Forbes has crowned Michael Jordan as the “world’s richest sportsman” in their latest Billionaire rankings, while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are notably absent from the wealthy list.


Basketball icon Michael Jordan has ascended above WWE tycoon Vince McMahon to claim the title of the world’s wealthiest sports figure in 2024.


The most recent release of the Forbes Billionaires Index showcases Jordan comfortably sitting atop the rankings as the richest athlete globally.

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Although several high-profile sports personalities saw increases in their wealth and some debuted on the elite list, no footballers have yet breached Forbes’ exclusive billionaire club, with Messi and Ronaldo still falling short of “Billionaire status.”

Michael Jordan’s Rise to the Top:
Michael Jordan’s net worth stands at $3.2 billion, solidifying his position as the richest sportsman globally.

The most significant highlight of this year’s list concerning athletes is Jordan’s remarkable wealth surge. The Brooklyn-born mogul and former basketball legend saw his net worth spike by $1.2 billion USD between January 2023 and January 2024, according to Forbes.

This ascent is no coincidence, as Jordan has continuously expanded his business ventures. In 2014, he became the first NBA player to achieve billionaire status, primarily due to increasing his stake in the Charlotte Hornets from 80% to 89.5%.

Since 2017, Jordan has consistently topped the list of athletes with the highest career earnings. Despite earning approximately $90 million in salary during his playing days, his corporate partnerships with brands like Nike, Hanes, and Gatorade have generated a staggering $2.4 billion in pre-tax income.

The enduring success of the Jordan Brand, his iconic collaboration with Nike, continues to bolster his wealth year after year. Forbes reports that the Jordan Brand alone generates $1 billion in annual sales for Nike.

Furthermore, Jordan’s strategic moves outside of basketball, such as joining sports-betting firm DraftKings as a special advisor and investing in NASCAR, have contributed to his financial prowess.

Vince McMahon’s Slide:
On the other hand, Vince McMahon, once hailed as the richest sportsman, has faced setbacks amidst a sexual misconduct scandal.

Forbes reports a decline in McMahon’s net worth by over $100 million USD between January 2023 and January 2024. This decline follows his forced sale of shares in TKO and resignation from his CEO role at WWE due to ongoing federal investigations.

However, McMahon still holds a substantial portion of shares in TKO Group and WWE, maintaining his status among the wealthiest sports figures despite the challenges.

New Entrants and Growing Fortunes:
Magic Johnson, another basketball legend, made his debut on Forbes’ Billionaires Index in 2024, with a net worth of $1.2 billion. Johnson’s post-retirement ventures in joint venture partnerships, real estate, and healthcare have significantly contributed to his wealth, particularly his ownership stake in life insurance company Equitrust.

LeBron James continues to amass wealth, becoming the first active basketball player to achieve billionaire status. His strategic equity investments in brands like Beats by Dre and ownership stakes in sports franchises like Liverpool FC and AC Milan have propelled his net worth to $1.2 billion.

Toto Wolff, the CEO and Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG F1, has seen his net worth soar to $1.6 billion, primarily fueled by his ownership stake in the Formula 1 team and their consecutive championships.

Tiger Woods, revered as one of the greatest golfers of all time, boasts a net worth of $1.3 billion. Woods’ prudent investments and endorsement deals, coupled with his historic golfing career, have cemented his status as one of the wealthiest athletes globally.

In summary, only six sports figures, spanning various disciplines, made it onto the Forbes 2024 Billionaires Index, with Michael Jordan leading the pack as the world’s richest sportsman.