In the never-ending debate of the greatest player in the history of the National Basketball Association, one name is often front and center – Michael Jefferey Jordan. His Airness has been the golden standard for on-court excellence since he first graced the hardwood in 1984 and has been a source of inspiration for generations of basketball players and the notable players who have defined them like Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant and four-time NBA MVP and All-Time scoring leader LeBron James. Away from the court, Jordan has also established himself as a titan in business by carefully crafting and capitalizing on his globally-recognized brand, allowing him to amass an enviable fortune over the years and yet another title – that of being the NBA’s first billionaire.
What is Michael Jordan’s net worth? Michael Jordan has a net worth of around $1.7 billion as of March 2023. Other reputable sources however suggest that the six-time NBA champion is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.2 billion on account of his numerous investments and endorsement deals across different industries. Jordan’s fortune is only set to grow in the coming years as he is believed to be in serious talks to sell his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets – a franchise that he purchased for around $275 million and is currently valued at upwards of $1.6 billion.
Michael Jordan’s Legendary NBA Career
Unlike Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Patrick Ewing, and LeBron James, Jordan was not tipped to be a huge NBA super-star despite being a top prospect in both his high school and college days. It wasn’t his talent that was in doubt, more his style of play.
Most self-proclaimed Jordan fans often cite his game-winning jumper in the University of North Carolina’s 1982 NCAA Championship victory over the then Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown as the earliest sign of Jordan’s notoriety. The future five-time NBA MVP had however shown glimpses of greatness as early as high school and had even earned a selection to the 1981 McDonald’s All-American game.
After being selected as the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft, Jordan quickly became one of if not the best player in the league and averaged an impressive 28.2 points per game on 51.5% shooting in his maiden campaign en route to winning the 1985 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Despite leading the league in scoring from the late 1980s, success proved to be elusive in an era that was dominated by Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers, Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics, and Isaiah Thomas’ “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons. The Bulls had also done little to capitalize on Jordan’s undeniable on-court prowess until they drafted forward Scottie Pippen and brought on master tactician Phil Jackson as head coach.
All the pieces finally clicked in 1991 as Jordan led the Bulls to three consecutive NBA titles with victories over the Lakers, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Phoenix Suns respectively. The 14-time NBA All-Star then briefly retired in early October 1993 and tried his hand at baseball in honor of his late father who was murdered in late July 1993.
His passion for basketball nevertheless prompted him to come out of retirement to rejoin the Bulls in mid-March of 1995. After regaining his basketball form and “body” that season and receiving some much-needed reinforcements with the addition of rebounding specialist Dennis Rodman, Jordan led the Bulls to their second three-peat in eight years with victories over the now-defunct Seattle SuperSonics (1996) and Utah Jazz (1997,1998) respectively.
How Much Does Michael Jordan Make from Nike?
Despite being the face of the league for the better part of a decade and a half, Jordan made just under $94 million in salary over the span of his illustrious NBA career. Like most players in his era, most of Jordan’s wealth today is attributed to his continuing relationship with top global brands like shoe and sports apparel giant Nike.
Unknown to many, Jordan’s long-term partnership with Nike almost never happened as the three-time NBA All-Star Game MVP initially preferred signing a shoe deal with Adidas, which was then the bigger and more widely-recognized company.
His mother however convinced him to sign a five-year $2.5 million shoe deal with Nike that came with stock options and an opportunity to start his own subsidiary which was actualized with the establishment of Jordan Brand.
The decision has since paid huge dividends with his signature shoe – the Air Jordan – now accounting for well over 50% of all shoe sales. The brand rakes in upwards of $2.5 billion a year with Jordan earning a 5% royalty on all shoes sold translating to anywhere from $80 million to $120 million, or even more.
What Endorsements Does Michael Jordan Have?
Jordan’s unrivaled popularity makes him arguably the most marketable player in NBA history. The three-time NBA steals leader acts or has also served as a brand ambassador or spokesman for a number of top brands. Some of the notable brands that have been associated with the two-time Olympic gold medalist include:
- 2K Sports.
- Upper Deck.
- Ball Park Franks.
- Five Star Fragrances.
Most of Jordan’s wealth has been a result of his numerous endorsements which are believed to have earned him upwards of $1.4 billion during his career.
What Businesses Does Michael Jordan Have?
The 1988 Defensive Player of the Year has also proven to be quite the shrewd businessman over the years and has used status as a cultural icon to start businesses that have since had great success. Among the many businesses and investments that Jordan has made are:
- The Charlotte Hornets – Jordan initially purchased a controlling interest in the Carolina-based team in 2010. He further increased his ownership stake in the franchise in 2014 (to around 89.5%) to become the first athlete/former athlete billionaire in history.
- Cincoro Tequila – the two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion launched the tequila business in 2019.
- Grove XXIII (Slaughterhouse 23) – the nine-time All-Defensive First Team honoree built the exclusive golf course in 2019.
- Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse – a popular eatery with at least seven locations in Chicago, Connecticut, and Washington.
- 1000 North – a renowned car dealership located in Jupiter, Florida.
- Gigster – a tech startup that makes it easier for companies to find freelancers like software designers and project managers.