Michael Jordan was the first billionaire athlete in history, which accounts for something. He won’t be in that position if his game sucks or he doesn’t have the personality that comes along with it. Aside from being the best basketball player of all time, MJ is also a successful businessman. Do you know how many businesses does Michael Jordan own exactly? If you don’t, this article got the whole spill for you.
For How Long Did Michael Jordan Play Basketball?
Michael Jordan had one of the most fantastic basketball careers ever, but it’s also one of the most conventional. He did play 15 seasons in the NBA (more like 14 and a quarter), but it spanned 19 years.
How so? It’s because MJ retired twice from basketball. He quit the NBA to play minor league basketball in 1993 but decided to come back towards the tail end of the 1994-95 season and played 17 games. Then, after winning his sixth and final championship in 1998, His Airness played two more seasons with the Washington Wizards. He retired after the 2002-03 season for good.
How Much Did Michael Jordan Make Playing in the NBA?
Michael Jordan made a considerable sum of money during his playing years, but it’s dwarfed by the massive nine-figure contracts we see players sign today. Across 15 seasons, Jordan made $93.7 million in salaries.
When the Bulls selected Jordan as the third overall pick in the 1984 draft, he had a $550,000 salary during that year. (The third overall pick in the 2021-22 season made $6.72 million in his first year.) His yearly compensation did not hit seven figures until 1988-89 when he signed an eight-year deal worth $25.7 million. He would play under that contract for the whole duration, which means he is earning less than $4 million a season.
Jordan’s salary reached unprecedented levels in the 1996-97 season. By then, he was the highest-paid player in the NBA by a large margin with a record-setting $30.1 million deal to play for one season. Dennis Rodman, the second-highest paid player on the team, was on the payroll for “only” $9 million. That year, Jordan’s salary accounts for more than half of the team’s salary cap!
Of course, we know Jordan returned the Bulls for the “Last Dance” in 1998. He topped the previous salary as he signed for a one-year, $33.1 million deal. The last two seasons he played with the Wizards were for $2,030,000, bringing the total to $93.7 million.
What Business Ventures Has Michael Jordan Invested In?
As you can see, Michael Jordan’s career earnings aren’t that much compared to the standard pay for NBA superstars today. In comparison, LeBron James’ recent two-year extension with the Lakers will have net him over $500 million in career earnings, tops in the history of the NBA.
So, how did Michael Jordan become a billionaire? The answer is through business ventures. Aside from doing commercials and stuff, Michael Jordan, the businessman, is probably just as savvy as Michael Jordan, the basketball superstar. That is why the listed Michael Jordan net worth is already $1.7 billion!
How many businesses does Michael Jordan own? See and find out.
Seven years after retiring from basketball, Jordan returned to the sport in 2010 as an owner. MJ bought the majority stake of the Charlotte Bobcats for $175 million. After the original Hornets franchise changed its name to the Pelicans, Jordan swooped in and switched the Bobcats back to the Hornets.
As the NBA became more popular, the Hornets’ ownership is probably Michael Jordan’s most successful business venture, to date. Under his direction, the franchise’s worth increased dramatically in just four years. Jordan is the only NBA player to own a majority stake in an NBA team. He owns 97% of the Hornets franchise, which is now worth more than $1.5 billion.
According to Forbes, the franchise’s value has climbed by 757% since Jordan took control. It is probably the single most crucial factor why he became a billionaire.
Jordan’s purchase of the Charlotte Hornets couldn’t have come at a better moment. He invested just in time for three significant events to take place:
- The Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011 slashed the revenue allocation to players from 57% to 50% in favor of the owners.
- Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers from Donald Sterling in 2014 for $2 billion. That single transaction raised the valuation of all NBA teams, including Jordan’s Hornets. As a result, MJ was able to sell 20% of his stake to a group of New York investors for $1.5 billion!
- More lucrative TV deals between TNT and ESPN worth $24 billion over nine years.
The story behind Cincoro tequila was genuinely fascinating. It was actually owned by Jordan and four other basketball power brokers– Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens and Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck as well as his then-fiancée (now wife) Emilia Fazzalari. The idea originated from a mistaken reservation at a high-end New York pizza joint. They all list Tequila as their drink of choice, so the business was on.
The company, Cinco Spirits Group, is a new kid on the block. But according to recent data, they have been doing pretty well, generating almost $3 million in annual revenue and with plans to expand to Asia.
Celebrities and restaurants are always a business partnership made in heaven. The same is true in Michael Jordan’s case. Perhaps the most successful Jordan-brand restaurant was Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse. Jordan founded the fine-dining restaurant but handed the keys over to the Glazier Group.
Under the Michael Jordan Steaks brand, the company sells USDA Prime Steaks, sauces, condiments, grillware, and memorabilia. The steaks may be ordered online and delivered straight to clients across the country.
Another Jordan restaurant is the MJ23 Sports Bar & Grill. As you may have guessed, it’s not a fine-dining restaurant but a sports-themed one. It serves beers, cocktails, burgers, chicken, and pretty much everything that you would get in an American restaurant.
23X1 Team in NASCAR
Jordan has always been a big fan of NASCAR, and when the opportunity of owning a team popped up, there were no second thoughts.
Jordan has teamed up with former Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin to co-own a new race team, 23X1, named after Jordan’s No. 23 jersey number. Jordan’s love of racing will be satisfied, as will NASCAR’s desire for more diversity in the garage and broader fan appeal.
Other Business Ventures
Aside from having an NBA and NASCAR team, Jordan also joined the group that bought MLB’s Miami Marlins in 2017. That deal was worth $1.2 billion. Jordan also swung a deal with DraftKings, agreeing to become a special consultant in exchange for an equity position in the sports betting and fantasy sports startup. Given Jordan’s penchant for betting and gambling, the partnership with DraftKings seems inevitable.
Jordan also participated in funding rounds for these companies and products:
- Sports data provider SportRadar
While the Michael Jordan business ventures are booming, the same can be said of his endorsements. The man is as marketable as ever and has built relationships with brands from different spaces.
For the longest time, Jordan has been the face of, well, the Jordan brand under the Nike banner. Estimates place the total value of the Nike Air Jordan brand at above $3 billion as of 2021, with MJ personally pocketing more than US$1.3 billion since that fateful day in 1984, when he chose to sign with Nike over Converse and Adidas. As much as Nike made Jordan the billionaire he is today, MJ also made Nike rich and practically put the brand on the map.
Aside from Nike, Jordan also endorsed Gatorade. He initially signed up for a 10-year ride in 1991 for $13.5 million. The tagline “Be Like Mike” stuck and influenced fans worldwide to hoop and drink Gatorade. After the contract expired, Jordan renewed his Gatorade ties with an $18 million deal.
Hanes won the Jordan endorsement lottery in 1989 and hasn’t looked back since. Jordan has been with the apparel brand for over 30 years and continues to be its biggest ambassador.
Other products that Jordan endorsed at some point are:
- Upper Deck
- Coca-cola (then switched to Gatorade)
Does MJ Own a Baseball Team?
Does Michael Jordan own a baseball team? Yes, he does!
Jordan was one of 18 owners of the Miami Marlins, a major league baseball team. That group was led by Derek Jeter, who is now the CEO of the Marlins baseball club. Jordan did have a minimal share of ownership estimated at $5 million.
Does Michael Jordan Own Nike?
No, Jordan does not own any amount of equity or stake in Nike. Michael Jordan’s brand makes up over 11% of the entire Nike business, and he singlehandedly put Nike on the map with the endorsement deal back in 1984. However, it seems like Nike and Jordan are enjoying their partnerships and both have been making an outrageous amount of money.
How Rich is Michael Jordan Now?
The listed Michael Jordan net worth is currently at $1.7 billion. Believe it or not, Jordan was worth $2.1 billion at some point, apparently back in 2020. Jordan has earned $1.7 billion (pre-tax) from Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Wheaties, and Chevrolet during the last four decades. Jordan now has official collaborations with Nike, Hanes, Gatorade, and Upper Deck and continues raking in money from various investments.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many Businesses Does Michael Jordan Own Exactly?
As accomplished as Michael Jordan was on the basketball court, he may be even better with his business ventures. Jordan was recognized as the world’s first billionaire athlete and showed no signs of relinquishing his spot at the three-comma club.
Thinking about it, His Airness “only” earned $93.7 million from his playing career that spanned 15 seasons. The majority came from two seasons worth of work (1996-97, 1997-98), where the Bulls management paid him $63 million over those two years.
Sure, $93.7 million ain’t too bad, but if you do the math, that’s way behind the billionaire line. This is where the patented Michael Jordan business sense comes in. He secured long-term partnerships with the most popular brands (Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, etc.) and invested in restaurants (Michael Jordan Steakhouse, MJ23 Sports Bar & Grill) and startup companies (DraftKings).
However, the biggest business win for Jordan was his purchase of the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) in 2010. MJ bought that team for $275 million, and 12 years later, that franchise is now worth $1.5 billion. From there, he also partnered with four other power players for the Cinco Spirits Group and had a small stake in the Miami Marlins franchise.
So, how many businesses does Michael Jordan own precisely? That’s actually hard to tell. A businessman as powerful as MJ indeed sees a lot of pitches from startups, and as shown, he does have the guts to pull the trigger if he likes the business. For now, all people need to know is Jordan is a billionaire and will be one for a long, long time.
If you’re interested in learning Michael Jordan’s story, check out this basketball biography book.
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