Jared asked in SportsBasketball · 4 weeks ago

Why is Michael Jordan more popular than other GOATs like Wayne Gretzky and Babe Ruth and Pele and Muhammad Ali?

Even if Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time, why is there still so much attention on him almost two decades after he retired for good? Hall of Fame athletes from other sports do not get all these films and commercials and ESPN attention on them?

Nike is pretty much keeping the legend of MJ alive just so they can sell more sneakers. If it wasn't for his shoe line, people wouldn't pay any more attention to Michael Jordan than they do to Joe Montana or any other phenomenal athlete.

5 Answers

Relevance
  • 4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    First, note how that fame was gained.....note those who are still propping up that fame today...

    Notice that the answers are the same?

    For all his greatness as a player (and he was, in my opinion, one of the greatest American athletes of all time), his "cross-over" fame was very much a result of the growing influence of the mega-media corporations and their partnership with other mega-corporations.

    When Jordan first turned pro in 1984, there were over 200 independent media companies in the USA alone.... By the time Jordan won his final championship with the Bulls in 1998, six mega-media companies controlled over 90% of everything seen, heard and read in print, on radio and on TV...

    By controlling what Americans watched, these companies controlled what Americans bought...and companies like Nike turned Jordan into a full-line "lifestyle."  It wasn't just about T-shirts and jerseys, people wanted to wear what Mike wore on the golf course and to the supermarket...they wanted his sunglasses and his Kangol hats.

    Jordan established the concept of "branding" now common among athletes that represent themselves first, their endorsed products second, their agencies third and their teams a distant fourth.....maybe....

    And that part brings us to the "why do they STILL push him" question... Look around at what the league, ESPN and the nature of "celebrity athletes" has become.  By pushing "style" for decades they have completely run out of substance...and the vapid, image-based culture of today simply cannot connect to today's athletes in the same way.

    So Nike and ESPN push Jordan because Jordan continues to sell their products....and one reason his name still sells is because he had the game to back it up.

  • bill
    Lv 4
    3 weeks ago

    Being black helps these days.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Basketball is more popular than hockey and he's more recent than the others.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Jordan was better at his sport than Gretzky or Ali, I would probably say Pele too but i don't know enough about soccer. The only real comparison. is Ruth. 

    The thing is, even people who realize Jordan was great don't realize how great Jordan was. Ali was a great boxer but he tends to be a little overrated, 

    Jordan is always underrated

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 4 weeks ago

    Sorry, no one comes close the popularity that Babe Ruth experienced during his career and many years afterwards. And Jordan isn't a particularly pleasant person at times.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.