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1-2-3: Michael Jordan, the Original Collaborator

1 Idea, 2 Resources, And 3 Collaborators For This Week.

Happy Saturday!

The Collab now has 3,300 subscribers!

I’ve been playing with messaging and hope this issue is a good reflection of the efforts I’ve made to improve.

Here’s our new mission statement:

The Collab’s mission is to build a space to educate founders & go-to-market leaders on how to drive demand with collaborative growth.

Does this land? Feel free to reply with feedback.

Thank you to everyone for reading and being a part of the journey.

Now let’s talk about MJ…

But first, this issue of the Collab is brought to you by Common Room - the modern buyer journey platform I’m hyped to call a sponsor. Common Room supercharges your GTM motion by bringing all your buyer, community, and product signals together so you can convert customers faster and drive more revenue.

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The Big Idea

Michael Jordan, the Original Collaborator

The year is 1984.

Nike has a struggling basketball department and they’re known as a running shoe company.

A rookie by the name of Michael Jordan is about to start his first season in the NBA.

While other sneaker companies were aggressively pursuing Jordan, it was Nike who went all in.

Nike colleagues came up with the novel idea of building an “Air Jordan” shoe around the young star and ended up signing him in a $2.5m five-year deal. 

But Jordan’s mother added a crucial clause, insisting that Jordan get a share of the profit from every pair sold.

It opened up a global revolution in the way sports were marketed and players were rewarded.  

Michael Jordan's iconic brand went from a $3M forecast in 4 years to making $126 million in the first year alone.

At the same time, Michael Jordan grew to become arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. 

Beyond the court, his association with Nike has proven incredibly lucrative, contributing to a staggering $1.3 billion in earnings.

Before Jordan, a person was not a brand. Brands were companies.

Michael Jordan changed that.

Collaborative Growth is how companies and individuals partner to grow both brands.

Michael Jordan was the OG that started this.  

The Collab is bringing it to B2B.

Here’s your 5-step collaboration strategy:

  1. Be clear on what you want to achieve (Goals and KPIs clearly set).
    In Nike’s case, they created a forecast of $3M in 4 years and blew past it.

  2. Be OK to pay! 
    Money and/or equity are both acceptable. Michael Jordan received both $2.5 million over 5 years and 10% of the sales. It was a mutually beneficial structure that both greatly benefited from.

  3. Be ready to collaborate.
    Collaborate = partner for more than 1 or 2 activities. It’s building trust over time.

  4. Be OK to start imperfectly.

    This is a marathon, not a sprint. Embrace the roadblocks. Nike designed the first Air Jordans in the distinctive colors of red, black, and white. Despite facing fines of $5,000 for each game Jordan wore the non-compliant shoes, Nike embraced the controversy, covering the fines and allowing the shoes to stand out.

  5. Be OK with handing over the spotlight to the collaborator.
    Nike -> Air Jordans -> Jordan Brand.

The revolution is only starting…

2 Resources

Forrester analysts look at three key trends in AI for B2B marketing and say that using AI “starts with people, not technology.”

II. #befractional by Neil Weitzman

A 5-week live cohort course by the homie Neil Weitzman. Your blueprint for starting and growing your fractional or consulting business. There’s a cost to it, but Neil has been doing this for a while and I haven’t seen much to help new folks in the market. Check it out!

3 Collaborators

I. Morgan Ingram

Morgan has been very fortunate to be named a 4x LinkedIn Top Sales Voice. Now, it is his life's work to amplify people's brand narrative and content. With a decade of experience in content creation, he is focused on leading the new era of narrative-led growth. He is somebody I hold in the highest regard and is the ultimate collaborator. (follow him on LinkedIn)

II. Brianna Doe

With over a decade of experience in influencer marketing, growth marketing, and content marketing, Brianna brings a unique, 360-degree perspective to my work. I love partnering with high-growth brands to build integrated marketing programs that speak to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time. (follow her on LinkedIn)

III. Anthony Natoli

Over the last 1.5 years, Anthony has had the privilege of appearing on dozens of podcasts & webinars (like 30MPC and JBSales), becoming a contributing author for LinkedIn, being elected to the LinkedIn Sales [IN]siders group, and coaching & working with over 100 SDRs and AEs on outbound prospecting strategies to help them build more pipeline as a side passion project. He also collaborates with brands to drive growth (follow him on LinkedIn).

1 Action to help the Collab Grow

Refer your Network: Share the Collab with SaaS Founders and Go-To-Market leaders:

Reply to this email and let us know what you’d like to see more. And a big thank you to all who made it to this point.

Until next week,


P.S. Looking to promote yourself to 3k SaaS Founders & GTM Leaders? (reply for rates)

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