Michael Jordan is the highest-paid athlete, yet the most underpaid

Luay Rahil

When I moved to the United States, I knew three things about America, Michale Jackson is the best showman in the world, Mike Tyson is the best fighter, and Michael Jordan is the best basketball player ever.

I have lived in the United States for a long time, but nothing has changed. I still believe that Michael Jordan is the best basketball player that ever existed, and now I know that he is the highest-paid athlete ever, according to Sportico's new list.

I can argue that he is the highest-paid and the most underpaid athlete that ever existed. Jordan made Chicago Bulls one of the most respected franchises in sports, made NBA an international league, and paved the way for players to build their brands.

Colin Cowherd credits Jordan for making the NBA a must-watch TV, "The NBA had never been as popular, all the owners were getting rich, and all the values of the franchises were going up because the TV ratings were massive."

Current athletes are so consumed with their salaries, but Michael Jordan and Lebron James are proving to the world to stop worrying about your annual salary and worry about your long-term value. Jordan's partnership with Nike wasn't about having his shoes. Instead, it was about having a marketing team to build the Jordan brand off-court.

Kurt Badenhausen reports that "Nike will pay MJ an estimated $150 million in royalties in 2021, nearly two decades after he hung up his high tops for good."

LeBron James is using the same strategies by building his brand off-court. When James announced his move to Los Angles, everyone in the world knew that LeBron James's business and basketball aspirations were colliding. Sam Amick was quick to say, " When it comes to the motivation behind James' move, it has been clear for quite some time that he was drawn in by the allure of the entertainment capital."

Smart athletes understand how to build their brand off-court before they stop playing their sports. Lionel Messi, Floyd Mayweather, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, David Beckham are amazing at building their empires in their primes.

Here are the top 10 highest-paid athletes of all time, according to Sportico.

  1. Michale Jordan: $2.62 B
  2. Tiger Woods: $2.1B
  3. Arnold Palmer: $1.5B
  4. Jack Nicklaus: $1.24B
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo: $1.24B
  6. Floyd Mayweather: $1.2B
  7. LeBron James: $1.17B
  8. Lionel Messi: $1.14B
  9. Michael Schumacher: $1.13B
  10. Roger Federer: $ 1.12B

Six out of the top 10 highest-paid athletes of all time played individualistic sports such as Golf, Boxing, Formula-1, and Tennis. It is easier for golfers to be on the list than soccer players, "with competitive careers that can span 30 years or more, golfers have the longest shelf life of any pro athletes."

So, when you see a basketball player or a soccer player on the list, pay closer attention because it is not easy.

Who are on the top 10 list that surprised you?

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Luay Rahil, MBA. writes about business, leadership, and various other work-related issues. He found Lead with Integrity group that has 5200 members to help people work smarter and lead better.

Fort Worth, TX
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