Michael Jordan was rated gold for television networks during his hardwood-dominating days. He appeared in the four highest-rated NBA Finals of all time, peaking at 29 million viewers per game in 1998. When he left the Chicago Bulls for good in his second retirement, the number of viewers in the final plunged 45%. In the next two decades, the NBA didn’t even come close, with the top-rated finals – the Golden State Warriors vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers – drawing 20 million viewers in 2016 and 2017.

This weekend, with the closed sports world, MJ is back. The long-awaited ten-part documentary series The last dance, which follows the final season of the Jordan Bulls, kicks off Sunday night on ESPN with a pair of episodes. The series will unfold, two episodes at a time, every Sunday evening until May 17. The series is available on Netflix outside the United States

The documentary was originally slated for a late June release, but ESPN, which suffers from a lack of programming caused by coronavirus quarantines, rescheduled it after fans flooded social media with calls to move the release forward. . The outpouring revealed the depth of the audience love affair with the 57-year-old star, who during his retirement entered the Hall of Fame in 2009, triggered a legendary internet meme and become the richest athlete of all time.

To mark the occasion, Forbes broke the business of being Michael Jordan.

Net value

While most billionaires have lost money in the past 12 months, Jordan’s net worth has grown by $ 300 million thanks to higher value for the Charlotte Hornets, the NBA franchise of which he owns around 70. %, and $ 145 million in revenue, much of it from Nike. His stake in the Hornets is worth $ 940 million net of debt. Jordan ranked No.1001 last month in Forbes” annual statement of billionaires of the world with an estimated fortune of $ 2.1 billion. Jordan joined the club of three commas in 2014.

Tiger Woods is the next richest athlete to $ 800 million.

Play the salary

In total, Jordan earned $ 94 million pre-tax for 13 seasons with the Chicago Bulls and two years with the Washington Wizards, plus the $ 4 million the Bulls paid him when he missed the 1993-94 NBA season for play minor league baseball.

To put that salary into perspective, Jordan’s first contract in 1984 paid $ 2.8 million over four years. That’s about $ 7 million after adjusting for inflation, or $ 1.75 million per year. The top pick in the 2019 draft, Zion Williamson, will earn $ 44 million in his first four years. It wasn’t until his 12th season, with four NBA titles and an equal number of MVP Awards to his name, that Jordan received the league’s top salary of $ 30.1 million. He did it again the following year with $ 33.1 million before retiring in 1998. It would be another 16 years before another NBA player (Kobe Bryant) made $ 30 million. , thanks to a cap on individual salaries implemented in 1999.

Jordan returned as an active player in 2001 with the Wizards, where he was co-owner and president of basketball operations, donating his annual salary of $ 1 million to relief efforts for victims of the 9/11 attacks. .


The NBA made Jordan famous, but it was his sponsors that made him rich. For nearly four decades, he’s earned $ 1.7 billion (pre-tax) off the field from brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Wheaties, Chevrolet and others, and he still features Nike, Hanes, Gatorade, and Upper Deck.


Nike has always been Jordan’s biggest funder. His initial five-year contract with Nike signed in 1984 was worth $ 500,000 per year (approximately $ 1.2 million in today’s dollars), plus royalties. Her catch from last year (included in the tally above) was $ 130 million through Forbes‘account, four times more than that of LeBron James, who has the NBA’s second biggest shoe case.

Nike transformed the Jordan brand into a massive standalone company with $ 3.1 billion in wholesale revenue in the fiscal year ending May 2019, up 10% from the previous year. Even with the impact of the coronavirus, sales for the current year are likely to be higher, according to recent reports from Nike. The company said the brand had its first quarter of $ 1 billion at the end of 2019 and highlighted Jordan as a growth engine in the latest quarterly results.

“What’s most exciting is that we are still in the early stages of diversifying the Jordan portfolio,” said former CEO Mark Parker. when announcing second quarter results. “And we continued our momentum in Q3 with a major holiday launch of the Jordan 11 ‘Bred’, meeting demand for one of sneaker culture’s all-time favorites on an incredible scale. “

Nike launched the Air Jordan XXXIV basketball shoe in September and current NBA players Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum and Rui Hachimura carry him to the court. Nike’s share of the U.S. basketball performance shoe market, which includes the Jordan brand, was 86% in 2019, according to market research firm NPD. It has a 96% share of the larger lifestyle basketball category.


Jordan expected to return to his role as manager and owner of the Washington Wizards basketball team when he retired for good in 2003, but was forced to leave then-owner Abe Pollin. . Three years later, he was back, buying a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats, which have since been renamed the Hornets. He took majority control of the team in 2010 in a deal valued at $ 175 million, largely funded by debt. He eventually raised his stake to 90%.

His investment was just in time for an explosion in team values ​​triggered by three major events: a new collective agreement that reduced players’ revenue share to 50% in 2011, from 57%; the Ballmer bump, which came after former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer paid the Los Angeles Clippers $ 2 billion in 2014, more than three times the previous NBA record price; and a new NBA TV deal with ESPN and TNT that tripled the value of the previous pact.

Jordan cashed in some of his Hornets shares in September when he agreed to sell around 20% of the team at a price $ 1.5 billion valuation based in New York hedge fund managers Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim.


While the Hornets are by far Jordan’s biggest investment, he is individually participated in fundraising rounds for Sportradar, a sports data provider based in Switzerland; helmet brand Muzik; Gigster, a San Francisco-based marketplace for independent tech talent; and aXiomatic. Jordan recently joined NBA Hall of Fame Magic Johnson as an investor in aXiomatic, the parent company of esports team Team Liquid. valued at $ 320 million.

Jordan and three other NBA owners, the Los Angeles Lakers Jeanie Buss, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Wes edens and the Boston Celtics Wyc Grousbeck– launched a super premium tequila brand, Cincoro, last year. The most expensive bottle in the line, Extra Añejeo, costs $ 1,600.

MJ joined the group of investors that bought the Miami Marlins from MLB for $ 1.2 billion in 2017. Derek Jeter, a longtime Jordanian friend, is the club’s CEO and owns 4% of the team while Jordan owns less than 1%. This is a return to baseball for Jordan, who spent a year playing minor league baseball with the Chicago White Sox organization in 1994. (He joined the Bulls the following year with a memorable two-word press release: “I’m back. “)

Jordan also owns a car dealership and is a partner of Cornerstone Restaurant Group, which operates five Jordan brand restaurants.

Chicago Bulls

Not only does MJ have the Midas Touch when it comes to his own bank account, but his magic has also helped others build their own billion dollar fortunes.

In 1985, the year after Jordan wrote, Jerry Reinsdorf led an investment group that paid out $ 16 million for the Bulls. Four NBA teams were sold that year, including Milwaukee, Denver and Utah, with the Bulls being the cheapest in the group. By the time Jordan retired for the second time after the 1997-98 season, the Bulls were the most valuable team in the NBA, and although the team had reached eastern conference finals only times since, its value has steadily increased, although in JordanIn his absence, the Bulls were outnumbered by the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors. The Bulls placed fourth in the NBA with $ 3.2 billion in Forbesannual franchise reviews in February, producing an annualized return for Reinsdorf of 17% versus 6.7% for the S&P 500 before dividends.


Jordan’s multi-million dollar share of The last dance will all go to charities, including Friends of the Children to support the group’s national expansion and work in Charlotte and Chicago, as well as other beneficiaries as yet identified.

Jordan has joined most other NBA owners with a pledge to pay arena workers for games missed during the coronavirus shutdown, and the club donated to relief efforts in the Carolinas. In recent years he wrote seven-figure checks for hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas and the Carolinas, and he’s been involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for three decades as a donor and granting hundreds of wishes.

The first of two Michael Jordan family medical clinics from Novant Health opened in October to serve underprivileged members of the Charlotte community. Jordan contributed $ 7 million to the project. The clinic has ceased normal activities during the coronavirus pandemic and serves as an assessment center for patients with respiratory symptoms or as a doctor’s referral.

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