The real financial opportunities for athletes usually lie in their endeavors off the playing field. From Mike Trout's $426.5 million contract to Aaron Judge's $365 million and even Patrick Mahomes' $45 million per year or Aaron Rodgers' $50 million, we have seen the massive sums athletes can earn.
Proof of the massive earning potential for athletes lies with none other than Michael Jordan, the one and only "Sir Airness."
Last year, Jordan made nearly double the amount of his entire career earnings through a massive Nike deal.
Michael Jordan, the legend himself, made more money in a single year than his entire career earnings, despite retiring from professional basketball in 2003. A massive Nike deal was the source of this great feat, proving that Jordan's impact extends far beyond the court. It's time to celebrate, MJ!
According to Front Office Sports, Jordan earned $256.1 million last year alone from his 5% share of the annual earnings of Nike's Jordan Brand, which reached $5.1 billion. This remarkable income highlights the success of the negotiations made by MJ in the past, even though he hasn't played professional basketball since 2003.
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 31, 2023
He made all that money last year without having to go through training camp, or hours long practices, or high-stressed NBA games. Nope. He did it all just by licensing his name.
By contrast, Jordan earned approximately $90 million in total over the course of his 15-year career.
In 1984, when Jordan was a newly minted professional player, he signed a contract with Nike. This deal has proven to be one of the most lucrative athletic branding deals of all time, enabling Michael to continue enjoying a comfortable lifestyle long after he retired from playing basketball.
According to a report from Forbes, Jordan is now worth over $1.7 billion.
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