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Michael Jordan: NBA Legend And His Journey Towards Becoming World's Richest Athlete

Michael Jordan was ranked 1001st on Forbes annual list of richest people with a fortune of $2.1b which is a result of his Nike deal and other endorsements.

Michael Jordan

Earlier this year, Michael Jordan ranked 1001st on the Forbes annual list of richest people with a fortune of $2.1 billion. Jordan retired from the NBA in 2003, where he reportedly earned less than $100 million. However, his Nike deal, endorsements and NBA team Charlotte Hornets have earned the six-time NBA champion a place as the world's richest athlete. 

Also read | Michael Jordan career earnings and Michael Jordan endorsements: Jordan's Nike deal vs Curry's Under Armour deal

Michael Jordan career earnings: How is Michael Jordan the world's richest athlete?

While Michael Jordan was playing in the NBA, he reportedly earned around $98 million. Throughout the years, his salary increased to $33.1 million during his last season with the Chicago Bulls, but took a dip during his two seasons with the Washington Wizards. However, his Nike deal and endorsements increased his net worth over the years. 

Also read | Michael Jordan career earnings and Michael Jordan net worth combined with Kobe Bryant's career earnings

Michael Jordan's Nike deal

Michael Jordan's The Last Dance covers Nike's first deal with the Bulls legend and talks about they landed Jordan his signature brand. He signed a five-year $500,000 contract with the company, more than any other NBA deal back then. After Air Jordan was released, they earned $126 million instead of the expected $3 million. As per Forbes, Jordan now has a $1.3 billion deal with the Nike. 

Also read | Michael Jordan career earnings and Michael Jordan endorsements: Jordan once preferred Adidas over Nike

Michael Jordan endorsements

While Jordan played for the NBA, he endorsed brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Wheaties and Chevrolet. Though he has now cut back on endorsements, he still has deals with brands like Hanes and Gatorade. As per reports, he has earned around $1.7 billion through endorsements deals till now. However, Jordan remains selective with his deals. As per his agent David Falk, Jordan once declined a $100 million deal. 

Also read | Michael Jordan's Gatorade ad could have had Disney song instead of 'Be Like Mike': Reports

Charlotte Hornets and other investments

In 2010, Jordan became the Hornets majority owner in a $175 million deal. Last year, he sold 20 percent of the team to fund managers Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim for a reported $1.5 billion. Along with the team, Jordan has also invested in brands like Sportrador, Muzik and aXiomatic. The NBA legend is also a partner for the Cornerstone Restaurant Group which runs five branded restaurants – Michael Jordan's Steakhouse. Jordan also owns a Nissan car dealership in North Carolina. 

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