It’s definitely not as glamorous as Nike
In the ’90s, Michael Jordan was known as much as a pitchman as he was as a basketball player. He hawked products for Gatorade, McDonald’s and, of course, Nike, among many others. But there was one lucrative deal that Jordan had to pass on, because he refused to say the product’s name.
In a 1992 interview with Playboy that was later republished on Longform and dug up this week by Business Insider, Jordan says he was approached early in his career to endorse Beanee Weenees, a canned combo of baked beans and hot dogs. The deal would have been worth nearly $1 million annually, but Mike just couldn’t do it.
“Two or three years ago Quaker Oats came to me to endorse Van Kamp’s pork and beans—Beanee Weenees, I think it was called. You ever heard of Beanee Weenees pork and beans? It was close to a million bucks a year. I’m saying, Beanee Weenees? How can I stand in front of a camera and say I’ll eat Beanee Weenees? If I wanted to be a hardnosed 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.”
To put that in perspective, $1 million in 1990 is worth about $2 million in today’s dollars. And Jordan wasn’t even making that much money playing basketball (compared to today’s players, at least). He made only $2 million in his first three seasons combined before his salary jumped to $2 million in 1988 and $2.5 million in ’89. He could have pocked nearly half as much as his annual NBA earnings if he had just stood in front of a camera and said “Hot dogs in beans: it’s not just for vagrants anymore.”
But MJ had his standards, and he went on to become a billionaire anyway.
This is the guy with the perfect March Madness bracket
I wrote Monday about the only perfect NCAA tournament bracket remaining, and now we know who it belongs to. His name is Greg Nigl and he’s a 40-year-old neuropsychologist from Columbus, Ohio.
“I did four. And I almost didn’t fill that one out, because I was actually sick on Thursday, and I filled it out Thursday morning, right before the deadline, and I almost didn’t do it,” Nigl told NCAA.com. “I was lying in bed, I was sick, and I called into work. I almost went back to bed and didn’t fill it out, but I did it anyway because I felt bad because it was my friend’s [group].”
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An Italian soccer player’s father says Juventus owes him two tractors and won’t return his calls. ... A 40-year-old Ottawa bus driver is living out his dream of playing college basketball. ... Peyton Manning fulfilled a dying fan’s wish with a phone call.
Phillip Rivers has nine kids now
This is the highlight of the Lakers’ season
Lance totally stepped on Green’s foot, though.
Big Baller Brand is dead
This guy should buy a lotto ticket
That’s Avangard Omsk’s Maxim Chudinov scoring from inside his own blue line in back to back playoff games.
This freak injury cost Steven Souza Jr. his season
Souza tore up basically everything in his knee and will have season-ending surgery.
Awesome video of a mic’d up soccer referee
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Chris Bosh has his jersey retired
Good on this kid
He almost ran out of the arena
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Oustanding idea from the Dodgers here
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This makes my hands sweat
The animation secrets behind “Spiderverse”
A good song
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