Skip to main content

The Combined Value Of All 29 NBA Teams In 1998 Was $6 Billion, Michael Jordan Had A $10 Billion Estimated Impact On The U.S. Economy In The Same Year

The Combined Value Of All 29 NBA Teams In 1998 Was $6 Billion, Michael Jordan Had A $10 Billion Estimated Impact On The U.S. Economy In The Same Year

The NBA was on the verge of bankruptcy in the late 1970s. But it was saved by the epic rivalry of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The rivalry helped the league stand back on its feet and think about increasing its popularity.

The biggest contribution to the rise of the NBA as the best basketball league in the world was made by none other than Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan. Coming into the league in 1984, MJ didn't take a lot of time to become a superstar and made an instant impact on the popularity of the league.

But it was truly in the 1990s when Mike started to dominate the NBA. He led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships in six trips to the NBA Finals. More importantly, Jordan helped the league in increasing its popularity overseas.

Soon, most of the world was aware of the NBA due to Mike's amazing ability to play basketball. On top of that, Jordan also helped players in earning money via endorsement deals. NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley even praised Michael for opening the path to earning huge money from sneakers and commercial deals for other players in the NBA.

During Mike's playing days, the salaries of players weren't that high, but they could make big money through endorsement deals. Jordan himself did so by signing with Nike and skyrocketing the popularity of basketball sneakers.


The True Value Of Michael Jordan

We are sure the majority of fans are aware of the impact of Jordan on the above-mentioned things. But the idea of Jordan's true value can only be realized by knowing how much he contributed to the U.S. economy.

As per a report published by Fortune magazine in 1998, MJ contributed $10 billion to the United States economy. Still not surprised? Well, at the time, the combined value of all the 29 NBA franchises was just a little above $6 billion.

Via Deseret:

Michael Jordan's slam dunk career has had an MVP $10 billion impact on the economy, Fortune magazine estimates.

From peddling sneakers, underwear and cologne, Jordan also has an influence on rising television ratings and gate receipts for basketball teams, increased sales of NBA paraphernalia and a lineup of sports videos and books.

Since 1990, when the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls took their first of five championships, television ratings, ticket sales, television rights fees, National Basketball Association retail sales and player salaries have all risen.

With help from outside economists, Fortune estimates the Jordan persona and product line has been worth $5.2 billion to sneaker and sports apparel manufacturer Nike Inc. Other companies whose products he endorses got an estimated $408 million lift.

The magazine also credits $3.1 billion in increased sales of NBA-licensed caps, shirts, jerseys and related objects since Jordan entered the league in 1984.

Apart from that, MJ's presence on the court attracted millions more revenue for the league in attendance, TV, and cable revenue. Another addition to it was Jordan's Space Jam movie.

At the time, it brought in $230 million at the box office and an additional $209 million in video sales. Combining all things, it's easy to understand how Mike contributed around $10 billion to the U.S. economy in 1998.

Fast forward to 2022, the Jordan brand is still going strong. This year, the brand reached $5 billion in annual revenue for the first time.

At the end of the day, Michael Jordan is truly one of a kind. While there have been many other players who have had an influence on fans, it's certain that we will never see the impact that Jordan made on the NBA ever again. Some NBA stars may come close to him in the future, but it will still never have the same impact as what Michael Jordan had in the 1990s.