Michael Jordans net worth explained – including Air Jordans and £1bn Nike deal

Basketball legend Michael Jordan is one of the richest athletes in the world, with an estimated net worth of over £1.1billion – and it's all thanks to his incredible deal with Nike.

Jordan, 58, made his name in the NBA with Chicago Bulls, winning six championships, earning the MVP honour the same number of times and being named in the All-Star line-up on 14 occasions.

Despite his status as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, only £64million of his £1.1billion fortune comes from the court.

The rest of his vast wealth derives from corporate partnerships with the likes of Hanes, Gatorade, Upper Deck, and of course, Nike.

Jordan signed with the sportswear brand as his playing career was taking off in 1984, the tie-up earning him £360,000-a-year for five years, treble any other NBA sneaker deal at the time.

That was based on Nike's prediction they would sell £2.15million worth of Air Jordans in the first four years.

Remarkably, the star's first shoe with Nike was banned by the NBA because it didn't meet the league's colour rules. The company took the initiative and seized the moment with an iconic 1984 TV advert.

Have you ever owned a pair of Air Jordans? Let us know in the comments section below.

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"On October 15, Nike created a revolutionary new basketball shoe," a voice read as Jordan dribbled a basketball. "On October 18, the NBA threw them out of the game. Fortunately, the NBA can't keep you from wearing them."

The first Air Jordan sneaker went on the market the following year and was an instant hit, racking up just shy of £73million in sales in its first 12 months alone.

Forbes estimates that the Air Jordan brand is worth north of £7billion to Nike, in addition to the billions it has earned the company over the last 37 years.

For Jordan, that equates to roughly £95million per year, four times as much as LeBron James, who at the last count had the biggest shoe deal among active NBA stars.

In total, the basketball legend has reportedly made $1.3billion (£947million) from his deal with Nike.

Elsewhere, Hanes is an underwear brand that Jordan has been endorsing for 31 years.

He has also been involved in the collectibles market with Upper Deck, who create trading cards and memorabilia of the NBA hero.

Energy drink favourite Gatorade have been in partnership with Jordan for the last 20 years, having initially paid £9.7million to acquire his services for 10 years before extending the deal.

The rest of Jordan's fortune comes from owning multiple restaurants, a car dealership and selection of multi-million dollar homes, one of which has been up for sale for eight years.

He is also the majority owner of NBA side Charlotte Hornets, although the 58-year-old's involvement has yet to see them win an NBA championship.

Jordan is also a big supporter of charity and pledged last year to contribute $100million over the next 10 years to organisations dedicated to racial equality, social justice and education access.

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