Michael Jordan was a fantastic athlete and as of 2020 was worth over $2 billion, but how did he make his money?
Michael Jordan, aka MJ, began his fortune while playing in the NBA. Ultimately, he became the richest player of all time. He also makes a substantial amount of money from brand sponsorship deals, such as with Nike as a result of his Air Jordan range.
Read on to learn more about Michael Jordan’s success.
A Household Name
Michael Jordan will go down in history as one of the most famous athletes of all time. There’s a fair chance that even if you don’t like basketball, you’ll have heard his name. He started playing basketball in the NBA in 1984, signing with the Bulls. He’d come to play almost his entire career with the Chicago Bulls, with a brief spell with the Washington Wizards in the early 2000s.
Jordan became widely known as the best basketball player of all time. His ability on the court was well renowned throughout the NBA, as was his personality. He was well-known for his prolific playing style, and his exuberant ‘leaping’ ability. There’s a great video on YouTube that’s dedicated to Jordan’s highest leaps.
It was this ability that ultimately led to the nickname “Air Jordan”, subsequently spawning a long-standing shoe deal with Nike: Nike Air Jordans. This deal has reportedly made Jordan over $1.3 billion dollars (as of 2020) since the signing of the deal in 1984.
This went down as the richest athlete endorsement deal in history. Not only that, but it allegedly was the turning point for Nike, transforming them from an underperforming brand into the industry leader. The massive sales that subsequently followed only helped to cement Jordan’s name in history.
Consistency In Success
Michael Jordan’s monetary gains continued to skyrocket, even long after he’d retired from the NBA. His Nike deal persisted, as did many other affiliations and sponsorships. His brilliant career record on the court may have made him famous, but it would be his business acumen that made him eye-wateringly rich as life went on.
In 2014, Jordan became the first player in NBA history to make a billion dollars. Further, by 2020 he became the fourth richest African-American on the planet, with a net worth of over $2.1 billion. Bizarrely, his earnings post-NBA career dwarf what he earned while playing actively in the league. In total, he made just under one hundred million dollars during his time on the court. As of 2015, he was making that amount from his Nike sponsorship alone, every year.
Staying true to his roots, Michael Jordan purchased his own NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets. This also draws back to his upbringing, as although he was born in New York, Jordan attended college in North Carolina. The team was purchased by Jordan in 2010 for a whopping $175 million. That team was worth $1.5 billion in 2020, with Jordan owning 97% of the club.
Further to the sport-related business dealings, Jordan also owns several restaurants in and around the United States. Strangely, he also owns a Nissan dealership in North Carolina.
The fruits of Michael Jordan’s labor are very clear. The superstar boats some incredible property gains, from a $3 million dollar home in Charlotte, North Carolina, to his flagship property in Florida. This latter property was custom built, and is worth $13 million. He also had his own golf course built, and a custom private jet was purchased for his travel purposes.
There’s a great post on Twitter that links to excerpts from Michael Jordan’s documentary, showing his wide range of luxurious vehicles, as well.
You can’t say Michael Jordan hasn’t worked for his riches. Although most of it can be attributed to some luck, and incredibly lucrative business dealings, it was his athletic prowess that began the journey to monetary stardom.