Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials MJ, is an American former professional basketball player who is the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association. He played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. His mother Deloris worked in finance and his father James R. Jordan Sr. was an equipment supervisor. When Michael was a toddler the family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina.
Michael played basketball, baseball, and football at Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington. He famously tried out for the varsity basketball team as a sophomore but was rejected for being "only" 5 foot 11. Enraged at the rejection, MJ worked himself to the bone to excel on the Junior Varsity team. Over the summer between his sophomore and junior years, he grew four inches and subsequently earned that coveted spot on the varsity squad.
Michael lit the varsity team on fire, averaging 25 points per game during both his junior and senior years. As a senior he was selected to play in the 1981 McDonald's All-American Game in which he scored 30 points.
Not surprisingly, Michael, who now stood 6 foot 6, was recruited by dozens of college programs including Syracuse, UVA, Duke and the University of North Carolina. He ultimately chose to attend UNC.
At UNC he averaged 13.5 points per game and was named ACC Freshman of the Year, leading the team to the 1982 NCAA Championship against the Georgetown Hoyas. With 15 seconds left in the game, Michael hit a go-ahead basketball over Georgetown Center Patrick Ewing. This would turn out to be the game-winning shot. Michael would later reveal that this game and that specific shot was a major turning point in his personal confidence and future basketball career.
Michael spent three seasons with the UNC Tar Heels, winning many accolades including the Naismith and Wooden College Player of the Year awards in 1984. He left UNC one year early to enter the 1984 draft. Impressively, Michael returned to UNC in 1986 to finish his degree and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in geography.
Amazingly, he was not the first pick. He was the THIRD pick after Sam Bowie (#2) and Hakeem Olajuwon. Michael was chosen by the Chicago Bulls as the third overall pick.
Michael signed his rookie contract with the Bulls on September 12, 1984. The contract was a seven-year, $6 million deal, averaging to around $850,000 per season. In the year before Michael became a Bull, the team only sold out six total games. In Michael's rookie season, attendance doubled.
At the end of his fifth season, Michael and Chicago agreed on an eight-year, $25 million contract extension. It was the largest transaction in NBA history up to that point. Michael's salary jumped to around $5 million per year as a result. When this contract was up in 1996, Michael signed a one-year $30 million deal. The next year he signed a one-year $33.14 million deal. The latter is worth the same as around $55 million today after adjusting for inflation.
Michael retired and returned to the NBA twice. He retired once to play minor league baseball. When he returned to the NBA a second time, he played for the Washington Wizards for two seasons.
As we've mentioned previously, Michael earned $93.7 million in total salary during his NBA career. After adjusting each year for inflation, he earned $161 million in salary.
Nike Deal And Annual Royalties
Before Michael Jordan, the largest celebrity shoe endorsement contract in the world was James Worthy's $150,000 annual deal with New Balance. In 1984, Jordan shattered all endorsement records when Nike agreed to pay him $500,000 per year for five years. Jordan also received Nike stock options which brought his total compensation to $7 million over five years.
Prior to signing the deal, Michael had never worn a pair of Nike shoes in his life and had been hoping to sign with Adidas, but Nike's offer was too rich to turn down and too much for Adidas to match.
When he debuted the shoes, they violated the NBA's uniformity restrictions. Nike paid all the league's fines and used the controversy to build excitement around the brand. The Air Jordan shoe first appeared in stores in March 1985 and two months later had sold over a million pairs. Within the first year, Air Jordan generated $100 million in revenues for Nike. Today, 58% of all basketball shoe sales are Air Jordans and the brand generates over $2.5 billion in annual sales for Nike.
In 1992, Michael earned 25 cents for every Jordan shoe that was sold. Today he earns $4 per shoe sold.
Between 2002 and 2012, Nike paid Michael $480 million in shoe royalties.
Today Michael Jordan's annual Nike royalty check typically comes in around $80 – $100 million. However, in a number of years, his royalty check has topped $100 – $120 million.
Throughout his impressive career and even through to the present, Michael Jordan has been a spokesman for many corporate brands including Nike, Gatorade, Wheaties, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Ball Park Franks, Rayovac, Hanes, and MCI. Jordan also maintains deals with Upper Deck, 2K Sports, and Five Star Fragrances. He owns a car dealership and seven restaurants.
After Nike, one of his biggest early endorsement deals, one that would become lifetime cornerstones for MJ, was with Gatorade. At the end of the 1989 season, Michael signed a 10-year, $18 million endorsement contract with Gatorade. Gatorade's famous "Be Like Mike" ad initially ran after the Bulls won their first of six titles. The Michael/Gatorade partnership brought both the brand and the man to even greater heights of popularity.
A 2015 lawsuit against a supermarket chain that allegedly used Michael's image without permission revealed that the superstar does not sign deals unless he expects to ultimately earn a minimum of $10 million from the partnership. We also learned that Michael at one point had turned down $80 million to endorse a line of headphones because he apparently doesn't like wearing headphones.
As of this writing, Michael Jordan has earned $1.4 billion from corporate partners during his career (before taxes).
Michael Jordan is a retired American basketball player, team owner, product endorser and entrepreneur. As of 2020, Michael Jordan's net worth is $2.2 billion.
As of 2020 Michael Jordan's net worth is $2.2 billion. During his career to-date, he has earned $1.4 billion in pre-tax endorsement dollars. He earned around $93 million from NBA salary. He lost $170 million in a divorce settlement with his first wife. Michael's best career investment has been his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets. He bought a majority stake in the team in 2010 f0r $175 million. In 2019 he sold a minority portion of his stake to an investment group in a transaction that valued the team at $1.5 billion.