One need only look at the internet’s gleeful reaction to Michael Jordan’s defense of his brand against Macklemore to realize that MJ still has a ton of power in the marketplace. The brand of sneakers that bears his name is arguably the most sought-after in the world, and he still appears in Gatorade and Hanes commercials with regularity. Now, thanks to a lawsuit Jordan filed against a chain of grocery stores that used his likeness without permission, we have some more details about just how much Jordan’s image is worth.
Jordan brought in economist Andrew Zimbalist in the suit, who claimed that Jordan’s image has a market value of around $10 million, which seems insanely high. Why is it so high, you ask? Because, Jordan’s manager claims, he “meticulously curates” what advertisements can bear his name so that it properly reflects his greatness. Or his patience with fellow airplane passengers, whichever.
The best piece of information from the suit, however, is that Jordan’s endorsement income in 2012, according to Zimbalist, was more than $75 million, an insane sum that outpaces Roger Federer, who makes the most endorsement money of any current athlete according to Forbes, by more than $17 million. It’s a mind-boggling figure, but it makes sense when you remember just how much an advertisement with Jordan in it means to a company.