Michael Jordan becomes first professional athlete to make Forbes 400 list

The former basketball player’s net worth has soared to US$3 billion (AU$4.76b) after selling his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets.

Since selling 65% of his shares, the former Chicago Bulls captain has entered the prestigious Forbes 400 list, which includes the richest people in the United States.

Image source: Getty Images/Visual China Group (Getty Images)
Image source: Getty Images/Visual China Group (Getty Images)

Jordan ranks 379th, joining other billionaires including Haim Saban, media owner and founder of Saban Entertainment, a producer and distributor of children’s television shows such as Power Rangers.

“Now is the right time for me to hand over the reins and focus on my family, my personal interests and some new challenges,” Jordan said after signing with the Hornets earlier this year, according to the Daily Mail.

“I’m excited to see what the future holds and I look forward to supporting the team and community in my new role for many years to come.

“This is a thank you, not a goodbye, as North Carolina, the city of Charlotte and the Hornets will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Photo credit: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP, Getty Images
Photo credit: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP, Getty Images

Bloomberg reports that Jordan retains less than 5% of the NBA team’s shares.

In addition to selling lucrative contracts, Jordan owes much of his wealth primarily to his 1984 deal with Nike.

After his rookie season, the star athlete signed a US$2.5 million (AU$3.97 million) contract with the company, which went on to revolutionize the sneaker industry with the launch of his now-iconic Air Jordan shoe.

According to The Guardian , former sports marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro revealed that Nike came up with the idea of ​​creating a shoe around the young basketball player, which prompted him to sign the lucrative five-year deal.

However, Jordan’s mother, Delores, added a crucial stipulation that Jordan would receive a portion of the profits from every sneaker sold.

We developed a relationship over the phone right there,” he said, according to the outlet.

“She’s an alpha human“.

According to “Robb Report”, last year, the sneaker’s revenue still reached US$5.1 billion (approximately AU$8.09b), accounting for 11% of Nike’s sales.

Exactly how much money Jordan made from these sales is unclear, but we can assume it’s a pretty good number.

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