Michael Jordan hilariously wanted no parts of endorsing ‘Beanee Weenee’ beans as he did not like the name of the product.
Michael Jordan ‘graduated’ from the ‘Julius Erving School of Business for Athletes’ and took his teachings to another level by the time he decided to hang up the Jordans. Erving is widely recognized as a pioneer in the art of marketing himself and snagging endorsements based off his likeness, letting his game bolster his marketability.
‘Be Like Mike’ was the moto for millions of children around the world by the time he had retired so it’s safe to say that he most definitely was on the right track when it came to his business intellect and acumen.
Michael Jordan had had a bevy of high ranking endorsements attached to his name over the decades with companies like McDonalds, Gatorade, and of course, Nike. Being named a Wheaties athlete was quite the achievement too has only world-class athletes were featured on a Wheaties box.
In an interview with Playboy in 1992, MJ admitted that he uses any product that he endorses and this philosophy of his led him to reject $1 million.
Michael Jordan did not want to endorse ‘Beanee Weenees’ because of their name.
Shaquille O’Neal seems to have picked up his trait of only endorsing items that he believes in from Michael Jordan as the latter has a strict code when it comes to that. In that same Playboy interview, he was asked, “What [endorsements] have you turned down?” MJ replied by saying:
“Two or three years ago [so around the late 80s], Quaker Oats came to me to endorse Van Kemp’s pork and beans: Beanee Weenees, I think it was called. You ever heard of Beanee Weenees pork and beans? It was close to a million bucks a year. I’m saying, Beanee Weenees? How can I stand in front of a camera and say I’ll eat Beanee Weenees?”
The name of the product is quite peculiar and seems to have been targeted solely to kids. While Jordan never shied away from endorsing products to children, that name seems to have been the deal-breaker and no amount of taste could’ve changed his mind.