Home » Michael Jordan becomes first professional athlete to join America’s top 400 richest

Michael Jordan becomes first professional athlete to join America’s top 400 richest

by Omokolade Ajayi
Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan, NBA Legend and African-American billionaire, has secured a spot on “The Forbes 400,” a list of America’s 400 wealthiest individuals. This achievement marks the first time a professional athlete has entered the ranks of the nation’s elite billionaires.

More than a month after the Bloomberg Billionaires Index updated its figures to reflect an increase in Jordan’s wealth, Forbes, renowned for tracking the fortunes of the world’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals, has followed suit. Their recent revelation places Jordan’s net worth at a staggering $3 billion.

While slightly more conservative in their estimate, Forbes still attributes a substantial $3-billion net worth to the basketball legend (Bloomberg estimates his wealth at $3.5 billion).

Jordan’s billion-dollar fortune can be primarily attributed to his lucrative endorsements and business ventures rather than his on-court earnings during his 16-year NBA career, which totaled $94 million.

Jordan’s off-the-court financial success has been propelled by a slew of lucrative endorsements and business ventures, including partnerships with industry giants like McDonald’s, Gatorade, Hanes, and, most notably, Nike, where his annual royalty check recently reached an astounding $260 million.

The latest surge in Jordan’s net worth can be linked to the sale of his controlling stake in the Charlotte Hornets, a professional basketball team. The transaction, valued at $3 billion, marked the conclusion of Jordan’s decade-long tenure as the principal decision-maker for the franchise.

Notably, this sale price was nearly 17 times the value of the franchise when Jordan took over as principal owner in 2010, ranking as the second-highest sale price in NBA history.

Jordan’s foray into NBA ownership began in 2010 when he acquired a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets for a modest $275 million. His influence, however, extended far beyond the confines of the basketball court, with his legacy reshaping the perception of success in both sports and business.

Jordan’s remarkable financial success exemplifies the limitless potential for athletes to transcend their respective sports, solidifying his status as an icon in both basketball and the world of wealth creation.

The journey from basketball icon to billionaire remains a rare feat, with only three individuals achieving this milestone. Jordan was the first in 2014, followed by LeBron James and Tiger Woods, who achieved billionaire status while actively competing.

Recently, more athletes are poised to follow suit, as escalating sports salaries and burgeoning off-field opportunities create a ground for financial success. In fact, Forbes reports that seven athletes have amassed $1 billion in career earnings, excluding taxes, expenses, and agent fees.

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