Be Like Mike

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. He is also one of the best spokesmen of all time. He built a brand that has become one of the most popular athletic companies in the world. The brand has a cult like following; Jordan shoes sell out quickly despite the high cost to get them. Although the company began as a basketball brand, it has expanded to all sports. They use athletes to pitch their products, and the commercials they have produced are legendary. One of the most recognizable Jordan spokesmen is Yankee legend Derek Jeter. Prior to the 2014 baseball season, Jeter announced he would retire at the end of the year. Jordan took this as an opportunity to advertise the brand by using Jeter’s last season as a tool to generate sales. 

This dramatic, star studded commercial is very effective. It features many celebrities and every day people tipping their cap as a sign of respect for Jeter. The advertisement is very emotional, and most sports fan will get chills watching it. Even people who don’t follow sports or know who Jeter is will be intrigued, as there are many recognizable figures in the commercial. Jordan is wise to include all of these celebrities, so the ad appeals to a wider audience. Baseball fans will surely want to show their “respect” to Jeter by buying a shirt or hat with Jordan and Jeter logos. 

Sports commercials often use the desires of the public to be like the star athletes they love. This Jeter commercial is an example of this, as is this Gatorade commercial featuring Michael Jordan. 

This commercial is very old and therefore, a bit dated and cheesy. But, the message is simple: drink Gatorade, and you can be like Michael Jordan. The ad shows Jordan performing spectacular plays and then shows others trying to imitate him. There is also a song to go with, simply “if I could be like Mike”. Corny, yet memorable. This commercial is over 20 years old, but it’s still referenced and well known. It reenforces the message that Gatorade will make a person more like Michael Jordan. This is a very easy tactic to employ, and companies have been using the hero worship of athletes to sell products for years. Jordan was really the pioneer of this, and without this type of advertising, the Jeter commercial wouldn’t exist. 


Michael Jordan – “Be Like Mike” [Extended] Gatorade Commercial – Original Long Version.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2014. <;.

RE2PECT.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2014. <;.

2 thoughts on “Be Like Mike

  1. Thank you for shedding light on Jordan’s! I never quite knew how they became so popular. I almost feel as if they are more of a fashion statement than an athletic accessory. What do you think caused this?


  2. I definitely agree that Jordan’s have become more of a fashion statement. Maybe that’s because people want to wear the shoes on a daily basis as opposed only on the basketball court? Michael Jordan fans might believe that by wearing the shoes daily they’ll be able to incorporate a constant dose of one of the greatest athletes of all time into their lives.


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