Life beyond style

Michael Jordan has topped a new Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes ever, with staggering personal wealth totaling $1.7 billion.

Jordan’s fortune can be attributed to both his on-court salary of $93 million over 15 seasons, and his off-court endorsements with the likes of Nike, Coca-Cola, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Hanes, and others. Due to its continued success, the Jordan Brand — which is owned by Nike — paid MJ more than $100 million earlier this year, while the basketball GOAT is also entitled to royalties on every shoe, shorts, and hoodie sold. Jordan Brand generated $2.8 billion in revenue for Nike in the fiscal year ending in May, and it’s been said the sportswear giant plans on growing that figure to $4.5 billion by 2020. Think of all the breds you could buy with that.

Second on the list was golfer Tiger Woods ($1.67 billion), thanks in part to the fact he was previously the highest-paid athlete in the world for 11 straight years.  Tiger’s golf peers Arnold Palmer ($1.35 billion) and Jack Nicholaus ($1.15 billion) charted in third and fourth place, with F1 racer Michael Schumacher ($1 billion) rounding up the top five.

Soccer’s Lionel Messi was the youngest athlete to make the top 20 at seventeenth ($520 million), but the Barcelona star will be unhappy at finishing behind his Real Madrid nemesis, Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished in fourteenth ($620 million). Other well-known faces to make the cut include Kobe Bryant ($770 million), David Beckham ($730 million), Shaquille O’Neal ($700 million), and Lebron James ($640 million); they finished sixth, ninth, tenth, and thirteenth, respectively.

The top 20 in full is:

1. Michael Jordan $1.7 billion
2. Tiger Woods $1.67 billion
3. Arnold Palmer $1.35 billion
4. Jack Nicklaus $1.15 billion
5. Michael Schumacher $1 billion
6. Kobe Bryant $770 million
7. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. $765 million
8. Phil Mickelson $760 million
9. David Beckham $730 million
10. Shaquille O’Neal $700 million
11. Mike Tyson $685 million
12. Greg Norman $680 million
13. LeBron James $640 million
14. Cristiano Ronaldo $620 million
15. Roger Federer $600 million
16. Alex Rodriguez $600 million
17. Lionel Messi $520 million
18. Jeff Gordon $515 million
19. Oscar De La Hoya $510 million
20. Manny Pacquiao $490 million

Head on over to Forbes for more eye-popping figures and additional insight on the list.

Meanwhile, these are Forbes’s current 30 highest-paid celebrities under 30.

  • Front and Main Image: Reuters
What To Read Next