Sports Heroes Get Paid Well in Many Ways

By June 23, 2021 No Comments

It’s no secret many top athletes often earn far more from endorsements than from prize money or salaries. This, however, is rarified air only available to a chosen few.

Some athletes can earn this kind of revenue purely from their success in the sport. But often, the exceptional earners also have a brand that transcends their performance. These athletes may leverage their good looks or outlandish personalities into national, newsmaker status.

These “endorsers” can also negatively affect a brand. Take for example, soccer star Cristiano Renaldo’s recent removal of two Coca Cola bottles from his table at a press conference. The move resulted in a $4B drop in share price for the soft drink company.

The list below features the highest paid athlete endorsers in 2021:

  1. Maria Sharapova, Tennis/Endorsements: $297 million during her entire career  

Top Brands: Nike, Motorola, Colgate-Palmolive, Tag Heuer, Land Rover, PepsiCo, Evian, Head, Porsche

  1. Derrick Rose, Basketball – New York Knicks/Endorsements: $185 million over 14 years 

Top Brands: Adidas

  1. Roger Federer, Tennis/Endorsements: $100 million/year

Top brands: Rolex, Mercedes Benz, Uniqlo, Wilson, Mercedes-Benz, Jura, Lindt Chocolate, Credit Suisse, Sunrise, Net Jets, Moet & Chandon, Gillette, Procter & Gamble

  1. Tiger Woods, Golf/Endorsements: $60 million/year

Top brands: Nike, Kowa, Upper Deck, Hero Motor Group, Monster Energy, Rolex, Discovery Communications, Bridgestone, TaylorMade

  1. Lebron James, Basketball – Los Angeles Lakers/Endorsements: $60 million/year

Top brands: Nike, Coca-Cola, Nike, Upper Deck, McDonald’s, Samsung, Microsoft

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer – Juventus/Endorsements: $45 million/year

Top brands: Nike, Herbalife, Jacob & Co., Toyota, KFC, Tag Heuer, Samsung, Konami, Unilever, MTG, DAZN, Altice

  1. Stephen Curry, Basketball – Golden State Warriors/Endorsements: $44 million/year

Top brands: Under Armour, Samsung Electronics, Coca-Cola, Kia Motors, Fanatics, Chase, Callaway Golf

  1. Phil Mickelson, Golf/Endorsements: $40 million/year

Top brands: Rolex, Callaway Golf, Heineken, KPMG, Amgen, Intrepid Financial Partners

  1. Kevin Durant, Basketball – Golden State Warriors/Endorsements: $35 million/year

Top brands: Nike, Sonica, Sparkling Ice, Nike, EA Sports, Gatorade, Panini America, Sprint, Degree Men

  1. Naomi Osaka – Tennis /Endorsements: $34 million/year

Top brands: Yonex, Procter & Gamble, Mastercard, Body Armor, All Nippon Airways, Nissan, Nike, Nissin Foods Holdings, Shiseido