As of the latest financial reports from Forbes Magazine, the Prince of Air has officially hit the nine digit mark. Michael Jordan, who hasn’t stepped foot on the court in over a decade, is now valued at over a billion dollars, according to financial experts. It’s not without some controversy, however, especially when it comes down to whether or not he gets to wear the crown of “First Billionaire Athlete.” Technically, Tiger Woods was projected to gain the title in 2009, but in the weeks following the evaluation, he crashed his Escalade during a run in with his now ex-wife and saw a sharp and painful fall in his personal fortune. This caused Forbes to remove him from the list (which had not yet been published), and they have now given the honor to Michael Jordan and view him as a more stable candidate.
But what does that mean? Well no one is certain whether or not Jordan has a billion dollars in his Wells Fargo account; it’s more of an educated guess. By evaluating his current real estate properties, his holdings in the Charlotte Hornets and the massive royalties he gains from the Air Jordan Brand, the top financial analysts believe he is worth a billion dollars - if not more.
Jordan also earns the title of First Billionaire Athlete because his wealth is his own personal fortune. Although there are one or two other athletes who are part of multi-million dollar corporations, such as Magic Johnson and Arnold Palmer, Jordan has swelled his wallet through investments in his NBA team, personal properties and royalties. Jordan makes buku dollars off of his last name, a silhouette of him slam dunking and a movie he did with Bugs Bunny 15 years ago. Jordan makes $60 million dollars a year off of the Nike Air Jordan Brand alone.
Jordan made some amazing choices out of the gate financially and his new found billion dollar fortune can be attributed to three big ideas:
Get a piece of the pie. He made sure to secure a major percentage of the various licensing deals he made, something many athletes lack the foresight to do.
Stay relevant. He is still one of the most popular athletes in America, being referenced more than any other in music, television and social media.
Leverage, leverage, leverage. Jordan made his last name into a small fortune and then used it as a tool to entice, broker and strike lucrative deals for the following few decades. Having the Jordan name involved in whatever your product is will help business, be it an NBA team or an underwear company like Haynes.
Even with Lebron James quick on the course to be the next NBA billionaire, Jordan doesn’t seem too worried; many believe by the next listing he will be worth well over 1.2 billion. Congrats Michael - maybe this means you will finally have the funding for Space Jam 2.