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BY Abu Mubarik, 2:02pm April 19, 2023,

How Michael Jordan’s net worth recently hit $2 billion

Michael Jordan opened his second clinic for the underprivileged in Charlotte -- Photo via Wiki Commons

In 2014, Michael Jordan became the first athlete to become a billionaire – his massive net worth was largely influenced by his deal with Nike, which would later give birth to Air Jordan.

Before inking a deal with Nike, the brand played second fiddle to then leading brands like Adidas, Reebok, and Converse.

Adidas was 50 percent larger by revenue at the time, and Reebok was doing better in the market than Nike. However, Converse was the brand choice for many NBA stars, including Jordan, and upcoming players like Larry Bird and Julius Erving, Forbes reported.

Jordan wore Converse back in his days at the University of North Carolina and was set to join Adidas when he was first drafted by the Chicago Bulls. However, his agent, David Falk, wanted him to join Nike, owing to his close relationship with the brand.

Jordan was adamant and firmly told his manager he was not interested. Falk then appealed to Jordan’s mother, Deloris, to convince the then-21-year-old to join the sportswear brand.

He eventually accepted Nike’s deal and from there, started working on his own shoe brand, which led to the birth of Air Jordan. Falk explained to Marie Claire how the name Air Jordan came about.

According to Forbes, Nike first offered Jordan a five-year deal with a base pay of $500,000 per year, triple any other NBA sneaker deal. The first Air Jordan sneaker was an instant hit, racking up $126 million in sales in the first 12 months.

As the Jordan brand got bigger, so did his paycheck. In 2020, Jordan reportedly made $130 million from Nike, which Forbes estimates was four times bigger than what LeBron James earned. 

In the fiscal year ending May 2019, Forbes reported that the Jordan brand had amassed $3.1 billion as revenue. Forbes also reported that the brand is easily “worth north of $10 billion, in addition to the billions of dollars in profits it has generated over 35 years, and its halo impact on sales of other Nike-branded products.”

The over 36-year partnership with Nike has earned Jordan $1.3 billion and counting, and in 2022, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $1.7 billion. The latest estimates of his net worth show that it has increased by $300 million.

This implies that Jordan’s net worth is now $2 billion, according to Forbes. The source of his net worth includes his stake in Charlotte Hornets, a professional basketball franchise situated in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a minor stake in DraftKings.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 19, 2023


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