I would say even in his day as a basketball player, Micheal Jordan is still seen an iconic figure today and here are the reasons why I believe that. I remember reading this book for my sociology class called, Micheal Jordan and the New Global Capitalism, by Walter LaFeber. According to the NY Times, “at the end of the twentieth century, Americans, their economy, and their culture seemed to dominate many parts of the globe. A basketball player who lived in Chicago, Michael Jordan, was arguably the most recognized and revered of those Americans to billions of people worldwide” (NY Times). There was this one example about the school children in China, they were asked to rank the two greatest figures of the 20th century, which were Zhou, who created the communist revolution, and Micheal Jordan, who they knew because of the American produced advertisements for Nike shoes of him as an athlete floating in the air, and they enthusiastically follow on television. I also remember as a kid, seeing advertisements of him on television in the Philippines as well as the boys in my school comparing their Jordan air shoes. He really was the talk and heroic figure of the boys in my middle school.
Micheal Jordan’s coach, Phil Jackson, believes that Jordan, “…somehow been transformed in the public mind from a great athlete to a sports deity” (NY Times). Through his skills, it quickly transcended for him to money and power, who earned $30 million a year playing sports and more than twice the amount of money from his personal business and endorsements. NY times states, “… Jordan became a hero for the many races in American society was thus somewhat surprising. That he could transform this role into becoming, the most successful advertising figure in the world was historic (NY Times).
Even after his retirement in basketball, Jordan is still seen as a powerful and iconic figure. He owns the majority share of his basketball team called “Charlotte Bobcats”. In June of 2010 Forbes Magazine, ranked Micheal Jordan the 20th most powerful celebrity in the world with $55 million earned between years of 2009 – 2010. Also, the Brand Jordan generates $1 billion in sales for Nike.