Michael Jordan’s Earnings Exceed $1.5 Billion from His Nike Jordan Brand Partnership, But Is It Truly Enough?

Michael Jordan is not just a basketball legend, he’s a financial powerhouse. The former NBA star, known for his gravity-defying dunks and incredible scoring ability, has transitioned from the basketball court to the business world. With an estimated net worth of $3 billion as of November 2023, Jordan’s business ventures that have made him the richest NBA player in history.

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 12: Michael Jordan attends a press conference for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan Shoe during the ‘Palais 23’ interactive exhibition dedicated to Michael Jordan at Palais de Tokyo in Paris on June 12, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

The Jordan Brand: A Slam Dunk for Nike

The partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike has become one of the most significant deals in the world of sports. When in 1984 Nike’s sales were dwindling, the company signed a groundbreaking with Jordan. His first signature shoe, the Air Jordan 1, almost immediately helped Nike’s bottom line. In its inaugural year, Air Jordan 1 sales reached a whopping $126 million, a figure more than 40 times the company’s three-year sales estimate, Inc. reported.

Air Jordan, according to Guggenheim analyst Robert Drbul, is on track to become the second-largest footwear brand in North America — behind Nike. Drbul wrote the prediction in a client note titled “Lots of Air Left in Brand Jordan” on Dec. 12.

Today, the Jordan Brand has contributed over $5 billion in sales to Nike’s annual revenue, which exceeded $46 billion last year. In Nike’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings for 2023, Air Jordan raked in $6.59 billion in revenue — 12.9 percent of Nike’s total fiscal year 2023 sales, Yahoo Finance reported.

Jordan’s earnings, according to some estimates, from Nike have crossed the $1.5 billion mark since his initial deal in 1984, starting at a mere $500,000. His mother, Deloris Jordan, played a pivotal role in negotiating the deal, which eventually led to the creation of the iconic Air Jordan brand, Inc. reported. In 2022, he made an estimated $150 million from his Nike partnership. Considering how much his brand brings to the company’s overall revenues, some wonder if Jordan is making enough.

“But Nike hasn’t paid Jordan enough, at least not in principle. Yes, thousands of Nike employees contributed to making the brand the juggernaut it is today…But superstars — especially enabling superstars — play an outsize part. The coder who in large part built your first software product? Without them, you may not have a company,” notes Inc. contributing editor Jeff Haden.

The Business Empire Beyond Nike

While the Jordan Brand remains a significant contributor to his wealth, Michael Jordan has diversified his investments over the years:

Michael Jordan’s Steak House: Jordan has his own chain of steakhouses.

Charlotte Hornets: In 2010, Jordan invested between $175 million and $275 million in the Charlotte Hornets. In 2023, he sold a majority stake in the team. The purchase was made at an approximate $3 billion valuation, according to ESPN.

DraftKings: Jordan is an adviser and investor in the sports betting company DraftKings. As of June 2023, DraftKings has a market capitalization of about $11.8 billion, according to Investopedia.

Cincoro Tequila: Jordan co-owns the luxury tequila brand Cincoro, founded in 2022.

NASCAR: The ex-NBA baller co-owns the NASCAR team 23XI, valued at $150 million, according to First Sportz.

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