Retired NBA icon Michael Jordan is forever the talk of everything basketball related. This includes his off-the-court greatness. In turn, talking about every Michael Jordan sponsor ever, endorsement and the like feels like a no-brainer.
Hands down the NBA’s Greatest of All Time, Jordan’s success and popularity on the hardwood has made him an extremely wealthy man. “His Airness” is part of the prestigious three-comma club, with a net worth of $2.1 billion in 2020. This makes him the richest former professional athlete in the entire world.
All in all, MJ earned $94 million in 13 seasons with the Chicago Bulls and two years with the Washington Wizards, with a large chunk of it ($63 million) coming from his final two seasons in the Windy City.
The now 57-year-old Hall of Famer has also made smart investments over the years, which includes several restaurants and a Nissan dealership in North Carolina, among other numerous lucrative endeavors. But like most NBA superstars, Jordan cashed in on his legendary stature and made a fortune through numerous sponsorships.
MJ has roughly earned somewhere around $1.7 billion (pre-tax) in sponsorship moolah over nearly four decades.
Jordan’s image and credibility certainly made a lot of money for brands he associated with over the years. Let’s list down every Michael Jordan sponsor.
Every Michael Jordan Sponsor Ever
We should note, while there are individual endorsements from some of these companies, they are lumped into the same category, so we’re not doing 50 versions of a Nike endorsement.
The Swoosh has pretty much been synonymous with Michael Jordan. Despite its impressive stable of the best athletes in the world today, “His Airness” remains as Nike’s biggest, not to mention most lucrative, investment of all time.
What began as an initial five-year, $250,000 deal he signed in 1984 — which also marked as the release of Jordan’s now-iconic signature shoe — evolved into a disruptor of the shoe injury now known as the Jordan Brand.
Jordan’s Jumpman logo has become a massive standalone business, which hauls in $3 billion in revenue each year for Nike. MJ rakes in around $100 million a year from Nike in royalties alone.
The Air Jordan line continues to bring in big bucks, as the NBA’s brightest young stars like Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum, and Rui Hachimura currently represent the brand.
Long before social media became the medium for lifestyle endorsements, Gatorade emerged from the scene in 1991 by signing Michael Jordan. MJ was coming off his first championship with the Bulls and was awarded with a 10-year, $13.5 million deal to be the brand’s first and only celebrity spokesperson at the time.
It was what the upstart sports beverage company needed, as Gatorade soon became a household name following what many still regard as the “Greatest Sports Commercial of all time”.
Gatorade released its “Be Like Mike” campaign on August 8, 1991, which would later break the mold for all lifestyle endorsements. Almost three decades later, the commercial still stands the test of time. Not every Michael Jordan sponsor ever can hold a candle to this.
Speaking of iconic ads involving Michael Jordan, Hanes has been churning out such content for the past 30 years. Jordan signed with Hanes way back in 1989 and continues to be the underwear titan’s biggest ambassador to this day.
Hanes, whose headquarters is situated in Jordan’s hometown of North Carolina, recently celebrated its 30th partnership with MJ by handing out 30th Anniversary Michael Jordan trading cards. The cards are included in 800,000 specially marked bonus packs of Hanes men’s underwear.
Ultra Hair Products
A hair product endorsement for Michael Jordan? Well, sure! There’s really no value in talking about this spot other than to watch the video goodness.
Upper Deck Company
Jordan’s rise has greatly benefited Upper Deck, who has pretty much been with Mike at the beginning of his career. Upon Jordan’s two retirements, Upper Deck continued to create amazing and unique autographed cards and memorabilia in his honor, which often go for a ridiculous amount of money online.
The brand recently partnered up with Hanes in releasing the 30th Anniversary Michael Jordan trading cards — which also includes 10 extremely rare Michael Jordan autograph cards.
Before signing with Gatorade in 1991, Jordan repped Coca-Cola in the ‘80s through several commercials.
Despite MJ’s stock rising each year, the soda-titan reportedly refused to give Jordan the seven-figure, 10-year deal he was seeking. Quaker, who owned Gatorade at the time, pounced on the opportunity and the rest is history.
Adding insult to injury, Coca-Cola’s rivals Pepsi purchased Gatorade several years later.
The world-renowned fastfood chain had plenty of interesting partnerships with NBA stars in the ‘80s. Jordan was no exception, joining Larry Bird in the world’s most complicated game of H.O.R.S.E for the prize of a Big Mac and some fries.
General Mills Wheaties
As an athlete, you know you’ve made it when you see yourself on the cover of a Wheaties box.
Jordan first partnered with the cereal company in 1993. He appeared on the box for a whopping total of 18 times — a record which stands until today. Some of his vintage Sports Cereal Boxes are even up for sale on eBay.
Jordan is a big car enthusiast. He reportedly bought seven cars at once for himself and his family upon receiving his 10 million signing bonus from the Chicago Bulls.
His first official endorsement deal was with Chevy dealers during his rookie year in 1984.