Michael Jordan is worth $US1 billion, according to Forbes.
Jordan retired in 2003, but he continues to outpace the world’s biggest active athletes when it comes to earnings.
Jordan Brand, a Nike subsidiary born out of his original sneaker deal in 1984, is a dominant force in the sneaker business. The brand brings in $US2.5 billion a year in sales, industry expert Matt Powell told CNBC in September, and has a 58% market share.
For comparison, LeBron’s signature sneakers accounted for $US300 million in sales in 2013, according to Powell.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that it’s believed Jordan makes $US100 million per year in Jordan Brand royalties. Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes put the number at $US90 million in 2013.
That’s more than the $US90.2 million Jordan made in total salary during his NBA career. It’s also more than the $US72 million LeBron made in salary and endorsements combined in 2014.
Nike’s footwear revenues increased by 12% in 2014. In the company’s annual report, Nike attributed this growth to “increased demand for performance products, including NIKE and Brand Jordan Basketball styles.”