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Adidas Once Turned Down Michael Jordan, But He Came Back As their Biggest Competitor

Have you any doubt that Michael Jordan has the financial freedom everyone craves for? Given that his name always pops up when there’s a GOAT debate in the NBA, best believe that his professional career brought in some big bucks.

Greatest of all time?

And unlike other athletes who go broke soon after retirement, the man’s got brains! His smart investments complemented the $90 million he made in his NBA career, and the MJ is now a billionaire.

With his net worth at an estimated $1.9 billion, wouldn’t you agree that the man has built himself a fortune? Much of this comes from the Charlotte Hornets, and… you guessed it! The Jordan fashion brand.

Thanks, Phil

Back in 1984, MJ was just a rookie. However, that didn’t stop Phil Knight (Nike’s founder) from signing him. Guess how much it cost him? A mere $250,000. Actually, Jordan preferred to sign with Adidas, but they didn’t want him as his height was less than seven feet.

You bet they regret this decision, right? Oh well, Nike got him handed to them almost on a silver platter!

As you may very well know, Jordan shoes have dominated the market, and the entire eponymous brand brings in revenue worth over $3 billion annually. Adidas must hate seeing these numbers!

Jordans have dominated the shoe market

In 2006, the smart investor that MJ is, he acquired a Charlotte Hornets minority stake. Four years later, he was able to go big, acquiring the majority stake for $175 million.

Despite the North Carolina team’s performances not being what we would call up to Jordan’s standards, the good thing is that he’s getting returns on his investment. Having spent $175 million for 90% of the stake back in 2010, the Hornets are now worth well over $1 billion, and that’s returns and then some.

What’s more, the value of franchises in the NBA is only increasing, translating to more money for MJ! Watch this space, as he’s soon going to be a multi-billionaire!

Naturally, the Hornets and the Jordan brand can’t be MJ’s only source of income. Smart entrepreneurs know the importance of having as many paychecks as you possibly can, and this former athlete is no different.

Sponsorship Deals

Jordan’s sponsorship deals mushroom left, right, and center, with Hanes being one of the companies he has partnered with the longest (three decades and counting). Other notable deals are with Upper Deck and Gatorade.

And guess what, the former NBA star doesn’t just accept any deal. He has to believe in the product he endorses, and don’t be surprised to learn that he has actually turned down some deals.

He believes in his endorsements

Either way, this strategy seems to work perfectly for him, as he outranks all other athletes when it comes to endorsement earnings. From these alone, the man has made roughly $1.85 billion! Why then, should he alter what he has believed in for so long?

With this much money streaming in, it has been speculated that by next year, Jordan will already be worth $2 billion.

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