Be Like Mike

michael jordan 50th sports illustrated coverBeing that we are from Chicago and of the age when we were witness to Michael Jordan’s career with the Bulls, we would like to take this moment to join the hordes that are recognizing MJ for his 50th birthday.  We are not a sports blog so I only bring this up because I want to recognize one of the most memorable commercials for a product endorsement by an athlete ever made, the Be Like Mike commercial.

I don’t care who you are or what your level of basketball fandom was back in August of 1991, when you saw the Be Like Mike commercial, you wanted to be like Mike.  Gatorade took a huge risk signing then 28 year old Michael Jordan to a 10 year $13.5 milliion dollar deal outbidding Coca Cola for the right to use Jordan in their commercials.  If you remember, Coke had introduced their answer to Gatorade, Powerade, in 1990.  Signing Jordan would have been great for their brand.  They didn’t get him and the rest is history.

The sparkle has come off Michael Jordan over the years as we have found out more about him and his imperfections and that’s too bad.  When I watch this commercial though, I’m taken back to the time when he was still a hero and we all wanted to Be Like Mike.

Happy birthday, MJ.