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Andre Ward was one of the Jordan Brand’s very first endorsers, signing with Michael Jordan’s apparel and footwear line after he turned pro in 2004. Despite his stature as one of the finest boxers of his generation, he wasn’t beyond getting a scolding from the brand’s founder, especially when a friend of Ward’s was wearing a rival brand’s shoe.

MJ takes it seriously

MJ takes his brand very seriously, and there have been many stories of him calling out people for wearing non-Nike or non-Jordan footwear around him. This was the case with Ward and his friend, who was wearing Adidas shoes when they met with Jordan one day.

"We're all in a boardroom at the facility, he come in there scanning shoes," Ward shared on an episode of “All The Smoke.”

"You know I was good. One of my guys had on some Adidas, though. People that's in that industry, oh, it's serious. So he came in, 'What's up Mike?'… 'What's up with your man?' I'm like, 'What you mean?' I said, 'Bro, I told you not to wear them.' He ain't right for that."


Just because an athlete excels at his sport doesn’t mean he or she will immediately gain the Jordan Brand’s attention. It takes a certain level of skill, talent, and recognition to be hand-picked by the brand. Ward is one of only three boxers that the Jordan Brand has partnered with since its inception. The other two are Roy Jones Jr. and Gennady Golovkin.

"You gotta earn it," Ward said.

"And I think with the brand, it’s about quality over quantity. They can sign a lot of different guys but they don’t sign just anybody. Anyone that signs up for the brand, they have to be the truth. They have to be someone that Jordan specifically says, 'I want this person' for this or that reason."