Have you ever seen those Hanes ads where Michael Jordan is riding business class next to an obnoxious passenger who keeps blabbing on and on about Tagless Hanes t-shirts? That would never happen in reality, right? His Airness probably flies cross-country in his private jet. Then again, the Hanes endorsement helps foot the bill for Jordan;s luxurious amenities.
On the hardwood LeBron James is chasing the ghost of Jordan (or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but now's not the time for arguments on the floor). Off the floor he's not even on the same spiritual plane as the GOAT. Even in retirement, Jordan made twice as much as James, and more than any active athlete besides Floyd Mayweather. According to Forbes, Nike's Air Jordan 10 "Powder Blue" retro sneaker made more than $5 million less on the day it was released than Derrick Rose's signature sneaker sold all of last year.
2013 was the most profitable year for Jordan since he made $80 million during his final season with the Bulls in 1998. To top it off, the Charlotte Bobcats would be the Eastern Conference's sixth seed if the playoffs began today. Jordan's current net worth is estimated to be $750 million and at this pace, Jordan may eclipse billionaire status in a few years.
Outside of Nike, MJ’s earnings get a boost from long-time endorsement partners Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck and Five Star Fragrances for his cologne line. He’s also added deals with 2K Sports and Novant Health in recent years. In addition, he owns seven restaurants, a car dealership and his most valuable asset, 80% of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. Jordan used himself as the carrot to help close a Bobcats sponsorship deal with Novant in 2012.