The sneaker industry is big business. To be more specific, Americans spent $34 billion on sneakers last year alone. LeBron James‘ signature shoes were responsible for $340 million of that number, making his the most popular shoes of any current NBA star.
LeBron might have the most popular shoe of anyone playing today, but as we all know, Michael Jordan will always be the G.O.A.T. in that department. A new article by Carey Reed on PBS.org features a fascinating infographic (courtesy of Lisa Overton) that shows, among other things, what percentage of sneakers sold in the United States last year were imported from other countries (an astounding 99 percent) and how long it took Nike.com to sell out of the Air Yeezy II Red Octobers (11 minutes).
But one of the most striking tidbits has to do with just how much money Jordan earned from sneaker sales in 2014 alone. Here’s the operative bit from Overton’s graphic:
“2014: The year Michael Jordan made more money ($100 million) selling sneakers, than he did during his 15-season career ($94 million). These earnings made Jordan the highest-paid retired athlete in the world last year.”
That’s a fact you might have already known intuitively, but it’s pretty staggering to see an actual figure attached to it. The lesson here, as always: Michael Jordan likes to crush the competition in whatever he does. See the full infographic below for more.