Bubba Wallace Wins Again as Michael Jordan Throws His Weight Around With a $40 Billion Company

His 32,292 points in the regular season and 5,987 more in NBA playoff games weren’t the extent of Michael Jordan’s scoring prowess. In fact, he just went hard to the hoop one more time and scored again. However, the Chicago Bulls are not the beneficiary. Rather, it is Bubba Wallace and 23XI Racing.

His Nike deal alone is worth more than Michael Jordan can ever spend

Unless he’s planning on adding an NFL franchise to his business holdings, Michael Jordan’s net worth is undoubtedly enough to tide him and the next several generations of his family over. Forbes reported last year that Nike has paid the retired NBA legend more than $1.3 billion since they came together in 1984 for a modest $500,000 a year plus stock options to sell what has become an iconic line of basketball shoes. His annual haul is now well over $100 million a year.

While the shoe and apparel deal has been Jordan’s biggest collaboration, he also did deals over the years with McDonald’s, Gatorade, and Hanes that made it almost impossible for the average TV viewer or magazine subscriber to go more than a day or two without seeing the Hall of Fame player in advertisements.

A few of his other deals over the years were with heavy hitters like Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, and General Mills. The latter put Jordan’s image on a Wheaties box 18 times at various stages of his NBA career and as a businessman since.

The announcement about his latest appearance came this week, and Jordan’s 23XI Racing team and driver Bubba Wallace are cashing in.

Michael Jordan is on the Wheaties box for a record 19th time

General Mills is celebrating 100 years of Wheaties with a series commemorating the elite among the athletes who have graced the cereal box, beginning with boxer Muhammad Ali. This week, Wheaties announced that Michael Jordan is appearing on the cereal box for the 19th time since 1988, which is a record.

In fact, Wheaties is marketing two limited-edition boxes: the widely known orange box that has already started showing up in stores and a gold foil box being marketed online for $25.

“Michael Jordan is an incredible athlete, humanitarian and entrepreneur,” Wheaties executive Kathy Dixon said in the kickoff announcement. “We are so proud to launch the next box in our anniversary series honoring one of the greatest sports stars and most-decorated Wheaties athlete in history.”

Bubba Wallace and 23XI Racing are cashing in from the Wheaties deal

Michael Jordan needs more money about as much as Saudi Arabia needs snowplows. So, while Jordan undoubtedly cashed a small check for appearing on yet another Wheaties box, the real winners are 23XI Racing, his NASCAR Cup Series team, and driver Bubba Wallace.

It’s not difficult to imagine Jordan’s negotiating stance: I’ll help you sell cereal, but you’re going to feed and house my NASCAR team during the season. Given General Mills’ $40 billion market cap, there probably wasn’t much arm-twisting involved.

As part of the deal, Wheaties is teaming up with 23XI Racing in the upcoming season.  Fresh off the announcement that McDonald’s has increased its sponsorship commitment, Wheaties said Wallace’s No. 23 Toyota will promote its brand at the Feb. 27 race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

The arrangement is also believed to involve secondary sponsorships during the season. Wheaties previously enjoyed a lengthy relationship with Richard Childress Racing, dating to sponsoring Dale Earnhardt and making him the first NASCAR driver to appear on their cereal box. The arrangement extended to Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton in later years.

The latest news is a financial boost for Wallace’s team and potentially the start of a long-term relationship.

“To be able to honor MJ as part of the Wheaties 100th anniversary celebration and have Wheaties join the 23XI Racing family is special for our team,” Wallace said. “When you think of greatness, you think of Michael Jordan and his drive for excellence both on and off the court. His competitive nature and determination motivate me in my career every day.”

And who knows? A couple of well-placed victories here and there, and Wallace could be the next NASCAR driver to make it onto the Wheaties box.

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