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“Michael Jordan is playing basketball again because he wanted a burger named after him”: When McDonalds used the Bulls legend’s ‘I’m Back’ as an incredible marketing tool

Samir Mehdi
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Michael Jordan was featured in an advertisement for McDonalds nearly two years after the iconic ‘Showdown’ and it during his 1995 NBA return. 

Michael Jordan is arguably the most marketable athlete in North American sports history. The 6x champion helped resurrect Nike from the ashes by having his ‘Air Jordan 1s’ sell $100 million worth of pairs in its debut year and following this massive success, it was no looking back for Jordan in the marketing department. 

When it comes to the sustenance sector, Michael Jordan was famously affiliated with both McDonalds and Gatorade. The Gatorade deal made sense because the drink was labelled as being one that was made for athletes and hence, marketed as one. So having the ‘GOAT’ promote was quite fitting.

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McDonalds on the other hand, is the poster child for obesity in Western civilization due to their food being incredibly fattening as it is fast food after. Michael Jordan promoting ‘The Golden Arches’ back in the 90s must’ve raised a few eyebrows at the minimum. 

Michael Jordan had a burger named after him after his return to NBA action in 1995. 

As it’s been famously documented all throughout sports media, Michael Jordan left the NBA after 3-peating with the Chicago Bulls in 1993 to join minor league. He did this because his late father had always wanted MJ to step foot on the diamond on a professional level. 

Jordan however, was itching to get back on the court and he did so in 1995, just in time for the Playoffs. He sent out a fax that simply read, “I’m Back,” to signal his return to the NBA. This was of course, huge for the league and no one could stop talking about MJ’s return and so McDonalds capitalized on this hype. 

They had Michael Jordan star in a 1995 advert that had played off his return and hilariously said he only came back to the league so that he could have a McDonalds burger named after him.

Also read: “We would start our teams with Magic Johnson”: Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber and Steve Smith pick veteran Lakers point guard over Michael Jordan and Larry Bird

This wasn’t the first McD’s burger that was named after Jordan as they had one in 1992 for $3.59 that was aptly called, “The McJordan”. This one however, was a meal and was named, “Michael Jordan’s Deluxe Meal”. 

About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi

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Samir Mehdi is a senior strategist for the NBA division at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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