Ulysses Bridgeman – aka Junior Bridgeman – may not be one of the most famous players to ever grace a basketball court.
However, it really doesn’t matter because that’s what he did. after his time in the NBA was over, it really had an impact.
At the height of his career, Junior Bridgeman was earning $350,000 in one season. And while that’s certainly a respectable salary, it pales in comparison to what big names in the modern day NBA like Michael Jordan and LeBron James do.
And while there are plenty of NBA players who lose all their money after quitting – perhaps the most infamous example being Dennis Rodman (although, in all honesty, that wasn’t his fault) – Bridgeman flew in the face of conventional wisdom and instead became a multi-millionaire in his own right.
According Celebrity Net Worth, he amassed a net worth of $600 million after becoming one of the most successful fast food franchisees in history. He then turned his fast food success into soft drink success – and today even owns two of the most legendary black media brands in history.
Let’s see how Junior Bridgeman makes his money.
Editorial Note: The net worth shown in this article is a speculative estimate taken from various online sources. Additionally, inflation figures are also speculative estimates provided by InflationCalculator.com and do not necessarily reflect actual dollar values.
According the official NBA website, Junior Bridgeman – who played for the Milwaukee Bucks for most of his career – had a game-high 32 points, 12 field goals and 8 free throws.
At his peak, Bridgeman earned around $350,000 per season, per celebrity net worth. After adjusting for inflation, the maximum he earned per season was around $900,000.
fast food franchise
While in the NBA, Junior Bridgeman learned the proverbial ropes of becoming a fast food franchisee. According Biz Journals, he invested in a series of Wendy’s restaurants after retiring from the league, confident in his knowledge of the franchise business model.
The outlet also reports that Bridgeman also owned a series of Chili’s restaurants in Wisconsin.
Bridgeman eventually became one of the nation’s largest franchisees.
In 2016, he sold his restaurants to become a distributor for The Coca-Cola Company.
Just a year after becoming a Coca-Cola distributor, Junior Bridgeman has widened his reach in the company to become an international businessman, according to a separate report for BizJournals. In 2017, Bridgeman partnered with Larry Tanenbaum, a Canadian businessman, to acquire Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada (CCRC). The merger was reportedly completed in the second quarter of 2018.
Ebony and jet magazines
In 2020, Ebony and Jet Magazines – which have been mainstays of black media for decades – filed for bankruptcy protection.
As AfroTech previously reported, Ebony and Jet filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection – that is when assets must be liquidated to settle debts – after it was revealed that ‘they had defaulted on more than $10 million in loans (the bankruptcy was later converted to a Chapter 11 reorganization).
And in December of that year, Bridgeman — who formed Bridgeman Sports & Media to buy the media properties for that very purpose — successfully purchased the magazines for $14 million, according to The Chicago Tribune.