Michael Jordan was the first athlete-billionaire — here's how he makes and spends his millions

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According to Forbes.Jordan Brand via Getty Images, Michael Jordan's net worth is estimated at $1.6 billion
Michael Jordan is considered the greatest NBA player of all time.
He is also the richest former professional athlete in the world with a net worth of $1.7 billion.
Since finally retiring from the NBA in 2003, he has built a lucrative career in business, as a team owner, and has dedicated his fortune to philanthropic causes.
He spoils too: He has a secret golf course, sprawling estates, an NBA team, restaurants, and an interest in DraftKings.
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Michael Jordan has earned less than $100 million in NBA contracts as the league's tallest player of all time, but that hasn't stopped him from becoming a billionaire with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion, according to Forbes.
Michael Jordan attends a press conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan Shoe.Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images
Source: Forbes
Jordan loves golf, and in 2021 the nickname of his exclusive golf course, Grove XXIII, surfaced. It's called "Slaughterhouse 23" and deserves the name as it was designed by Jordan for Jordan and aimed to maximize Jordan's playstyle against his opponents.
Michael Jordan loves gold so much he built his own golf course in 2019. Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
Source: Insiders
The Florida golf course has lavish amenities, including a drone delivery service that brings beer and other refreshments to the club's exclusive members.
A drone hovers in the sky. Richard Newstead/Getty Images
Source: Insiders
In March 2021, Jordan was part of a $305 million investment in Dapper Labs, the startup behind virtual trading card platform NBA Top Shot. Other investors included Will Smith, Kevin Durant and 2 Chainz.
Dapper Labs was valued at $2.6 billion following the round, a source close to the company said. NBA top shot
The blockchain-based NFT company has since hit hard times as the broader crypto markets plummeted, and is reportedly laying off 22% of its employees, according to Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs.
Source: Insiders
Jordan also donated $2 million of his earnings from his 2020 documentary The Last Dance to Feeding America's food banks in Chicago and the Carolinas. "In these challenging times, and in a year of unimaginable difficulties due to COVID-19, it's more important than ever to stop and say thank you," he said in a statement.
Michael Jordan donated money to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic ESPN Films/Netflix/Mandalay Sports Media/NBA Entertainment
Source: NBC News, Variety
MJ reportedly made $4 million from the series and donated it all to charities.
Michael Jordan. ESPN
Source: Nathan Baugh
In 2020, Nike's Jordan and Jordan Brand pledged to donate $100 million over 10 years to organizations fighting for "racial quality, social justice and better access to education." The June announcement came amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests over the killing of George Floyd.
Michael Jordan actively donates to organizations fighting for breed qualityMarcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images
Source: Insiders
DraftKings announced in September 2020 that Jordan had taken an equity interest in the sports betting company, along with a special advisory role. The company's shares rose 12% immediately after the announcement.
AP Photo/Thibault Camus
Source: Business Insider
The money moves are no surprise as his earnings are now far more than his total player salary throughout his career. He earned a total of $90 million in NBA salaries, and about $63 million of that came in his last two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.
Source: Forbes, Spotrac, Basketball Reference
His $1.7 billion net worth is due in large part to the value of his NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets...
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (left) and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan (right) pose for a photo during a news conference to announce Charlotte, N.C. as the venue for the 2017 NBA All-Star Basketball Game.
Source: money
... and the Jordan brand. He was reportedly still making $100 million annually in recent years from royalties alone from Nike.
Source: Business Insider
Nike founder Phil Knight called Jordan's signing the best decision he'd ever made, snapping up the NBA rookie for $250,000 a year in 1984.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Source: Business Insider
Jordan reportedly wanted to sign with Adidas in 1984, but they passed because they preferred NBA players who were 7 feet tall.
Daniel / Allsport
Source: Business Insider
Nike's Jordan brand alone now brings in around $3.6 billion in sales each year.
NBA legend Michael Jordan holds up a signed AJ19 shoe, the latest design in the Air Jordan footwear line, at a press conference in Hong Kong.Anat Givon/AP Photo
Source: Forbes, Business Insider, Los Angeles Times
Air Jordans' popularity has surged again in recent years, thanks to celebrity partnerships to appeal to younger audiences and new takes on retro styles to reconnect with older fans.
Rapper Rick Ross performs during his Port of Miami 2 Tour at The Fillmore on October 13, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Scott Legato/Getty Images
Source: Business Insider
Nike's Jordan brand has even partnered with the popular video game Fortnite.
Fortnite players can unlock two new skins, Grind and Clutch, by purchasing the Fortnite/Epic Games Hang Time Bundle
Source: Business Insider
Jordan bought the Charlotte Hornets for $175 million in 2010...
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Source: Forbes, Business Insider
...and he officially became a billionaire in 2014 when the NBA franchise value soared. The team is now worth more than $1.7 billion and he owns 97% of the club's equity.
Abbie Parr/Getty Images
Source: Business Insider; forbes
Jordan sold a minority stake in the club in 2019 but he is reportedly not interested in relinquishing control of the team.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Source: Charlotte Observer
Jordan is still waiting for the day the Hornets win a championship. He has said that winning a championship as an owner would be more satisfying than any of the six rings he has won as a player.
Jeff Haynes/Staff/Getty Images
Source: Business Insider
According to Forbes, Jordan's annual revenue was about $145 million.
Elsa/Getty Images
Source: Forbes
For comparison, LeBron James is estimated to make less than $90 million a year from salary, earnings, and endorsements.
Chris Szagola/AP Photo
Source: Forbes
Nowadays he still has several endorsement deals with companies like Gatorade...
Ezra Shaw/Getty
Source: Business Insider
... trading card company Upper Deck ...
Susan Ragan/AP photo
Source: Business Insider
... and Hannes. He has been the company's spokesman for almost 30 years.
Source: Business Insider
Jordan said he's always been selective about his endorsements because he wanted to be genuine and also build his own brand. He once turned down a big endorsement deal with Beanee Weenee because he didn't like the name.
Source: Playboy
Jordan told Playboy, "How can I stand in front of a camera and say I'm going to eat Beanee Weenees?" He said the deal cost nearly $1 million a year — at the time he'd made less than $5 million in career earnings.
Tiziana Sorge/Stringer/Getty Images
Source: Playboy
Jordan owns several restaurants including 1000 North in Jupiter, Florida...
Lee L./Yelp
Source: Business Insider, Eater
... Michael Jordan's Steakhouse with locations in Connecticut, Washington and Chicago ...
Steve Kagan/Contributor/Getty Images
Source: Michael Jordan's Steakhouse
...and Michael Jordan's Restaurant in Chicago, an upscale restaurant serving "upscale American classics."
Diana Q./Yelp
Source: Michael Jordan's Restaurant
Jordan is also one of many celebrities to start a tequila business. In 2019, Jordan and a team of four created Cincoro Tequila.
Michael Jordan's tequila company opened in 2019. Rachel Askinasi/Business Insider
Source: Insiders
He also owns a Nissan dealership in Durham, North Carolina.
Nissan signs can be seen outside a Nissan auto dealership in Broomfield, Colorado, Google Maps
Source: Business Insider, Michael Jordan Nissan
Jordan's steady stream of income allows him to lead a pretty amazing lifestyle.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
He has a private jet painted Carolina Blue, whose ID number includes his jersey number (23) and the number of titles he has won (6).
Source: Business Insider
In 2012, he spent $12.8 million building his dream home in Florida.
Google Maps
Source: Yahoo, Business Insider
He also has a $2.8 million home near Charlotte.
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/18227-Capstan-Greens-Rd_Cornelius_NC_28031_M59685-34239 and Getty Images
Source: Business Insider
It has some incredible sea views.
estate agents
Source: Business Insider
He is selling his Chicago connection, which was originally listed for $29 million. His jersey number is emblazoned on the gate of the property.
Gate number 23 controls entry to basketball legend Michael Jordan's home.Concierge Auctions
Read more: Take a tour of Michael Jordan's Chicago mansion that's been on the market for 10 years and find out why he can't sell it
But 10 years later, the house is still on the market and the price has dropped to $14.9 million.
Source: Business Insider, Zillow
It is estimated that Jordan has paid more than $680,000 in property taxes since putting the home up for sale.
Source: Business Insider
Luxury real estate agents believe the amount of customization the home has undergone to become Jordan's personal palace is one of the few reasons the property hasn't sold yet.
Streeter Lecka/Getty
Source: Business Insider
They also cite the discrepancy between location and price as a possible reason - homes in the Highland Park area have an average value of $476,391. Homes at the price Jordan lists are usually closer to Lake Michigan.
Matt Dunham/AP Images
Source: Business Insider, Zillow
In 2016, Jordan won a case against a Chinese sportswear company using his Chinese name.
Aly Song/Reuters
Source: Business Insider
The company had used a logo similar to Jordan's Air Jordan logo and the symbols used spell its name in Chinese - Qiaodan Sports. He first sued the company in 2012, but lower courts ruled in the company's favour.
Source: Business Insider
However, that's not the only lawsuit he's been involved in that affected his name and trademark. Two supermarkets, Dominick's and Jewel-Osco, linked up with Jordan without his permission. Jordan sued and won millions. But he didn't keep all the money.
The story goes on

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