Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson has joined an elite club of billionaire athletes. According to a new Forbes report, the NBA Hall of Famer is a billionaire, making him the fourth professional athlete to reach this feat.
His new economic status follows a lucrative post-basketball career as an investor in professional sports teams, movie theaters, Starbucks cafes, and a health insurance provider, the magazine writes. Forbes estimates Johnson’s net worth to be $1.2 billion.
It says his net worth is a result of his stakes in the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers and the MLS’ LAFC. It is also due to his significant investments in a slate of industries, including a 60% stake in Iowa-based life insurance company EquiTrust, which he purchased in 2015.
Forbes further reports that EquiTrust makes up the largest portion of Johnson’s personal net worth. The platform notes that since the NBA legend bought the company, its assets have skyrocketed from $16 billion to $26 billion, with annual revenues of roughly $2.6 billion.
Born Earvin Johnson Jr., Johnson is an NBA Hall of Famer who was first inducted in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the Dream Team. His illustrious career in the NBA spanned seventeen years, from 1979 to 1996.
First drafted in 1979, Johnson entered the league and played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. His career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, 12 All-Star games, and 10 All-NBA First and Second Team nominations.
While enjoying his career as an NBA player, Johnson had an eye for business. His desire to become a businessman when his basketball career ended made him build a connection with legendary super-agent Michael Ovitz to teach him how to be a successful businessman.
Since retiring from the NBA, he has made one business move after the other. He has over 100 Starbucks stores in several cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, San Diego, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. Additionally, he owned several Burger King restaurants in diverse locations. In 2004, he bought 30 Burger King restaurants in Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, and Miami, and later sold them for $15 million, The Sports Rush reported.
In 2015, Johnson made a big push into the financial services sector. He added a 60% acquisition of a Life Insurance Company to his business portfolio. At the time he made the acquisition, USA Today reported that EquiTrust Life Insurance Company managed $14.5 billion in annuities, life insurance, and other financial products.
A year after his venture into the financial services sector, he opened the first-ever 24-Hour Fitness Magic Johnson Sports club in Oakland. The Oakland club is “47,000 square feet in size and has an array of exercise equipment and programs, an indoor pool, spa, steam room, sauna, and a regulation NBA-sized basketball court,” according to the San Francisco Business Times. Johnson also came to have a stake in other businesses, including a New York-based magazine and television.
He is now only the fourth professional athlete to be identified as a billionaire by Forbes, following NBA legends Michael Jordan and LeBron James, as well as golfer Tiger Woods.