The Money That Michael Jordan Makes From Endorsement Deals Alone Is More Than What Most Current Pro Athletes Earn
While I don’t quite fall into the demographic of people who buy Michael Jordan-brand products (I’m not athletic, I watch hockey but I can’t knock Space Jam), I do recognize that the guy has massive sway when it comes to influencing consumers to buy any given product. I mean he’s Michael Jordan for fuck’s sake – I don’t know what that MEANS aside from the fact that he was a pro basketball player for many many years, but just the fact alone that I can’t quite articulate what’s so goddamn special about him probably proves my point. You don’t know why and you don’t know how considering you make a paltry $8 an hour, but you’ll be damned if you aren’t gonna treat yourself to a brand spankin’ new pair of Air Jordans sometime in the next month.
One could even argue that Michael Jordan is so successful that you could put his face on, say, an advertisement for a grocery store and have sales at said store skyrocket. Did you think that was a randomly selected hypothetical situation? It wasn’t. Jordan recently filed a lawsuit against a chain of grocery stores that used his likeness despite not obtaining his permission first, and in order to back up the idea that Jordan is STOOPID influential towards consumers he brought economist Andrew Zimbalist as a consultant on the case. How much did Zimbalist claim Jordan’s image is worth, you ask?
Around $10,000,000. That’s $10 million, if you’re like me and hate counting zeroes. According to Uproxx,
Jordan’s manager claims, he “meticulously curates” what advertisements can bear his name so that it properly reflects his greatness. Or his patience with fellow airplane passengers, whichever.
The best piece of information from the suit, however, is that Jordan’s endorsement income in 2012, according to Zimbalist, was more than $75 million, an insane sum that outpaces Roger Federer, who makes the most endorsement money of any current athlete according to Forbes, by more than $17 million. It’s a mind-boggling figure, but it makes sense when you remember just how much an advertisement with Jordan in it means to a company.
So Michael Jordan’s appearance on paper alone is worth around $10 mil, him just being him and not even playing sports earns him $75 mil a year, and me being me doing nothing and spending my free time sitting in my underwear playing video games earns me…nothing.
…But one can dream.