Michael Jordan has been on countless commercials over the past 37 years or so. One of his unlikely endorsements was with Johnson & Johnson.
MJ is easily the most recognizable team sports athlete in American sports history. One might even go as far as to crown the GOAT as the most popular American athlete, period.
Jordan’s extremely wide-ranging endorsements include Gatorade, Wheaties, Hanes and of course, Nike with the Jordan Brand. There was a time when MJ also endorsed the lifestyle brand called Johnson & Johnson.
But MJ says that he quit on his Johnson & Johnson endorsement because he knew he’d never put the products to use. It does make sense – as a balding 29-30-year-old athlete, MJ wouldn’t really be the best brand ambassador.
Why Michael Jordan dropped the Johnson & Johnson endorsement
MJ gave an interview to Playboy.com in 1992, at what was possibly the peak of his stardom. In this tell-all interview, Jordan emphasized that he only endorses products that he’d realistically use:
“My time is very important to me, as well as being credible about what I endorse. If I endorse McDonald’s, I go to McDonald’s and if I endorse Wheaties, I eat Wheaties.”
“If I endorse Gatorade, I drink Gatorade. I have cases of Gatorade, I love drinking Gatorade. I don’t endorse anything that I don’t actually use.”
“If I wanted to be a hard-nosed businessman, I could have been in a lot of deals, like the one with Johnson Products. I had a deal with them for their hair-care products.”
“I had two or three more years on that deal when I started losing my hair. So I forfeited the deal. But if I had wanted to be greedy, I could’ve said, ‘Screw you, you didn’t know my hair was falling out, so you owe me money.’ But I didn’t.”