It is no secret that some of the most famous athletes around the world bring in millions of dollars every year. They play a range of sports, from golf to basketball, to tennis, among others. What a lot of people might not know however, is that for many of those athletes, a majority of their earnings are not made from the sport they play. Here is a list of athletes who make more money from the endorsement deals they sign.
Despite his loss at the U.S. Open, with 20 Grand Slam titles to his name, Federer’s dominance on the court cannot be disputed. In 2018 however, Roger Federer made more from endorsements. With a total earning of $77.2 million, $65 million of that came purely from endorsements.
Some of the companies Federer has partnered with include Rolex, Mercedes, Jura, and NetJets, among others. Though he ended his relationship with clothing powerhouse Nike, Federer signed a 10 year deal with Uniqlo, a clothing company from Japan, worth a whopping $300 million.
He has had an extremely successful career playing in the NBA with the likes of Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and now the Los Angeles Lakers. Not only has LeBron been compared to Michael Jordan, one of the greatest players to ever grace the game, he recently surpassed Jordan on the NBA’s all-time highest scorers list.
However, he makes his big bucks off the court. Deals with companies such as Nike and Kia Motors enabled LeBron to bring in $52 million in 2018 in endorsement deals alone, bringing his total earnings for that year to $85.5 million.
On top of those sweet deals, LeBron has also co-founded a multimedia and production company and also has a 2% stake in Liverpool Football Club.
Tiger’s win at the Masters ended a Major Championship drought that lasted 11 years. The win also brought him a step closer to tying the record of most Championship wins. With earnings of around $43 million, only $1.3 million of that came from prize money.
His relationship with Nike, Monster Energy, Bridgestone, among others, brought him $42 million outside the game.
Second only to Roger Federer in total Grand Slam wins, the World Number Two has had a successful tennis career. But much like his rival, most of his money comes from outside tennis.
His consistency has helped him have a continued relationship with brands such as Kia Motors, Nike, Babolat, among others. This relationship earned him $27 million in endorsements, to go with the $14.4 million he made from prize money.
Stephen Curry has been an important member in the dominance of the Golden State Warriors in recent years. His importance to the team made clear when he became the first NBA player to put pen to paper on a $200 million contract with the Warriors in 2017.
While his success on the court has earned him $34.9 million, the agreements he has in place with brands like Under Armour, Vivo, and JBL have brought him $42 million. On top of that, his production company struck a deal with Hollywood powerhouse Sony Entertainment.
Though he lost the PGA Tour player of the year award to Brooks Koepka, 2019 has been one of McIlroy’s most consistent seasons. Despite the setback, he has further solidified himself as one of the greats of the modern era, if not of all time.
And while the $3.7 million Rory McIlroy earned from winnings is impressive, the $37 million he got from endorsements made a more significant contribution to his total earnings. One of the factors is the contract extension he signed with Nike in 2017 worth $200 million, and the $100 million deal with TaylorMade.