Iverson And Reebok Claimed To Have Made $200 Million Being Inspired By Michael Jordan
So, was Iverson able to do what he set out to? Definitely. Reebok quickly rose as a shoe powerhouse after AI featured as their star athlete, someone they could market incredibly well.
Former Reebok executive Henry Gaskins recalled how excited he was to bring someone like Iverson on board to their brand:
“We felt A.I. could help us. Kids were tired of being told, “Be like Mike.” They wanted somebody they could relate to, not worship. Allen Iverson was the most authentic athlete of his time. We designed a shoe for him, not even knowing if he was leaving school. It was the only shot we had of having the shoe ready at the start of the season.”
The move to include Iverson worked out incredibly well. Reebok’s profits skyrocketed as they went from basically “zero to $200 million” in two years after Iverson joined according to Gaskins.
Iverson’s reputation grew to that of MJ’s. Everyone wanted to rock his cornrows and copy his iconic crossover. They also really wanted his shoes as Gaskins explained.
“During the first five years, there was not a person on the planet, maybe other than the president, who would not take my phone call. Everyone just wanted to be around [Iverson].”
For Iverson, this was a dream come true. The legendary shooting guard had always wanted his own sneaker, similar to Michael Jordan, and to get it, and for it to be wildly successful was more than he could have imagined. When he got his first shoe deal, Iveson had this to say:
“That was always a dream of mine, having my own sneaker. It didn’t matter what it looked like; that sneaker was going to look good to me. It was my first sneaker. It was perfect. It was mine.”
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