Top 10 Richest Athletes
As a kid watching our favorite athletes battle it out on the sporting grounds, we can’t help but admire the price tag that comes with their career. Even as an adult, we still can’t help but go ga-ga over their salaries.
Thanks to endorsement deals and crazy intense contracts, it goes to show that anyone can make bank doing what they love. Forbes recently published their Top 10 highest paid athlete list and these numbers will blow anyone’s socks off! As predicted, many of these athletes are from popular sporting events. They include basketball, tennis, football, and even the sport with the highest betting and beatings, boxing.
Who do you think takes the crown for being the richest athlete to date?
We’ll start from the bottom up:
10. Matthew Stafford (American Football)
USD$ 59.5 million
Detroit Lions’ star quarterback Matthew Stafford, a Texas native, Stafford’s endorsements worth USD$2 million with earnings of $57.5 million. This college footballer turned pro has rightfully earned his winnings as he has been crowned the fastest player in NFL history to reach 30,000 yards (approx. 28km) in 109 games. That’s like running from KL to Shah Alam each game and still beating the record for speed!
His five-year contract deal of $135 million includes a guaranteed $60.5 million salary and a $50 million bonus on a yearly basis. As a quarterback, he leads the pack in offense and has fast become a crowd favorite. His impressive skills landed him in handsome endorsements from Nike, Pepsi Co, and Ford Motors totaling $2 million. This puts him slightly behind fellow American Footballer Matt Ryan.
9. Matt Ryan (American Football)
USD$ 67.3 million
What do Nike, Gatorade, Delta Airlines, IBM, Mercedes Benz, and Banana Republic have in common? Matt Ryan. His status as NFL quarterback has won him the likes of these companies. In return, he gets a bonus $5 million in endorsement mullah.
Besides winning the hearts of his fans and sponsors, he has also won the title of First-NFL-Player-to Earn-$30-Million. His new contract, signed with the Detroit Falcons has given him a yearly income of $100 million plus an extra $46.5 million bonus.
His earnings have also come from many years of awards and recognition such as NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP), and NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
For those unfamiliar with American Football, quarterbacks are the team leaders on the offense teams, and call the shots on the field. Therefore, they’re generally paid highest in the team.
8. Stephen Curry (Basketball)
USD$ 76.9 million
Six-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), three-time NBA Champion Stephen Curry takes the 8th spot on this list. Deemed the greatest shooter in NBA history, Curry has won the hearts of basketball fans and fellow players for his revolutionary three-pointers.
His contributions to basketball has not only earned him the nickname “the Michael Jordan of the three point era”, it has also paid off in economic status with sponsorship from Nissan, Under Armour, Chase, JBL, and Vivo worth $42 million off the courts.
His latest contract with the Golden State Warriors also landed him as the first NBA player worth $200 million, resulting in a $40 million yearly earning for five years. Off the courts, Curry has also been focused on his new production company, Unanimous Media, which aims to produce films that center around family, faith, and sports themes.
Curry may not have gotten the first place on this ranking, but he sure has a #1 spot in the hearts of many.
7. Roger Federer (Tennis)
USD$ 77 million
While the American MVPs make most of their financial gains from contracts, the greatest tennis player turns to his endorsement partnerships.
While his latest prize money amassed an impressive $12.2 million, his endorsements has put him on a delectable spot on this list. The Swiss native has gathered entourage sponsors across the globe from Mt Fuji to the Alps. From Barilla, Moet & Chandon, Credit Suisse, Mercedes Benz, Rolex, and Uniqlo, he has earned a whopping $65 million.
Despite his status and wealth, Federer has still made time to make guest appearances in the likes of Bear Grylls’ Running Wild on Discovery.
6. LeBron James (Basketball)
USD$ 85.5 million
After making is to the NBA finals eight years in a row, James stands tall as the man who has beaten legend Michael Jordan’s record. On the court, his skills have earned him $33.5 million in salaries. With his new four-year contract with the LA Lakers, he is set to gain an extra $154 million.
Besides holding the title for beating Michael Jordan’s long standing record, James also holds the NBA’s top endorsement portfolio. James has partnered with Blaze Pizza, Coca-Cola, Beats by Dr Dre, Kia Motor, Intel, and Nike. James’ Nike signature collection is also currently the most best-selling sneakers among active NBA players. But his earnings are not for keeps as he plans to spend $41 million to send kids to college for free.
5. Neymar (Football)
USD$ 90 million
After making his name in Brazil at a young age, Neymar uprooted to Barcelona to join football legends Messi and Suarez to kick start his career. However, it wasn’t till 2017 when a transfer to Paris Saint Germain bumped him into the category of Most-Expensive-Player-Ever.
The move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain cost $600 million for a five-year transfer. The breakdown was a $250 million to Barcelona for the release, together with a $350 million salary. The am bipedal (footballer who can play with both legs) has also caught the attention of sponsors that landed him in partnerships that rake in $19 million from Red Bull, Gillette, McDonald’s, Beats by Dr Dre, and Nike. His unique skills and abilities have also given him privilege as the first soccer player with his own custom Air Jordan sneakers.
4. Conor McGregor (UFC Fighter)
USD$ 99 million
Thanks to a 2017 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, McGregor pocketed $85 million. According to reports, this sum is five times of his previous top paycheck. This is a result of an estimated $550 million revenue from 4.3 million PPV (Pay-Per-View) buys plus multiple deals in the 12 months leading up to the fight with Mayweather.
Under his belt of deals, he has a slew of partner sponsors such as Burger King, Beats by Dr Dre, Monster Energy, David August, BSN, Anheuser-Busch, HiSmile and Betsafe. Since his claim to fame, he has also developed various digital properties such as Conor McGregor FAST Program, MacMoji app, MacTalk app, and Mac Life that continues to bring in the cash.
3. Christiano Ronaldo (Football)
USD$ 108 million
Citing a need for a “challenge”, Ronaldo footballers moved to Italian Club. This move gained the man $117 million. Previously, during his time with Real Madrid football club, he earned a comfortable sum of $61 million.
His reputation secured him a lifetime contract with Nike worth upward of $1 billion. Besides a contract of a lifetime, he also has a strong set of sponsorships that elevated him to the Top 3 Richest Athletes list. Endorsements include Herbalife, EA Sports, and America Tourister. The list doesn’t stop there, Ronaldo also has a growing line of branded goods including shoes, underwear, fragrances, jeans, a children’s line, a chain of hotels, and restaurants in Brazil.
With an Instagram following of 322 million, it is no wonder brands and corporations are itching to get him on board with their brands.
2. Lionel Messi (Football)
USD$ 111 million
Barcelona front man Messi snatches the silver, a step ahead of Portuguese Ronaldo. Upon agreeing to extend his contract with Barcelona, he banks in a combined annual income of $80 million from the contract alone.
For dessert, he has deals with Gatorade, Pepsi, Ooredoo, Huawei, and Hawkers. To top it off, akin to Ronaldo, Messi has signed a lifelong sponsorship with Adidas which lands him a sexy earning of $111 million.
Brazilian Neymar may have bagged the title of Most-Expensive-Player-Ever, but Messi still takes the lead on the financial pedestal.
1. Floyd Mayweather (Boxing)
USD$ 285 million
In a sweat-breaking-Gatorade-chugging, highly anticipated match with Conor McGregor, Mayweather generated more than $550 million in revenue. Dubbed “Pretty Boy” “Money” Mayweather, he founded his own boxing promotional firm, Mayweather Productions that generated a massive 23.8 million PPV (Pay-Per-View) purchases, surpassing former top PPV big boys such as Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, and Manny Pacquiao.
In the highest anticipated fight of 2017, Mayweather rang out his younger Irish competitor with a reported earnings of $300million. Mayweather “Money” also banked a sweet deal with designer watch company Hublot and Tequila Avion worth $10 million.
With an undefeated record of 50-0 wins in his career, Mayweather now has yet another win as the richest athlete in the world.
Guys don’t envy rich athletes anymore.
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