Does Michael Jordan Still Make Money From Air Jordans?

Michael Jordan is one of basketball’s greatest of all time (GOAT). This NBA legend has excelled both on and off-court. Despite once earning plenty of dough during his tenure, most of Jordan’s earnings are now off the court. His career as a basketball player took a turnaround when he signed a deal with Nike that has seen him become the wealthiest retired athlete in the world.

The history of the Air Jordans

Michael Jordan presenting the 2009 Air Jordans at The Event Space in New York City
Michael Jordan presenting the 2009 Air Jordans | Kelly Kline/WireImage via Getty Images

This shoe brand came about after Michael Jordan signed a deal with Nike in 1984. At this time, Converse was the official shoe of the NBA, but Jordan’s agent, David Falk, convinced him to make a deal with Nike after approaching his parents. Michael Jordan was unaware this deal would make him the richest basketball player.

When Nike approached Jordan, they had just created a new technology for their running shoes called air soles. Because Jordan played “in the air,” he was the perfect brand endorser for these shoes; this is how the Air Jordan shoes came into being. During the deal’s signing, Nike hoped to make $3 million, but to their surprise, they made $126 million in the first year. Meanwhile, Jordan’s deal with Nike included a clause for royalties. According to Essentially Sports, Jordan gets 5% from each Air Jordan sale; this is how he has been able to make $150 million per year.

When Nike launched their Air soles, it faced stiff competition from its competitors, including Adidas and Converse. So when Converse failed to make a deal with Jordan, Nike found the perfect opportunity to create a desirable sneaker brand. The deal made them a monopoly in the basketball sneaker business; similarly, Jordan accumulated immense wealth.

Michael Jordan’s current net worth

Other than being a top basketball player, Michael Jordan has proved to be a shrewd businessman. A considerable portion of his wealth arises from the Air Jordan brand and lucrative endorsement deals he made with leading brands in the United States.

Clutch Points reports that Michael Jordan was the first basketball player to earn a $90 million salary per year. This basketball legend has earned over $1.8 Billion (pre-tax) as a brand ambassador for different corporate partners, including Nike, Gatorade, and Hanes. In 1995-96, he became the first baseball player to have $10 million as an annual salary. According to Forbes, Jordan is estimated to be worth $1.6 billion as of March 2021.

Many people, including celebrities, love Jordan’s air shoes. However, beyond a sneaker deal with Nike, Jordan has also made millions of dollars from brand endorsements, including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s Ultra Hair Products, Hanes, Gatorade, Wheaties, Upper Deck, and Chevrolet.

Although Michael Jordan retired over 18 years ago, polls across the U.S. still rank him as the wealthiest athlete in popularity charts. This record shows that his endorsement deals, including the Air Jordan deal, are not likely to end soon. His sneaker deal with Nike is his most significant source of income, although he still maintains endorsements with brands such as Gatorade, Hanes, and Upper deck.

In 2015, Jordan partnered with Mark Cuban to invest in Sportradar, a sports data provider. Additionally, Jordan is among the investors who purchased the MLB’s Miami Marlins In 2017 for $1.2 billion. He also owns a car dealership and five restaurants.

However, one of Jordan’s biggest projects since retiring is his role as a majority shareholder in the Charlotte Hornets. In 2020, he sold 20% of his investment in Charlotte Hornets to the New York-based hedge fund, making about 1.5 billion. Jordan has also partnered with several investors to create a super-premium tequila brand called Cincoro. He has invested in Muzic, a headphone manufacturer. Additi0onally, Jordan has a stake in aXiomatic, which is the parent company for Esports squad team liquid.

Where does Michael Jordan spend his money?

Michael Jordan still makes a lot of money even after his retirement from active basketball and the NBA. The good news is that he has no problem giving it out for the right cause. Over the years, he has been contributing funds to different charitable organizations.

Friends of the Children is one non-profit that receives support from Michael Jordan. This basketball legend has also supported hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas. Michael Jordan is not only basketball’s GOAT but the most successful brand endorser that ever existed.

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