Michael Jordan’s exceptional career as a basketball player, coupled with his astute entrepreneurial acumen, has established him as one of the most prosperous athletes worldwide, and among the richest Black billionaires.
With a staggering net worth of approximately $1.7 billion, Jordan has created a formidable empire that transcends his remarkable feats on the court. Through his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets and the thriving Jordan Brand, he has cemented his reputation as a shrewd businessperson.
Widely acclaimed as the NBA’s greatest player of all time, Jordan led an illustrious career and secured six championships with the Chicago Bulls. Surprisingly, his earnings as a professional basketball player amounted to a mere $90 million.
His unparalleled success as one of the most marketed sports personalities in history is attributable to his endorsement deals with an array of globally recognized brands, including Nike, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Ball Park Franks, Rayovac, Wheaties, Hanes, and MCI.
According to Forbes, these endorsements alone generated a pre-tax income of a staggering $1.8 billion for Jordan, contributing significantly to his phenomenal financial prosperity.
Jordan’s collaboration with Nike, a renowned American multinational sportswear and equipment manufacturing company, resulted in the creation of the iconic Air Jordan sneakers and the Jordan Brand, which significantly contributed to his $1.8 billion in earnings. He has since diversified his earnings into a diverse range of investments within the sports industry.
In June 2014, Jordan became the first athlete and NBA player to amass a billion-dollar fortune after increasing his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets from 80 to 89.5 percent.
In 2019, while retaining his role as chairman and the majority stake in the team, he agreed to sell a minority share to Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim in a deal that valued the Hornets at an impressive $1.5 billion.
Following the sale of a minority stake in the Charlotte Hornets, Jordan made a strategic investment move by acquiring an equity stake in DraftKings, a U.S. daily fantasy sports contest, and sports betting company.
The shrewd investment decision saw him appointed as a special advisor to DraftKing’s board of directors, just one year after selling the minority share of the Hornets.
In March 2021, Jordan joined a group of investors, including Will Smith, Kevin Durant, and 2 Chainz, in a $305-million investment in Dapper Labs, the company behind the virtual trading card platform NBA Top Shot.
Unfortunately, the blockchain-based NFT company has struggled due to the recent slump in the broader crypto markets, resulting in a 22-percent reduction in its workforce.
Despite this setback, Jordan’s net worth has continued to soar, increasing from $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion since January 2021, placing him as the fourth-richest African-American billionaire, following private equity investor Robert F. Smith, David Steward, and Oprah Winfrey.