Michael Jordan may be the greatest player in the history of basketball, and depending on who you ask, he might be the greatest athlete of the 20th century. Despite being nearly two-decades removed from his playing days, however, Jordan remains in the spotlight thanks to all he’s done both in the game of basketball and as a business mogul.
Few things can be said about Jordan as a basketball player that haven’t already been said a million times, but his post-playing career might be equally impressive.
The Jordan Brand
Of course, you can’t talk about Jordan off the basketball court without talking about what Jordan’s Nike brand has done. A gamble in the ’80s by an up-and-coming shoe company out Beaverton, Oregon took a gamble on a great, but not yet legendary Jordan after Adidas didn’t even try to sign him. Now, Jordan is a multi-billion dollar brand with its own set of endorsements that stretch beyond the basketball court.
His shoes continue to fetch top dollar, and the sneaker industry continues to be as big as it ever was. Jordan’s shoes both old and new continue to sell for $200, $300, and far more.
The reissuing of classic shoes will cause sneakerheads across the country to line up outside of shoe stores like it’s black Friday, and his shoes were even prominently featured in the hit 2018 film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Jordan the basketball player is the reason that Jordan became a millionaire, but Jordan the brand is the reason that Jordan is a billionaire.
Jordan began his post-playing career with a brief gig as the general manager with the Wizards before his brief comeback playing with the team. Since then, he has been associated with the Charlotte Hornets. Beginning as a part-owner of the team, he led the leadership group who eventually took over the team.
The Hornets have not been wildly successful under Jordan, with the team missing far more playoff series than they made. Jordan does, however, occasionally use the opportunity of owning a basketball team to occasionally go toe-to-toe with his players and compete with them in practice.
Other business endeavors
His reach has gone beyond shoes and athletic-wear, and he remains a selling point on products across the spectrum. Jordan has been endorsing Hanes since the late ’80s, and the partnership remains intact to this day. Every once in awhile, fans might see the legend putting on his old shoes as a pitchman for the company in television commercials.
Jordan has spread his wings past the clothing world, however, and recently introduced a brand of tequila called Cincoro alongside several other people associated with the NBA. While the project is a group endeavor, it is his Airness who is the selling point of the entire product. He helped design the bottle and marketing plan in order to make the premium $1,600 a hit with fans of the drink.
Philanthropist and grandfather
Jordan might have a reputation as a difficult personality off the basketball court, but it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t put his fortune to good use. In 2016, he put up $5 million toward the National Museum of African American History and Culture with hopes that it could educate a future generation about the rich history of its forgotten voices.
When Hurricane Dorian swept the Bahamas, he put up $1 million toward the relief funds as the people of the small island country tried to rebuild and recover from the terrible storm. As a player who was once criticized for failing to speak up about important issues, this serves as a nice gesture to show that he has learned from his past.
Perhaps Jordan’s best recent accomplishment was gaining a title that goes far beyond the six he won in Chicago. He became a grandfather when his daughter gave birth to Jasmine Jordan, continuing the family line and possibly giving the world another generation of Jordan to look up to on and off the basketball court.