Michael Jordan is largely considered to be the greatest basketball player to ever play the game, but he never made as much on court in his 15 seasons with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards as he made off court in product endorsements. Over his 15 year NBA career, Jordan earned $93 million. Today, he brings home $100 million a year just from his deal with Nike. Michael Jordan has career earnings of $1.7 billion.
The Nike-owned Jordan brand accounts for more than 50% of the basketball sneaker market and made $2.8 billion in revenue for Nike over the past year alone. Nike expects the Jordan brand to bring in $4.5 billion in revenue by 2020. Michael Jordan collects a royalty on every shoe, hoodie, short, etc. sold by Nike. Sales of the Jordan brand for Nike rose 14% last year and has about 30 current NBA players under contract to wear the product on the court, including Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Blake Griffin. Jordan's sells eight times more shoes than LeBron James—the top active NBA star. No one sells like MJ.
While his Nike royalties bring in the bulk of his annual earnings, it is far from the only check he receives. He has been in a partnership with Gatorade since 1991. Gatorade's famous "Be Like Mike" ad initially ran after the Bulls won their first of six titles. Jordan originally signed a 10-year, $13.5 million deal with the sports drink company that continues to this day. Jordan also maintains deals with Hanes, Upper Deck, 2K Sports, and Five Star Fragrances. He also has a car dealership and seven restaurants that contribute to his income
The Charlotte Hornets NBA team is far and away Jordan's biggest asset. His stake in the team is worth more than $500 million net of debt. Jordan's timing in buying majority control of the Hornets could not have come at a better time. He was approved for the deal in March 2010 when the franchise was valued at $175 million. Since that time, NBA values have skyrocketed thanks to new broadcast contracts and the $2 billion Steve Ballmer paid for the Los Angeles Clippers. Today, the Charlotte Hornets are valued at $725 million.
Michael Jordan retired for the final time in 2003, but his name still resonates more than almost anyone else on the planet. The only other athlete with similar name recognition across the globe is David Beckham. Basically, this means that even 13 years after he retired, MJ is still a very attractive product pitchman to companies.
An example of how powerful Michael Jordan's name is comes from the example of a lawsuit the NBA legend brought against the grocery store chain Dominick's in 2010. He sued the now out of business chain for unauthorized use of his name in a steak coupon advertisement that the store put out to commemorate MJ's induction into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2009. The trial went to court in August 2015 and the jury found Safeway, Dominick's parent company, liable for $8.9 million. You might be wondering how many people cashed in the $2 coupons? Two people. Jordan's name is that powerful. Jordan donated the award to 23 different Chicago charities in December 2015.
Michael Jordan has a net worth of $1.2 billion.