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Reuters/Carlo Allegri
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Influencers are changing the face of commerce for good

Harley Finkelstein
Member exclusive by Harley Finkelstein

Michael Jordan’s Nike sponsorship deal may not immediately come to mind as one of the most dramatic moments of his career. But the story behind it is nothing short of a buzzer beater.

For one, Jordan’s vision—and the iconic Air Jordan sneaker—came perilously close to never seeing the light of day.

Back in 1984, 21-year-old Jordan was a top college star, an Olympic gold medalist, and the third overall draft pick in the NBA. But even with those achievements under his belt, a sneaker deal with a major athletics company seemed elusive.

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