Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports

Retired for over 12 years, and 17 years removed from his prime; Michael Jordan is still the dominant name in sports. Amid the recent legal battle between Jordan and a supermarket chain which profited off his likeness, we learned that Jordan name, alone, is worth over $480 million. Also, it was reported by the Chicago Tribune that Jordan recently turned down an $80 million offer to endorse headphones because he values his identity so much.

One company that Jordan has done business with is NIKE and that dates back to Jordan’s rookie season. After a 30+ year partnership, NIKE has decided to create an all-Jordan store under his Jordan Brand. This will be the first Jordan-only store ever opened by NIKE and, of course, it will be in Chicago. No other NIKE products, only Jordan Brand products. There will even be a space above the store that can be used for Jordan-sponsored athletes or for promotional space. Some of the athletes/teams under the Jordan Brand include: Dez Bryant, Manny Machado, Carmelo Anthony, and the University of Michigan Football Team.

Jordan said he’s wanted a Jordan Brand-only store for a while and he knows where his biggest fans are at:

“I’ve been on these guys [at Nike] for some time, [saying] ‘We need to do a Jordan Brand store, and we need to do it in Chicago first…We understand that the brand is so huge now that it’s global, but we understand where it originated…Red, white and black: Chicago Bulls colors.”

An estimate has the Jordan Brand as generating more than $2.5 billion in revenue for 2015 or about 1000% of the value of Jordan’s initial contract with NIKE. Before his rookie year in 1984, Jordan signed a 5 year, $2.5 million contract with the brand that had a NIKE opt-out clause after the third year. They obviously did not opt out and that has led to the most successful brand-athlete relationship…ever. Now Jordan himself is a brand and even though he’s long since retired, “JORDAN” is still the strongest athlete brand in sports.

Ross Kelly is an Associated Producer for CBS Local Sports. He is from Louisiana and is a fan of all sports, but not of any teams (except LSU). He can be reached at ross.kelly@cbs.com.