Tyrell Bethel 11/16/2009 COM 161 Michael Jordan: The Man and The Media Icon Michael Jordan is the greatest professional athlete to every play professional sports in my opinion and I bet in many others too. Jordan has been called the greatest basketball player of all time and I really believe that on and off the court. He was the top sports figure in the 90s and became one of the most recognized faces in the world. He changed the way pro athletes are view in the media and corporate world. He was one of the first professional athletes to use the media to market himself and become a global icon.
Jordan was everywhere in the 90s and is still around to day. There wasn’t a TV or magazine that did have Jordan on it at some point selling a product. Michael knew that by putting his face and likeness out there in the world that he could make a lot of money for himself. He did many highly successful commercials and other endorsement deals for his products and for other products in the 90s and still some today that put him on top in the eyes of the media. His most famous commercials were for his sneakers “Air Jordans” and also had a catching song and a media catch phrase “ I want to be like Mike”.
Jordan was also on many magazines covers and also did movies like “Space Jam”. Michael Jordan not only changed professional sports but the culture of not only the US but also the world. Now I will tell you a little about the life of the man they call “Air Jordan”. Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, the fourth of five children born to James and Deloris Michael Jordan. Him and his family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina when he was still a toddler. Jordan is the fourth of five children, having two older brothers and an older and younger sister.
His father was a mechanic at the General Electric plant and his mother worked with a bank. His life was not a rags-to-riches story Mike’s childhood was pretty comfortable. Jordan went to Wilmington’s Laney High School, where on his first attempt he failed to make the varsity basketball team. The Laney’s basketball coach, Clifton “Pop” Herring, decided that Michael could become a better player by playing more time on the junior varsity team. During his sophomore year on the junior varsity, Jordan averaged 25 points per game.
Michael Jordan the following summer worked out on his own and at basketball camps to improve his basketball skills. Jordan’s brother Larry helped him development more as a player. Larry often beat Michael in one-on-one games and taught Michael about the meaning of competition. That summer, he grew four inches and practiced tirelessly. The hard work paid off as Jordan made his varsity team was selected to the McDonald’s All-American Team as a senior. He accepted a basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina after high school.
At UNC, he received coaching from the legendary coach Dean Smith. He made a name for himself in his first year by making it to the title and being named the ACC Freshman of the Year. Jordan’s ever-growing popularity began when he scored the game-winning basket in the 1982 NCAA championship game against the Georgetown Hoyas. That fifteen-foot winning jump shot that made his teammates nickname him ‘Superman’. Jordan was selected college player of the year in the 1983-84 season, and led the US Men’s Basketball Team to an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics under coach Bobby Knight.
Jordan left North Carolina after his junior year and was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the third pick of the 1984 draft. The Chicago Bulls was not a very good team but Jordan’s talent quickly turned things around. Jordan brought a unique style of play and ferocious spirit of competition to the Chicago Bulls. Jordan had an incredible leaping ability and unbelievable hang-time that excited fans in arenas around the league. He finished his rookie season as one of the top scorers in the league, averaging 28. points per game, was named Rookie of the Year, and also made the All-Star team. Jordan led the Bulls into the playoffs in every season, but didn’t make the NBA Finals until 1991, where he led the Bulls to their first of three consecutive NBA Championships in 1991, 1992, and 1993. Jordan played in the 1992 summer Olympics with the original Dream Team some say the greatest team ever made. It was the first time NBA players were allowed to compete in the Olympics. Michael Jordan averaged 12. 7 points per game as the USA Dream Team went 6-0 to win the gold medal his second of his career. Air Jordan #23) But winning his third NBA Championship Jordan’s father, James Jordan, was murdered by a couple of armed robbers when he pulled over one night to take a nap on his way home in North Carolina. Also the NBA also began an investigation into allegations that Jordan had illegally bet on NBA games but he was cleared all a changes later on. After all that Jordan started to lose his motivation and the sense of having to prove something as a basketball player, and he felt it was time to step away from the court.
Jordan decided to try and play professional baseball. He signed a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox. He was assigned to the Birmingham Barons, affiliates of the Chicago White Sox, and played an outfielder position. His presence in the minors grew large numbers in attendance, but his batting was uncharacteristic of Jordan’s athletic skills. In his first summer with the Barons, he batted . 202 with 114 strikeouts in 127 games. Later in the year he batted . 252 with the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League.
By November of 1994, the Bulls had retired his number and erected a life-size statue of him in front of the United Center. (Air Jordan #23) On March 18, 1995, Jordan decided to return to the NBA. He felt like he had something to prove the world. Michael Jordan led the Bulls to a 72-10 record, the best regular season in the history of the NBA. Jordan led the league in scoring with 30. 4 points per game and was named the All-Star MVP, the league MVP and the NBA Finals MVP, as they went on to win their fourth NBA championship in 1996.
He was selected in 1996 as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Jordan and the Bulls continued to win the next two seasons by winning two more consecutive championships in 1997 and in 1998, becoming the first team in NBA history to win to three peat twice in 1991-1993 and 1996-1998. Jordan earned All-Star MVP and league MVP honors in 1998, led the league in scoring in all three years of his comeback as well and won six NBA Finals MVP awards. After feeling like the break-up of the Bulls dynasty was coming he decided to retire for the second time.
Michael Jordan later joined the Washington Wizards as President of Basketball Operations and part owner in January 2000. After a few years as President of Basketball Operations and part owner of the Wizards he got that “itch” to play basketball again. So after losing weight and training he came back to the NBA as a member of the Wizards. Jordan achieved another moment in his spectacular career, scoring his 30,000th career point on January 4, 2002 against his former team, the Chicago Bulls. Jordan was never able to lead his Wizards into the postseason as a player.
He retired for a third and final time after playing his final game on April 16th, 2003 against the Sixers. (Air Jordan #23) One of the great things that Michael Jordan did was make himself one of the most marketed sports figures in history. He was the spokesman for many companies like Nike, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Mcdonald’s, Hanes, Ball Park Franks, Wheaties, and many others. In China, the Beijing Morning Post ran a front-paged article titled “Flying Man Jordan is Coming Back to Earth” and in Bosnia Jordan’s statement declaring his retirement was the lead story on the evening television news, pushing aside the war in Kosovo.
Jordan was the highest paid celebrity-advertising figure ever, endorsing a large number of products for millions of dollars, promoting his own line of athletic shoes and cologne, and the popular movie “Space Jam”. Michael Jordan is a perfect icon for this American and global culture, combining amazing athletic ability, a lot of success and winning, high entertainment value, and an ability to exploit his image for business success. (Kellner) In the media culture, Michael Jordan is a top figure.
Jordan helped make NBA basketball globally popular and Michael Jordan a superstar of extraordinary quality. Jordan received $30 million to play for the Chicago Bulls in 1997 and $33 million in 1998. He earned more than $40 million in endorsements and promotions in 1995, making him the highest paid athlete in the world and reaped in excess of $45 million in endorsements in 1996, continuing his position as the world’s highest paid athlete.
In June 1998, Fortune magazine estimated that Jordan had made more than $10 billion during his spectacular professional career in terms of an increase in tickets sold, television advertising revenue, increased profits of products Jordan endorsed, basketball merchandising exploiting Jordan’s figure, and his own films, businesses, and product lines. Jordan is big business and has accelerated the trends toward the implosion of business, entertainment, and sports.
Nike developed a product line of “Air Jordan” sports shoes around the flying mythology and celebrated him as the very embodiment of professional excellence, morality, and American values. There are many athletes that endorse the Jordan company are basketball players like Ray Allen, Michael Finley, Derek Anderson, Eddie Jones, Mike Bibby, Quentin Richardson, Richard Hamilton, and Carmelo Anthony. Also with baseball players Derek Jeter and Andruw Jones and football players Marvin Harrison, Ahman Green, Jason Taylor, as well as boxer Roy Jones Jr. AMA Superstock & Supersport racer Montez Stewart, and jazz musician Mike Phillips as endorsers. The Gatorade “Be Like Mike” commercial also highlights Jordan’s status as a role model and embodiment of iconic values and high aspiration. A vast marketing cog of television, radio, magazines, and other publications help promote and manufacture the stars of sports and entertainment, attesting to an implosion between media and sports culture, and thus sports and commerce. Indeed, Jordan became an entire sports franchise with special pitches geared toward kids.
In anti-drug ads, Jordan tells the nation to just say no, to avoid drugs, to do the right thing, and to be all you can be, mobilizing the very stereotypes of conservative postindustrial America in one figure. Michael Jordan is a paradigmatic figure of the “hard body” that was the ideal male image of the ’80s, a model of the powerful bodies needed to resurrect American power after the flabbiness of the 1960s and 1970s. One of his popular commercials involved Spike Lee playing the part of Mars Blackmon. In the commercial Lee attempted to find the source of Jordan’s abilities and became convinced that “it’s gotta be the shoes”. Kellner) All in all, Micheal Jordan change the culture of the globe. With the use of the media outlets he became the biggest sports icon of all time. There isn’t many streets in the world that Jordan can walk down without being recanized. The Jordan sign can be seen on billboards, clothing, TV sets, magzines and sneakers though out the world. Micheal made the blueprint on how to make money that is used by many of the todays big sports athetes like Lebron James. There is no more well known sports figure then Micheal Jordan though out the world.
Yes, Pele is a big sports star but he is not as reconzible as Micheal Jordan because there are many people in this country that don’t know who Pele is but if you ask them I bet that they would like to be like Mike. Bibliography “NBA. com: Michael Jordan Bio. ” NBA. COM – The Game Happens Here. Web. 16 Nov. 2009. . “Air Jordan #23 – A Michael Jordan tribute: Jordan’s Biography. ” 23Jordan – A Michael Jordan Tribute. Web. 16 Nov. 2009. . “The Sports Spectacle, Michael Jordan, and Nike: Unholy Alliance? By Douglas Kellner. ” Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Web. 16 Nov. 009. . “Michael Jordan Biography. ” Famous People Biography: Albert Einstein,Prince Harry, Prince William, Michael Jordan, Barack obama, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, JK Rolling, Donald Rumsfeld. 16 Nov. 2009 . “Michael Jordan Biography. ” Air Jordan Release Dates, Sneakers and Streetwear. 15 Nov. 2009 . “Michael Jordan – Biography Biography -. ” Biography. com. 15 Nov. 2009 . “Biography of Michael Jordan – biography, autobiography & memoir resources. ” Biography, Autobiography & Memoir resources at BiographyShelf. com. 15 Nov. 2009 . Tyrell Bethel Michael Jordan: The Man and The Media Icon [pic]