He is considered one of the greatest, if not THE greatest player to ever jump on the basketball court. His value as a former athlete turned businessman is virtually unmatched (although his run as the Charlotte Hornets’ former owner leaves a slight blemish on his record). The business of Michael Jordan continues to grow as the iconic NBA Hall of Famer continues to be successful, even more so after selling the NBA team from his hometown of North Carolina.
According to Boardroom, one of the world’s most recognizable figures got the start of his metaphoric rise during the last season of his historic Chicago Bulls career. The season was labeled as the “Last Dance” because it was the final year that Bulls coach, Phil Jackson would coach the championship team, yet it became the start of the business empire that “Air Jordan” embarked on.
Jordan’s agent, David Falk told the media outlet that he and Jordan started working on his post-NBA career during that last season he played with the Bulls.
The success of Jordan wasn’t just on the hardwood floor, he had become a symbol of success through the sales of the Nike signature Air Jordans. At the time, everyone wanted to “Be Like Mike.” The seeds had been planted for the popular sportswear company to make the Jordan brand a reality.
Nike introduced Brand Jordan in the fall of 1997, just in time for the last season that Jordan would take the Bulls to the top again. The success Jordan found on the court reached the boardroom as well. In 1998, Brand Jordan increased in revenue by 57% and improved by 133% in year-over-year average selling price.
“He’s got the Midas touch,” Falk stated. “Not only is he a great basketball player and an amazing person, but he’s a very astute businessman.”
His success spilled outside of athletics as he starred in “Space Jam,” sold his own cologne, made Gatorade a household name, and even placed millions of dollars into the coffers of eyewear company, Oakley, among many other investments and endorsements.
Along with the many companies and brands he is currently involved with, this year, Brand Jordan is projected to become the second-biggest shoe brand in all of America. As Forbes has estimated that Jordan’s net worth is $2 billion, he has added to that total when the NBA recently approved the sale of the Hornets for a reported $3 billion. Purchasing the franchise for a reported $275 million in 2010 (when the team was known as the Bobcats), the former Chicago Bulls all-star has just pocketed an estimated $2.7 billion.