“In Any Investment, You Expect to Have Fun and Make Money”
The above quote isn’t from a tech mogul or a US President, nor did it originate from the mind of a ruthless Wall Street trader or a British baron surrounded by deer and pheasant. No, those words came from none other than Michael Jordan, the retired NBA player whose wealth continues to grow thanks to shrewd business investments.
Good old MJ is now in his fifties and hasn’t played professional basketball since 2003, but rather than falling into obscurity or having a “how the mighty have fallen” legacy, his current net worth is over $1.3 billion. That’s right, “billion” with a B. Needless to say, His Airness has done pretty well for himself.
However, accruing this enormous fortune didn’t happen willy-nilly. Nor does becoming the third richest African-American after Oprah Winfrey and Robert F. Smith occur overnight. Instead, Jordan dedicated immense amounts of time and focus to his passion, simultaneously being open to marketing opportunities that enhanced his image as a powerful and determined athlete.
Over the years, MJ acted as a major spokesperson for McDonald’s, Nike, Coca-Cola and many other household brands, plus his relationship with Gatorade alone saw him star in over twenty adverts. This sponsorship deal in particular went way beyond the boundaries of advertising and made Jordan a hero for young people. Children singing about how they want to “Be Like Mike” enabled the transition from basketball star to American hero in the time it takes to drink a sports-themed beverage.
Add to this Nike’s creation of a signature shoe called Air Jordan, which proved so popular that a series of sneaker robberies swept across the nation. And rather than the hype eventually dying down to make way for the next big fad, the product has remained popular since 1983 and is complemented by the wider Jordan Brand.
Then we have Jordan’s leading role alongside Bugs Bunny in the blockbuster movie Space Jam (which took $230m at the box office against an $80m budget), an appearance in a Michael Jackson music video, dozens of sporting awards, two Olympic Gold medals, not to mention receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama, and you clearly see why Michael Jordan is surely the most famous player in basketball history.
Today, MJ is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets and continues to rake in around $110 million per year from his savvy endorsements. Not bad for a kid who was originally deemed too short to play basketball whilst at high school.
So, what can we learn from Michael Jordan? First of all, choose investments that are exciting and guaranteed to make a profit; secondly, don’t give up on your dreams no matter what; and most importantly of all, whoever you are, you should always endeavour to Be Like Mike.
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