If All Goes To Plan, By 2034 Michael Jordan's Annual Nike Royalty Check Will Be Ridiculous

By on April 8, 2024 in ArticlesBillionaire News

We all know that Michael Jordan is a very, very, very rich man. When we first began tracking Michael's wealth in September 2009, his net worth was $500 million. Six years later, he became a billionaire. Today Michael Jordan's $2.6 billion net worth makes him the #1 richest athlete in the world, and the #5 richest celebrity in the world, behind only Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jami Gertz and Steven Speilberg. As you may know, Michael became a billionaire thanks to his former ownership stake in the NBA's Charlotte Hornets. Michael bought a minority stake in the Hornets in 2006. In 2010, he paid $175 million to increase his stake to 80%. He slowly increased his stake to 90%, and in June 2023 Michael sold the Hornets for $3 billion

Outside of his Hornets investment, going back to the very beginning of his professional career, Michael's primary source of perpetual wealth and income has come from one company: Nike.

His first Nike contract paid $500k per year for 5 years. It was the largest shoe contract ever up to that point, and Michael had never worn Nike shoes in his life before signing the deal. He desperately wanted to sign with Adidas. The Jordan Brand was launched in April 1985. Nike executives were hoping the brand would earn $3 million over three years. Instead, they made $126 million in the first year. Along the way, Michael Jordan became fantastically rich. Thanks to a 2015 lawsuit, we know that between 2002 and 2012 alone, Nike paid Michael $480 million.

Today Michael earns a 5% royalty on the Jordan Brand's gross revenue. In 2022, the Jordan brand crossed the $5 billion revenue mark for the first time. As a result, Jordan was paid approximately $200 million in royalties. In 2023 the Jordan Brand generated $6.6 billion. As a result, Michael was paid $330 million in royalties last year.

And while those royalty checks may sound impressive, at this pace, Michael Jordan's 2034 royalty check is going to be INSANE…



Michael Jordan's 2034 Royalty Check

If Michael is earning $330 million per year from Nike today, how much will he be making in 2034? To answer this question, let's use history to do a projection:

Nike generated around $4 billion in revenue in 1993. In 2003, revenue was $11 billion. In 2013, Nike generated $25 billion. In 2023, Nike's revenue was $51 billion. So, conservatively, revenue has roughly doubled every decade.

In 2015, Nike generated $30 billion in total revenue. This was an important year because it was the first time Nike revealed how much of its revenue was being generated by the Jordan Brand. The answer? $2.6 billion. In other words, in 2015 around 9% of Nike's total revenue was Jordan related. And with his 5% royalty, Michael's 2015 royalty check was $130 million.

In 2023, the Jordan Brand was responsible for around 13% of Nike's overall revenue ($6.6 billion out of $51 billion). As we stated previously, Michael's 2023 royalty check was $330 million.

So, a decade ago the Jordan Brand was 9% of Nike's revenue. Today it's 13%. Let's use 10% just to be conservative. A decade ago, Nike's overall revenue was $25 billion. Last year, it was $51 billion. If revenue continues at its pace of doubling every decade, Nike will generate $100 billion in revenue in 2034. If Nike generates $100 billion in 2034, with 10% being generated by the Jordan Brand, that will be $10 billion in Jordan Brand revenue. If Michael is still earning a 5% cut of Jordan revenue, his annual royalty check will be…

$500 million

For perspective, during Michael's entire 15-year NBA career, he earned a total of $93 million in salary. So if this scenario proves out, by 2034, Michael will be earning 5X his entire NBA career earnings every year from Nike.

How Rich Will Michael Be In 2034?

To reiterate, Michael Jordan is currently worth $2.6 billion. I just did some quick napkin math to estimate how much Michael will make in Nike royalties between 2024 and 2034. The rough quick answer is $4 billion. After taxes, let's say this tacks $2 billion onto Michael's net worth. Add in his liquid assets and real estate investments, which will likely appreciate in value over the next decade, and let's say those assets grow to be worth $600 million. When you add it all up ($2.6b + $2b + 600m), and by 2034, it would not be crazy for Michael Jordan's net worth to be around…

$5.2 billion

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