Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” Is a Really Long Nike Commercial

That doesn't make it any less entertaining or relevant for Jordan fans

Michael Jordan's "The Last Dance" Is a Really Long Nike Commercial
Michael Jordan attends an event for the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan. (Catherine Steenkeste/Getty)
Getty Images
By Evan Bleier / May 11, 2020 11:19 am

During last night’s installment of The Last Dancethere was a shot of Scottie Pippen sitting on the bench asking for Michael Jordan to come out of retirement and return to playing basketball for the Chicago Bulls.

Pippen’s method of asking for Jordan’s return? Pointing to the Air Jordan logo on the bottom of his upraised Nike sneaker. That’s just one example of how frequently Nike and the Air Jordan logo have been featured during ESPN’s docuseries, which only has two episodes left.

In fact, according to Ad Week, Nike and Jordan Brand logos appeared more than 100 times during the show’s fifth episode, brand exposure that was worth more than $700,000. Though not given as much air time as Nike, Jordan partners like Gatorade and McDonald’s were also featured prominently in that episode.

Overall, the brand exposure for Nike throughout the series has been worth millions. But how many?

“The real value of this series to Jordan and Nike is impossible to calculate,” according to Ad Week. “With every sports show spending time on the documentary, memes dominating social media and a consistent 6 million viewers each week, the true brand value of The Last Dance is much higher.”

Similar to the way The Defiant Ones, HBO’s miniseries about Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine creating Interscope Records, devolved into an advertisement for Beats headphones, Jordan’s docuseries has been somewhat of an extended ad for Nike. But, if that’s what it takes to get someone like Jordan (or Dre or Iovine to open up), maybe that’s worth it. In fact, in these times, it certainly is.

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