Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports
Just when you forget how big Michael Jordan was, and still is, you come across a stat that reminds you that he is in another level of athlete super-stardom. However, this stat has nothing to do with points, awards, or championships; this stat is all about his reach as a brand. In 2014 Michael Jordan made $100 million…off his signature shoes alone.
PBS published a very interesting article and infographic on the sneaker culture and its impact. They revealed that Jordan’s income last year from sneakers was greater than that of his 15 year NBA career (approximately $94 million). Not surprisingly, the $100 million made Jordan the highest paid retired athlete last year. He made more than the #2 (Arnold Palmer) and #3 (David Beckham) highest paid retired athletes combined. My question: Is any athlete ever going to catch Jordan on this list, and who would it be?
Other interesting items from the infographic:
While Jordan is still making bank, LeBron was the highest shoe salesman among all basketball players last year. Nike sold $340 million worth of his shoes in 2014. (BTW, LeBron surpassed Jordan’s NBA salary by the age of 27 and will likely end up with over $300 million in salary).
About 450 million sneakers were imported from foreign countries last year. Over half of those were imported from China and over one-third of that 450 million were imported from Vietnam.
The man with the most sneakers has 2388 pairs of the shoes. His name is, and I’m not making this up: Jordan Michael Geller.
To view the full infographic, please click here.