I'm talking in terms of popularity, drawing power, and importance each guy brought to their respective sports. Yes I know it's kind of a silly question to ask on a wrestling forum, but I'm interested to read peoples' responses to this.
I'd actually go with Hogan as ridiculous as it sounds. Jordan was a marketing Icon (for Nike) but I think the NBA would have been where it's at without him.
Magic & Larry laid the ground work and took the NBA to the next level.
Hogan led Wrestling's into the mainstream with Wrestlemania, and SNME. He also took Big Time Wrestling out the Armorys and back into the Areans.
really? have you ever been outside of the USA? stop talking out of your ass.
jordan's name still gets around in basketball conversations but when was the last time you talked about hogan in a conversation? never. thats right
Well I don't live in USA and believe it or not American sports aren't that popular outside of America. I could name you Babe Ruth in baseball and I don't really know any basketball players other than Jordan. Wrestling is far more popular in Europe than basketball.
I'm going with Hogan here. I know Jordan was bigger, MUCH bigger. But Hogan put WWE on the map. Literally. It was in New York/northeast, and then it was nationwide.
Michael Jordan was and is the biggest sports star on the planet. The added money he brought to the NBA and other entities far outweighs Hogan. However, the percentage growth he brought to the NBA is nothing compared to what Hogan brought to WWE. NBA fans, and all sports fans, talk about Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, not merely because they were glorified after the fact but because they were big deals at the time. In fact, Bird and Magic are the ones most described as 'putting the NBA on the map.' Go ask a Hogan fan back then, or a wrestling fan today, who Billy Graham, or Bob Backlund, or Bruno Sammartino are; they'll have no idea. The NBA was slowly growing, was seriously helped by the arrival of cable, precisely when WWE was helped by the arrival of PPV and Hulk Hogan.
Also, Jordan wasn't the first extremely dominant NBA player, he was just the first extremely dominant player since the 80's, when the NBA really went through rapid expansion. Hogan, however, was a pioneer; he was the first wrestling star promoted for his acting ability (and promoted largely because of his Rocky (3?) appearance), rather than his in-ring ability. He was the beginning of the sports-entertainment era, where WWE implicitly acknowledged it was fake, the version of pro wrestling that exploded in popularity. Hogan is much more responsible for wrestling's success than Jordan is to the NBA's success.
You just nailed it, although this doesn't fit into the OP's question.
If the question is: "Which of the two contributed to their respective spot more?", that would be Hogan (by an inch).
Adding to your first paragraph, the 80's wrestling boom made the sport popular nationwide... while the Ruthless Agression era elevated the WWE into a global phenomenon. 2003... pro wrestling was a craze in my country.