Many of the world’s biggest sport stars have fortunes running into hundreds of millions of dollars. However, only a few of them can boast of belonging to the billion-dollar club. One such person is Michael Jordan. Arguably the greatest basketballer of all time, MJ had a glorious career which saw him set several records and win six championships. He has since retired and built up a fortune of $1.9 billion, making him one of the richest athletes ever. So, how did Michael Jordan come about his insane net worth? Read on and discover the details below.
How Michael Jordan achieved a Net Worth of $1.9 billion
Michael Jordan’s astonishing net worth stems from his basketball career, business enterprises, endorsement deals, as well as his ownership stake in some sports teams. Even though he has since retired, MJ remains one of the highest-earning athletes in the world. He still makes more money than active basketballers such as Steph Curry and LeBron James.
Earnings from his basketball career
MJ was drafted into the NBA in 1984. He spent a total of 15 years in the league during which he won six championships. He also collected numerous individual accolades including All-Star Honours (14x), NBA MVP (5x), and NBA Finals MVP (6x). Despite the sheer brilliance of his career, Jordan only made a total of $90 million in salaries during his entire NBA career. In fact, 70% of that amount ($63 million) only came in his final two seasons. It therefore means that the shooting guard only earned a salary of $27 million in his first 13 years in the league!
Income from Nike Endorsement (Air Jordan)
Another lucrative source of Michael Jordan’s net worth is his long-term association with Nike. In 1984, the then-rookie player signed a 5-year sponsorship deal with Nike worth $250,000 per annum. Under the deal, Nike created a signature pair of sneakers for Jordan known as Air Jordan. The shooting guard first wore it in early 1984 before it was released to the wider public later that year. The Air Jordan sold out like hotcakes as Nike made $70 million in its first month of sale alone. It also led to a spate of crimes as several people were robbed of their precious sneakers at gunpoint.
The Air Jordan witnessed a decline in popularity in the 2000s, and Nike embarked on several initiatives to revamp the brand. They signed up celebrities, such as Travis Scott, in order to appeal to the younger ones. They also released new versions of their retro style in order to retain their old customers. This gamble paid off as the Air Jordan have become popular once more. The brand now generates revenue of $3 billion per annum, out of which MJ still receives a cut. In 2019 alone, the NBA legend received $130 million in royalties.
Income from other Endorsement Deals
Michael Jordan has been described as one of the most marketed sports figures in history, and the reason is not farfetched. Asides his long-term association with Nike, the Olympic gold medallist has also represented brands such as Coca-Cola, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Rayovac, Wheaties, Upper Deck, and Hanes. Hanes is a clothing brand, and MJ has served as its spokesperson for more than three decades.
Ownership Stake in the Charlotte Hornets
In June 2006, MJ purchased a minority stake in the Charlotte Hornets (then known as the Charlotte Bobcats). Four years later, the legendary shooting guard upped the ante by purchasing the majority stake in the team for the sum of $280 million. The deal was unanimously approved by the NBA Governors Board and Jordan became the first former player to acquire majority ownership of an NBA team. He also became the first African-American to achieve such a feat. The Hornets have since witnessed a tremendous rise in value (presently $1.3 billion) and Michael Jordan owns 97% equity stake. The franchise has therefore greatly contributed to his net worth. In fact, it was a rise in Hornets’ value that sent the retired player into the billionaires’ club for the first time in 2014.
Michael Jordan’s net worth has also benefited from his several business enterprises. The NBA legend owns a car dealership in Durham, North Carolina. The dealership previously had an association with Lincoln-Mercury but is presently affiliated to Nissan. Jordan has also made forays into the food industry. He owns several restaurants and steakhouses including Michael Jordan’s Restaurant (Chicago), Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse in (Connecticut, Washington, and Chicago), and 1000 North (Jupiter, Florida).