Whether it’s Zach LaVine signing a record-breaking $215 million extension, the team dominating merchandise sales across the USA and abroad, or their franchise value ballooning up to an estimated $900 million increase over the last two years, the Chicago Bulls always seem to deal in big numbers. But despite all these achievements, one number eclipses them all, as Michael Jordan’s net worth has reportedly reached a record-breaking $3 billion as the former Bulls legend becomes the wealthiest athlete the world has ever seen.
This massive spike in net worth was sparked by Jordan’s decision to sell off his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets. Acquired for $275 million back in 2010, MJ proved to be just as dangerous of a businessman as he was a basketball player by flipping the asset at a $3 billion valuation.
This deal sends Jordan into the upper echelon of the world’s elite, as he’s the first athlete to ever break into the Forbes 400 list, a tremendous accomplishment that seats him alongside notable names such as incumbent governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, WWE chairman Vincent McMahon, and Star Wars creator George Lucas.
Michael Jordan’s legacy is now greater than his time with the Bulls, as he has become one of the most successful businessmen in the world.
After making the playoffs just two times in his 13-year tenure as Hornets owner, Jordan wipes his hands clean of this and walks away a much richer man. The Hornets will now be passed down to Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall. The former previously held shares in the Hawks, but has instead shifted gears to take on a primary role with their Southeast Division rival.
Although Jordan earned an impressive $90 million in his playing days, that total is nowhere near enough for him to become the mogul and titan of the industry he is today. In fact, the majority of his generated revenue has come via his sponsorships with Nike, Gatorade, and Hanes. Rather than earning a flat fee each year, Jordan’s mother helped him negotiate a deal early on his playing days that would net the future superstar 5% of every shoe sold from the Jordan line.
With the benefit of hindsight, we now know this was one of the most successful business deals made between a corporation and a single individual in human history. Jordan nets hundreds of millions each year simply via the royalties on his iconic line of shoes. Jordan’s masterclass in marketing has helped pave the way for so many others who followed in his footsteps, as Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Floyd Mayweather, Roger Federer, and LeBron James have all managed to generate in excess of $1 billion throughout their careers.
When it comes to discussing the best on and off the court, there can only be one G.O.A.T., and his name is Michael Jordan.