Jim Harbaugh: Michael Jordan 'had me at hello' with uniform collaboration

ByDan Murphy ESPN logo
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

DETROIT -- TheMichigan Wolverinesand Nike took over the original Ford Model T manufacturing plant in Detroit on Tuesday to unveil the football team'snew Jumpman-branded uniforms.

The uniforms stick to the Wolverines' traditional look with an added Jumpman logo. They got an "A-plus-plus" grade from coach Jim Harbaugh, who was dressed from head to toe in all new Nike-outfitted clothing, including his trademark khakis.

Harbaugh said he has wanted Michigan to wear Nike gear since his second day on the job. He credited his son Jay, an assistant coach for the Wolverines, with the idea to link up with the Jordan brand.

"Great idea," Harbaugh said. "It all went into motion and ended when Michael Jordan called me on the telephone and said they wanted us to be the first and only football program in the world to be Jordan. I said, 'You had me at hello.'"

Charles Woodson, Michigan's most recent Heisman Trophy winner, also played a role in getting the unique connection started. Woodson, who helped introduce the new line of Michigan clothes, has been a Jumpman-sponsored athlete for several years and said he took the idea to Jordan.

Harbaugh said he's kept in touch with Jordan periodically to talk about the team and Michigan in general. Jordan will be an honorary captain for the Wolverines' first game in the new uniforms in September.

"I look at Michael Jordan as one of humanity's most evolved human beings of all time," Harbaugh said. "The chance to be on a team with Michael Jordan, to share a sideline ... that was something that was going to be a win all the way."

Several of Michigan's players were in Detroit for the event and said they were excited about the new gear. Senior cornerback Jourdan Lewis said Harbaugh has tossed around the idea of a maize-colored uniform at some point down the road.

Harbaugh said there are no plans in the works for one-off alternative jerseys at this point, but "I'm definitely going to keep an open mind to their thoughts and their ideas."

Nike boosted its uniform profile in college football thanks to the many different looks of flagship school Oregon. Harbaugh said Jordan would like to make the Jumpman brand as synonymous with Michigan football as the swoosh is at Oregon.