It's been an unusual few months for sports, with virtually all professional leagues put on halt while the country deals with the effects of COVID-19. The last major sporting event on record was Super Bowl LIV in early February, an event that somehow landed New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton a sneaker deal with Jordan Brand.
Payton, who frequently coached in Air Jordan 11 Lows last season, shared the news with reporter Kay Adams during a chat on Instagram Live. He revealed that he first met Jordan while touring his new private golf course The Grove XXXIII in Hobe Sound during Super Bowl Weekend. The conversation immediately turned to Payton's choice in sneakers.
"The first thing he said was, 'you're wearing Jordans on game day,' " said Payton. "I'm going to make you my first Jordan Coach," Jordan told him.
Payton says he was a bit bewildered by the whole situation, but received an e-mail from Jordan Brand two weeks later to put the deal in motion. "It's Jumpman right now," he says.
Other high profile coaches such as Jim Harbaugh, Juwan Howard and Patrick Ewing are currently wearing Jordan Brand, but those are deals through the respective universities they work for. Payton's apparent relationship with Jordan, which hasn't yet been confirmed by the brand, is indeed the first instance of a professional coach getting a deal with Jordan on his or her own. Saints players Michael Thomas, Cameron Jordan also represent the Jumpman on-field.
There couldn't be a better time to be joining Jordan Brand, hotter than ever following the success of the ten-part docuseries The Last Dance, which has the second-hand prices of Air Jordans soaring. Perhaps Payton's game-worn Jordan coach exclusives will be the next items commanding big money in the future.