1. Michael Jordan: Introduction
  2. Michael Jordan: Early Life and Education
  3. Michael Jordan: Success Story
  4. Michael Jordan: Net Worth
  5. Michael Jordan: Famous or Infamous
  6. Michael Jordan: Most Influential Quotes

In 2015, Forbes estimated Michael Jordan’s net worth at $1 billion, making him the richest man in sports worldwide. (For more, see: 7 Real-Life Ways To Become A Billionaire.)

By the time Jordan left the NBA in 2003, he had made just over $94 million for his time on the court for the Chicago Bulls, and later the Washington Wizards.

Although he hasn’t played professional basketball since 2003, his fortune is growing at an even faster clip than during his playing days.

One reason for that is that his reputation and his brand as a basketball superstar continues to sell products. In 2014 alone, Jordan made more than $100 million from the use of his likeness by a variety of products.

His earnings in the endorsement arena stretches back more than 30 years to the beginning of his basketball career, in 1984. Just out of school and in the NBA for his rookie season, the 21-year-old Jordan signed a five-year, $2.5-million deal with Nike Inc. (NKE), which created the now-iconic Air Jordan basketball shoe. In 1996, he starred in the feature film "Space Jam," which earned over $230 million worldwide at the box office.

By 2013, Nike had made the wildly successful Air Jordan shoe and apparel business into a separate entity, called the Jordan Brand. In 2013, Jordan made a reported $90 million from his relationship with Nike.

Between 2000 and 2012, Jordan made $480 million from his affiliation with Nike. But he also took home $18 million for endorsing Gatorade, $14 million from trading-card brand Upper Deck, and another $14 million from underwear giant Hanes (HBI), along with $10.6 million from XEL, a kind of cologne.

Before 2000, however, Jordan had been the nearly omnipresent face of a host of major American brands, endorsing Coca-Cola Co. (KO), Chevrolet (GM), Gatorade (PEP), McDonald's (MCD), Ball Park Franks (TSN), Rayovac (SPB), and Wheaties (GIS). And he is very protective of his brand. In recent years, Jordan sued Dominick’s Finer Foods, a bankrupt Illinois supermarket chain, for using his name and picture on a 2009 steak coupon.

With the fortune he’d made from endorsements and playing in the NBA, Jordan purchased a stake in the Charlotte Bobcats (now known as the Charlotte Hornets) basketball franchise in 2006. Four years later, Jordan bought out the majority shareholder to become the first former NBA player to become the majority owner of a franchise.

He bought in at the right time, as the values of NBA franchises have since skyrocketed, driving Jordan’s net worth past the $1 billion mark in 2015. In 2010, when he became the majority owner of the Hornets, the average value of an NBA franchise was $367 million. By 2015, thanks largely to a much richer television contract with ESPN (DIS) and Turner Broadcasting (TWC), the average value of a team has grown to $1.1 billion.

The Hornets are no exception, with the new TV deal set to pour an extra $57 million into its coffers annually. The completion of the deal has increased the value of the team from $410 million in 2014 to $725 million in 2015. (For more, see: From Poverty To Power: Celebrities Who Started With Nothing.)

Jordan enjoys a host of luxuries in his daily life, including his own private jet, which he had painted Carolina blue, and a 154-foot mega-yacht. He splits time between a custom-built $12.8-million mansion on a golf course and a $2.8-million lakefront house in Charlotte, after selling his 56,000-square-foot mansion in Highland Park, Illinois, for $29 million.

While Jordan’s fortune has grown steadily since 1984, there was one notable exception: the year 2007. That’s when he divorced his wife of 18 years, Juanita. When they’d married in 1989, there was no prenuptial agreement, and his wife walked away with a record-setting divorce settlement of $168 million. 

Michael Jordan: Famous or Infamous
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