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How Michael Jordan Became a Billion-Dollar Athlete

Michael Jordan is an immovable fixture in the sports pantheon, and by extension, the business world. On Sunday, April 19, ESPN will premiere “ The Last Dance ,” a 10-hour documentary that focuses on the icon’s final season (1997-98) with the Chicago Bulls. With never-before-seen footage, the series centers on Jordan’s role in one of the greatest dynasties in basketball history. As competitive as the greatest all-time player once was on the court, his off-court determination in business earned him the title as the highest-paid athlete of all time in 2017. Now, he is the first billionaire athlete with a $2.1 billion fortune, according to the Forbes list. Checks over stripes. Nike is Jordan’s longest and most recognizable endorsement deal. The relationship began in 1984 when the then-rookie and the sneaker conglomerate launched The Jordan Brand. As the legend goes, Jordan wanted to sign with adidas but ultimately signed with Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike. Following the first release...

Niki McGloster

Apr 16, 2020