Back in 1984, a shooting guard from the University of North Carolina and Nike formed a partnership that would remain strong and profitable to this day. Michael Jeffrey Jordan’s first deal with Nike was a contract that paid him $500,000 (in cash) a year for five years. That was the beginning of a historical contract that laid the foundation of MJ becoming one of the most known and wealthiest athletes in the world.
Fast forward to 2015, Jordan is now a billionaire listed on the “2015 Forbes World Billionaires List,” alongside fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
This marks Jordan’s first time making the ultra-exclusive billionaire list. Forbes Magazine has estimated Jordan’s wealth to be at an even one billion dollars. Since officially retiring from basketball in 2003, MJ has not slowed down with his many endorsements partnerships. He is still a main pitchman for brands that include his aforementioned Jordan Brand shoe line (Nike), Hanes underwear, and Gatorade among many others. Ten years after leaving the NBA in 2013, he only trailed Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather as having made the most money for an athlete active or retired for the year.
Jordan’s current endorsement partnerships include: Nike, Hanes, Gatorade, Upper Deck, 2K Sports, Novant Health and Five Star Fragrances.
Also known as a savvy entrepreneur, MJ owns a successful car dealership in North Carolina and seven restaurants around the U.S. He’s also rumored to be in the beginning stages of inquiring and building his own golf course. However, Jordan’s current main stream of revenue is from his majority ownership of the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan first became a minority owner of the NBA franchise back in 2005, but BET founder and Bobcats owner Robert Johnson sold the team on February 27, 2010. Jordan would become the first former NBA player to become majority owner of an NBA franchise. In 2014, MJ officially became the first NBA player to become a billionaire after upping his ownership percentage of the Hornets from 80 percent to 89.5 percent which is estimated to be worth $500 million. 2014 was a very good financial year for Michael Jordan, and judging by the news of him making the Forbes list, it doesn’t look like he is going to slow down anytime soon.
Salute, Mr. Jordan.