The Converse Weapon and Magic Johnson
Converse Weapon sneakers need no introduction; it was an everyday sight on NBA hardwoods in the late ’80s thanks to wearers such as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
Early Life and Education
Earvin “Magic” Johnson was an exciting college hoops star on the cusp of entering professional leagues in 1979. With two options before him – signing with tried and true Converse for $100,000 cash or accepting an endorsement deal with Nike which offered stock options – Johnson needed to make an important decision quickly.
Converse provided Magic with Weapon colorways based on his team kits; Larry Bird chose Converse; this collaboration resulted in a promotional campaign with the tagline, “Choose Your Weapon,” where both featured together in ads featuring their respective backyard courts.
Converse has sponsored not only basketball stars but also artists, Broadway performers, Pulitzer Prize winners, Texas Supreme Court Justices and civil rights attorneys over its long history. Today it remains competitive by emphasizing style, technology and community involvement to meet customer demands in an ever-evolving sneaker market.
After winning the NCAA Championship against rival Larry Bird and Indiana State in 1979, Magic was approached by shoe companies looking to outfit him. Converse won out over Adidas and Nike (then just starting up).
That choice would catapult the Weapon into the top ranks of basketball sneaker evolution, building upon Chuck Taylor and Julius Erving’s legacy.
Johnson rose to superstar status due to the Weapon’s incredible success; he wore them throughout his 13-year NBA career and led Los Angeles Lakers to five championships while becoming a 12-time All-Star – an achievement rarely achieved among professional athletes.
Achievement and Honors
At 13-years old, Magic Johnson earned five championships during his NBA career and three MVP awards: regular season MVP and finals MVP each time. Furthermore, he earned 12 All-Star selections and stands as one of the greatest point guards ever seen on an NBA court. He is widely considered one of the greatest athletes ever.
He donned Converse Weapon sneakers while running point for the Los Angeles Lakers, and shoe brand capitalized on his fame by dressing him in team-themed colorways of this sneaker and running ads featuring it with the slogan, “Choose Your Weapon.”
Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers personally signed this pair of Converse Weapon basketball sneakers using black felt-tip pen and included it with an authentication hologram from Beckett Authentication Services for authenticity purposes.
As soon as Magic Johnson entered the NBA in 1979, many major sneaker brands attempted to attract him with offers of footwear from each. Converse was his choice, and they outfitted him in their popular Weapon model of that time.
The Weapon was an expansive high-top basketball sneaker designed by Chuck Taylor’s Pro Leather model and expanded upon by Julius Erving’s line of X models.
Winning Time viewers witnessed Phil Knight try to convince Magic Johnson to wear Nike shoes in exchange for shares in exchange for money from Converse; but Magic instead took that money and chose Converse over them, potentially dooming Beaverton brand forever. While such events may seem inconsequential to most, to Winning Time fans and sneakerheads everywhere it meant disaster for Beaverton brand.
Net worth in business terms refers to an indicator of financial health used by lenders to measure an entity’s ability to repay its liabilities, and serves as an indication of health in general.
Converse, Adidas, and Nike all vied to outfit Magic during his early NBA days; in a classic tale of entrepreneurialism versus traditionalism, Magic opted for Converse by accepting both cash payment of $100,000 plus 100,000 shares at $0.18 each as compensation.
Today, those shares would be worth an estimated value of $5.2 billion – an astounding sum that renders even the heftiest shoe deals signed by current NBA stars look like pocket change! Thus, Magic’s decision to sign with Converse can now be seen as an enormous mistake.