Over the last couple of decades, Hall of Famer Michael Jordan has become arguably the most recognizable sports figure globally. That has seen his brand continue to expand as time has passed that has helped him strive financially in a tremendous fashion well beyond his playing days significantly. Jordan has seen his net worth continuous head north that has been in part to his long partnership with Nike dating back since he entered the NBA. That has pushed Jordan to the point where he crushed what LeBron James made from the company last year.
Michael Jordan’s financial empire
The former Chicago Bulls great has not only become the standard-bearer in terms of greatness in the NBA, but he has become the measuring bar that many current and former athletes inspire to be off the court.
Jordan has done a tremendous job in fully monetizing his brand to the fullest that has helped him reach tremendous heights financially. He has pushed himself to become the first professional athlete to be worth more than $1 billion. Jordan has operated with a keen eye for business as he has many steady endorsement deals that continue to fuel his evergrowing bankroll.
Beyond all others has been his connection with Nike that remains the steady source of his annual income. It has been the backbone of his growth as a businessman over the years. It has pushed him to an impressive mark that dwindled what LeBron James earned last year.
Michael Jordan made four times as much as LeBron James
Over the last 16-plus seasons, James has become one of the most popular professional athletes globally.
He has earned the reputation as being one of the greatest players to play the game, while he has also gained some tremendous financial opportunities off the court by way of endorsement deals. There is also the reported lifetime deal with Nike worth more than $1 billion.
Despite all that, Jordan still reigns supreme when it comes to getting paid by Nike as Forbes revealed that he made around $130 million last year, which is more than four times what James earned from the company.
Wholesale revenue at Nike’s Jordan Brand subsidiary hit $3.14 billion in the fiscal year ending May 2019, up 10% from 2018. MJ’s annual take is an estimated $130 million, four times more than that of James, the No. 2 earner, with $32 million. Arguably, 16 years after he last laced up his own high tops on the court, more Jordan-branded shoes and apparel are being sold than the signature lines of every other current NBA player. Combined.
James may still be the league’s best player, but Jordan remains the biggest star that the NBA has ever had. He has moved well beyond just being a legendary player, but more of a sports icon that athletes from other professions hold a great deal of respect and admiration for what he represents. It isn’t a shot at James by any means, but more so shows that Jordan’s Brand is timeless and unwithering.
Michael Jordan holds the blueprint
Beyond all that, it speaks to Jordan’s legacy that has continued to grow as time passes along.
Things such as the upcoming “Last Dance” documentary by ESPN will only fuel the prestige and aurora around him. Jordan has become sports royalty over the years, and anything affiliated with him garners a great deal of worth.
James has certainly put himself in the position to become a billion at some point in his life likely in retirement. Still, Jordan is the blueprint that he and many other professional athletes have looked to adapt to their approach to business deals away from their craft.