He’s an absolute icon, well beyond the NBA. He has made a name for himself in both sport and business. His shoe brand “Air Jordan” is one of the most sought-after and valuable brands on the sneaker market. To put it simply: He rakes in endless cash. That makes Michael Jordan (60) the highest-paid athlete of all time.
According to a ranking by Sportico, Jordan has earned an estimated €3.1 billion since his NBA draft in 1984 – more than any other athlete. The 60-year-old leads the inflation-adjusted list by a wide margin. The golfer Tiger Woods (47) is almost far behind with “only” 2.3 billion euros in second place.
Curious: Only in fifth place does a footballer appear in the list – Cristiano Ronaldo (38)! World champion Lionel Messi (35) only comes in seventh place.
The crazy thing: If you included Jordan in the same list with just his Nike earnings of €1.6 billion, he would be in third place.
Nike and Michael Jordan
The partnership between Nike and Jordan began in 1984 and helped transform the Swoosh from a barely profitable €855m company into a multi-billion dollar sportswear giant.
Where does the over-success come from? MJ himself once said: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been given credit for making the winning shot and I’ve failed to score. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is exactly why I am successful.”