Michael Jordan with a suit

How Michael Jordan became the richest athlete in the world

This basketball star became not only one of the best players in history, but became a billionaire. And how is he still earning millions of dollars? Read the story below.

  • He was first real worldwide superstar in the world in the sports world.
  • Thanks to him and the golden generation of the Chicago Bulls Team with Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, the NBA franchise expanded his business worldwide. 
  • He also set the terms for millionaire contracts of future athletes and brand advertising.  

Despite most billionaires losing money between 2019 and 2020, Michael increased his net worth  (estimated in $2.1 billion dollars) in approximately $300 million. Wait, what? Yes, you read correctly. He was ranked number 1001 in Forbes financial magazine billionaires ranking, but he is the #1 between athletes. 

How did he manage to be so good at two things? Probably being an exceptional and charismatic basketball helped, a lot. But how many times have you heard about former athletes who became broke after a while? Mike Tyson is the perfect example of it. Michael isn't. 

Michel Jordan celebrating a championship. Source: Ebay

He became millionaire already playing for the Bulls ($100 million in total), and then with the Washington Wizards, as well as playing baseball professionally. He also got sponsorships deals from brands like McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Gatorade and Coca-Cola.

 But his real business started after his retirement. His Nike deal was the start. He developed his own brand within the Oregon company called Air Jordan, which is every year more popular.

Mythical original Air Jordan sneakers for which $ 600,000 was paid at auction

They transitioned also to soccer, for example sponsoring the famous Paris Saint Germain Football Club that has stars like Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappé playing for the team. The sneakers "Air Jordan" became a collector piece, with people paying up to $100.000 for a single pair. He received from Nike alone almost $130 million last year in royalties. 

PSG soccer players at an NBA match: Marco Verrati, Mbappe, Neymar, Thiago Silva and Mauro Icardi

He also bought the majority of the shares of the NBA team Charlotte Hornets, that increased its value exponentially when selling part of the team to a New York hedge fund. Jordan also invests in several tech companies, as well as having restaurants, a tequila brand called Cincoro, a car dealership and several restaurants. Not bad for a kid from North Carolina whose initial dream was to beat his older brother in his backyard. 

Bruno Wahrmann Lockhart

Digital Media Expert. Journalist. Former TV host. University of San Diego Alumni. 6′ 4″ but my mom still calls me 'tiny'+ info

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