Last updated on May 8th, 2018
Jordan’s business and marketing career
29. When Michael Jordan won back-to-back slam dunk contests, a photographer’s picture of him as a solitary figure soaring up in a leap with a basketball in his hands became a poster that immortalized the athlete in many a child’s bedroom. Thus Michael’s Air Jordan trademark became a legacy.
30. Jordan’s persona made him a star as well. He starred first in the 1996 feature film Space Jam in which he played himself. This movie mixed animation and live action and included cartoon legends Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.
31. Michael Jordan was a cartoon superhero in a short-lived series called “ProStars” with Bo Jackson and Wayne Gretzky. It ran for two seasons in the early 1990s and featured the three sports stars saving the world from bad guys while living in a gym. The stars would do real life questions and answers within the cartoon although they did not voice their characters themselves. A few episodes can still be seen on YouTube. He’s also mentioned in other movies such as “Mike”, about a boy who gets Jordan’s old basketball shoes and magically starts playing basketball like him.
32. Jordan has his own line of sport shoes called Air Jordan. They were introduced in 1985 and remain popular today. He makes around $60 million annually from Nike and Jordan brand royalties. Today Nike’s Jordan Brand generates $1 billion in sales.
33. Jordan’s deal with Nike almost didn’t come to fruition. Michael wanted to wear Adidas and was also offered a deal to endorse a small brand called Spot-Bilt. Nike offered a then-enormous deal of $500 grand annually for five years. They also promised to tailor the sneaker to Jordan’s liking. Jordan still wanted Adidas and went to them once more. They could in no way match Nike’s offer though. So Jordan and Nike struck a deal and the rest is marketing history. Nike launched Air Jordan and by the end of 1985 the line had earned more than $100 million in revenue. An ironic note is that Jordan didn’t care for his first shoes, the Air Jordan I. He soon changed his mind when he realized the shoes distracted the other players.
34. Eventually Jordan challenged basketball by wearing his beloved black and red Air Jordan sneakers. They were against the NBA dress code. Jordan paid every fine for wearing them from his Nike’s endorsements. Today, even all these years after his retirement, he is still of the world’s top 50 highest paid athletes.
35. Before 1997, Jordan never earned more than $4 million in a season playing basketball. He was the league’s highest paid player in only two of his seasons. In 1997 he was paid $30 million and in 1998 he was paid $33 million.
36. Jordan has also enjoyed endorsement deals with brands like Gatorade, Coca-Cola and Hanes and has been featured in their series of commercials.
37. Michael Jordan also is affiliated with several restaurants, including the Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse in Grand Central Station Terminal in New York City.
38. From 2004 until the end of 2013 he owned Michael Jordan Motorsports. This company had a professional closed-course motorcycle racing team. They competed in the AMA sanctioned Superbike Championship with two Suzukis.
39. Jordan bought a share of his home state’s Charlotte Bobcats, nee Hornets, in 2006, and joined its executives as managing member of baseball operations. The Hornets had gone to New Orleans.
40. In 2010 he became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and when the name became available as the Hornets became the Pelicans, bought it back. Now he is the head of basketball operations for the Charlotte Hornets and improving the teams’ record is his number one goal.
41. He is the first former NBA player to become the majority owners of an NBA team and the only African-American majority owner of any NBA team. He joined the Forbes’ list of international billionaires in 2015, the first professional athlete to achieve this level of success.
42. Jordan is also a noted philanthropist. He sponsored his Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitation Pro-Am Golf Tournament in Las Vegas for fourteen years from 2001 to 2014 and is said to be searching for property in Florida on which to develop his own golf club. He plays golf in celebrity charity tournaments that provide basketball scholarships while also donating to high schools, Habitat for Humanity, branches of the Boys and Girls Club of America, and other worthwhile projects.
About Michael Jordan’s personal life, friends, father, and backup career
43. His full name is Michael Jeffrey Jordan and he is known to his friends as MJ, some of whom include Spike Lee and Oprah Winfrey.
44. His best friend is a limousine driver he met when he arrived in Chicago for the first time in 1984. The Bulls didn’t remember to send someone to the airport to meet him and a driver named George Koehler offered to help him. George’s rider hadn’t shown up and George mistook Michael for his brother Larry Jordan, whom Koehler had gone to high school with. He only charged Jordan $25 to take him round the city. Eventually Koehler would become his regular driver and a lifelong friendship developed between the two men. They are still best friends.
45. Michael Jordan was married to Juanita Vanoy for seventeen years and they have three children together: Jeffrey, Marcus, and Jasmine. They divorced in 2002, reconciled, then divorced again in 2006 for good. The divorce was on amicable and mutual terms. At that time, their divorce settlement of $168 million was the most expensive celebrity divorce in history.
46. Jordan married model Yvette Prieto in April of 2013. She signed a prenuptial agreement before the wedding. Their twin daughters Victoria and Ysabel were born in February 2014.
47. Michael’s Jupiter, Florida mansion houses a basketball court, eleven bedrooms, a pool house, guard house and guest house. Its personal movie theater was built to Jordan’s specifications to handle enormous amounts of cigar smoke.
48. Jordan took up smoking in 1991. He used it to ease the stress of his long drives to the stadium before games. His coach didn’t mind the habit since it didn’t interfere with his performance for the team.
49. Jordan’s father, James Jordan, was shot to death by two teenage thieves while he slept in his car. They dumped his body in a swamp in South Carolina, where it was discovered in Bennettsville. They were caught, convicted and sentenced to life in prison. His father’s murder was responsible for Jordan’s decision to switch to baseball, as his father had encouraged him to do for several years before his death.
50. Although he left the University of North Carolina after his junior year, Jordan did receive his degree (in 1986) in cultural geography. Cultural geography is an introduction to meteorology and his backup career in case basketball didn’t work out was to be as a weatherman.
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