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MICHAEL JORDAN, INC.
Being retired from basketball doesn't mean being retired from making money.
Despite having retired from playing basketball in April 2003, Michael Jordan still took home $31 million between June 2006 and June 2007, according to Forbes magazine. Where's it all coming from?
The biggest chunk of Jordan's income still comes from Nike—reportedly, it's significantly more than half this annual figure. Nike pays for his endorsement, and he earns royalties on the sales of merchandise with his name or image—the famous "Jumpman"—attached to it. The deal apparently pays off for Nike. The Jordan brand, its own subsidiary of Nike since 1997, grossed $800 million last year. "He is a true businessman and is extremely involved in every aspect of the Jordan Brand's growth and development," Jordan Brand president Garry Cook told Chicago in an e-mail.
Jordan also has continuing relationships with Hanes, the underwear company; sports-card maker Upper Deck; and Gatorade.
He's also receiving some royalties from his 2005 book, Driven from Within, and (comparatively) small amounts of money from his restaurant holdings (including One Sixtyblue in Chicago), a line of North Carolina car dealerships called Michael Jordan Automotive, and a motorcycle-racing team, which he sponsors.
Jordan, now 45, is managing partner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, meaning he owns part of the team and makes basketball decisions. He acquired the stake in June 2006.
Despite the substantial revenues rolling in, it's likely Jordan's accountant will remember 2007 as the year of Jordan's divorce from his wife, Juanita. Reports have said Jordan must pay her about $168 million.
There's a chance that next year might bring Jordan good financial news. He has a claim in the WorldCom bankruptcy proceedings for $8 million, which he contends is the balance he's owed on a 1995 endorsement deal. In February 2007, he won the right to proceed with his claim.
Photograph: Courtesy of Jordan Brand