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How Michael Jordan makes $100 million a year

Journal Staff Report | 3/15/2015, 8:02 p.m.
Michael Jordan topped Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of highest-paid retired athletes.
Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan topped Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of highest-paid retired athletes.

According to Forbes, Jordan, the former NBA superstar who owns the Charlotte Hornets, led the list with $100 million in earnings in 2014, mostly from sports apparel and equipment maker Nike, more than any current or retired athlete. Forbes said that’s more than the $94 million Jordan made in 15 years of playing for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards.

Jordan also has a 90% stake in the Charlotte Hornets, worth more than $500 million net of debt, which made him a billionaire last year.

The second highest paid athlete is soccer star icon David Beckham with earnings of $75 million.

“These athletes created brands for themselves before people focused on brands,” says Marc Ganis, president of consultancy Sportscorp. “Their brands received a tremendous amount of free publicity every time they were on TV or reporters wrote about them. Some of them converted that brand into a lot more than a free car at the local dealership.”