Michael Jordan is the ‘richest basketballer of all time’ after selling his stake in the Hornets
| Last updated
Michael Jordan has officially become the wealthiest basketball player of all time after selling his majority share of the Charlotte Hornets.
Despite the former Chicago Bulls player pioneering the sport in many ways, the 60-year-old still manages to break records.
The outlet reported that the icon kept less than a five per cent stake in the NBA team.
“Now is the right time for me to hand over the reins,” Jordan wrote in in an letter to Hornets fans.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds, and I look forward to supporting the team and the community in my new role for many years to come.”
But aside from selling his majority share, most of Jordan’s wealth is primarily attributed to the lucrative deal he struck with Nike in 1984.
Following his rookie season, Jordan signed a $2.5 million contract with the company, which went on to launch its now iconic Air Jordans and completely revolutionised the sneaker industry.
According to the Robb Report, last year, it was revealed the sneaks still raked in $5.1 billion in revenue, accounting for 11 per cent of Nike’s sales.
While it’s unclear exactly how much Jordan makes from these sales, we can assume the figure is pretty handsome.
“Jordan the person and Jordan the brand have helped shape Nike as well as the entire athletic apparel landscape,” Simeon Siegel, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, told Bloomberg.
Thilo Kunkel, athlete brand development and monetisation expert and associate professor at the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, explained how the shoe became so popular to Temple.
At the time, the basketball player wearing his new shoe on the court sparked significant backlash from the league.
The NBA sent a letter to Nike, stating ‘the red and black basketball shoes’ violated league policy, as shoes had to be 51 per cent white and in accordance with what the rest of the team was wearing.’
Wearing Jordans on the court would result in a $5,000 fine.
But Nike was more than happy to pay those fines, and the sneaker quickly became synonymous with ‘individuality’.
“Expressing individuality through a unique style and not conforming to norms tends to resonate with people,” Kunkel said.
“It’s the perception of being a rebel and the anti-establishment Air Jordan one grew in popularity instantly.”