What Is Michael Jordan's Net Worth?

Want to know how Michael Jordan became the entrepreneur he is today?

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We’re already familiar with Michael Jordan’s legacy as a basketball player, but sometimes his legacy as an entrepreneur and mogul gets lost in the mix of his GOAT status. One could very well argue that Michael Jordan continues to have the most impactful individual brand in the history of sports. According to a report from Forbes, Jordan has an overall net worth of $1.6 Billion, with the majority of those earnings having come off the court.

The six-time champion and Hall of Famer continues to be a powerful earning force in the entertainment industry as evidenced by last year’s ESPN docu-series The Last Dance, and his weekly sneaker releases that oftentimes have the sneaker communities fighting for a shot at snagging new pairs to add to their collections. We’ll be looking closer at Michael Jordan the businessman, and chronicling his evolution.

Early Beginnings

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Michael Jordan / Getty Images

Every story has a first chapter, and for Jordan, that chapter starts in 1984 when he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls. The NBA landscape was a lot different in that era, and players weren’t earning as much as they can command today. Nonetheless, Jordan’s signing with the Bulls marked his first professional basketball contract, and thus the start of his career earnings.

According to a June 2020 article written by Kriel Ibarrola, the iconic Jumpman logo brings in roughly $3 billion annually, and MJ nets roughly $100 million in Nike Royalties.

Other Endorsements

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Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen / Getty Images

When looking at Jordan’s entrepreneurial rise, it’s important to understand that it took years (maybe even decades) to fully build the Jordan brand. While super successful, MJ wasn’t raking in hundreds of millions at the very beginning, and Jordan didn’t have ambassadors signed to shoe deals until he was near his first retirement.

Prior to that Jordan was viewed as the “competitor” which meant his NBA peers likely wouldn’t be sporting his shoe because, well, you can’t exactly wear your enemy's shoes. As number 23 continued to grow the business element of his career, he also signed endorsement deals with Gatorade, McDonald's, and later on Hanes.

Jordan has also partnered with other big-name brands like Coca-Cola, Wheaties, and Upper Deck over the years, and like most other athletes, earned more from his sponsorships than basketball which only netted him $90 million for the entirety of his playing career.

Space Jam

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Michael Jordan Space Jam / Getty Images

In 1996 Jordan signed on to star in the now cult-classic basketball film Space Jam. While nobody knows exactly how much he was paid to do the movie, Space Jam was a monster box office success grossing over $250 million worldwide, eventually going on to become the highest-grossing basketball film of all time.

Post-NBA Earnings

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Michael Jordan / Getty Images

We already mentioned earlier the massive earning power of the Jordan brand due to its hype, popularity, regular releases, and signees, but since his second retirement in 2003, Jordan has also continued to earn money in other areas. In 2010, MJ took majority control of the Charlotte Hornets. Additionally, an April 2021 report from Clutchpoints states that Jordan bought the Hornets for a whopping $175 million, which wound up being an excellent investment for him as the franchise is now worth roughly $1.5 billion.

Surely nothing in this article is a surprise. Michael Jordan has been a force to reckon with both on and off the court for nearly four decades. He’s one of the most prolific athletes of all time who was able to crossover and have an impact on people who weren’t even major basketball fans. Jordans remain the most popular and in-demand sneaker, MJ's presence still commands major attention, and he remains one of the most powerful people on the face of this planet. 

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