Earned more than Ronaldo and Messi combined. Jordan is the richest athlete of all time
Sportrico recently published the top 25 highest paid athletes of all time. The ranking includes athletes from eight sports, their combined income amounted to $ 25.5 billion.
Six-time NBA champion in the Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan is the absolute leader of the rating. Jordan earned more than the world’s most famous footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi combined.
The top 25 highest paid athletes of all time are as follows (all dollar amounts).
1. Michael Jordan (basketball) – 2.62 billion
2. Tiger Woods (golf) – 2.1 billion
3. Arnold Palmer (golf) – 1.5 billion
4. Jack Nicklaus (golf) – 1.38 billion
5. Cristiano Ronaldo (football) – 1.24 billion
6. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (boxing) – 1.2 billion
7. LeBron James (basketball) – 1.17 billion
8. Lionel Messi (football) – 1.14 billion
9. Michael Schumacher (auto racing) – 1.13 billion
10. Roger Federer (tennis) – 1.12 billion
11. Phil Mickelson (golf) – 1.08 billion
12. David Beckham (football) – 1.05 billion
13. Kobe Bryant (basketball) – 930 million
14. Shaquille O’Neal (basketball) – 870 million
15. Greg Norman (golf) – 815 million
16. Mike Tyson (boxing) – 775 million
17. Alex Rodriguez (baseball) – 650 million
18. Manny Pacquiao (boxing) – 630 million
19. Kevin Durant (basketball) – 625 million
20. Lewis Hamilton (auto racing) – 620 million
21. Neymar (football) – 615 million
22. Jeff Gordon (auto racing) – 595 million
23 Oscar de la Hoya (boxing) 580 million
24 Peyton Manning (American football) 570 million
25 Derek Jeter (baseball) 555 million
Basketball and golf are the most widely represented in the ranking – 5 people each. Representatives of these sports account for more than half of the total income of all representatives of the top 25. Golfers earned a total of $ 6.875 billion, which is more than basketball players ($ 6.215 billion). However, allowance should be made for the fact that golf is an “aristocratic” sport for the “elite”. In addition, it is important to consider that a golfer’s career may well last more than 30 years, which means that it is easier to be heard and get lucrative advertising contracts. This is the reason for such a massive presence on the list of those who are trying to send the ball into the hole.
Basketball is a massive game where ordinary guys from street courts can achieve success. Jordan and LeBron did not come from wealthy families, but they end up in the top 10 richest athletes. It is basketball that can be called the most profitable sport on the planet. The NBA has the highest average salary in the world of any sports league at $ 8.25 million per year. Not only superstars, but also simple roleplayers can receive big money.
Jordan’s leadership in the ranking is symbolic. Michael is more than half a billion ahead of his closest pursuer. Basketball player who earned only 6% of his income as a salary from contracts in the NBA. Everything else is sponsorship deals with Nike, Gatorade, Hanes and Upper Deck.
Nike has paid Jordan $ 1.35 billion in royalties since retiring from professional basketball in 2003. In 2021, almost two decades after the end of his career, the shoe company will pay him $ 150 million in royalties. The income will continue to come, and Jordan’s income will grow.
The creation of the Jordan Brand, a subsidiary of Nike, made Jordan really rich. Last year, Michael’s brand brand revenue grew 31% to $ 4.7 billion. Jordan even makes money from other athletes in the rankings. At the end of the 2021/2022 season, the legendary basketball player will receive more than $ 10 million as a percentage of the sale of jerseys of PSG striker Lionel Messi. Why is that? Air Jordan is the technical sponsor of the Paris club. Jordan is entitled to special bonuses from the implementation of the form.
For the next few years, Jordan will remain the leader of the ranking. If anyone can get ahead of him, it will be a different basketball player. LeBron James significantly outperforms Jordan in terms of earnings during his basketball career, which the Los Angeles Lakers forward has no plans to complete. Sooner or later, LeBron has to bypass Michael. James will receive over $ 1 billion in payments thanks to a lifetime partnership with Nike. And his business empire continues to grow rapidly. “Championship” talked about this in a recent article.
Unfortunately, all sports fans will not be able to watch the development of businessman Kobe Bryant. The 5-time NBA champion with the Lakers was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020. Kobe’s investment still generates huge returns for his family.
In 2014, Kobe acquired a 10 percent stake in the sports drinks manufacturer BodyArmor for $ 6 million. A week ago, BodyArmor became part of the Coca-Cola concern. The company’s value has grown significantly over 7 years. After all the financial transactions, Kobe’s block of shares will bring his family an income of $ 400 million. Only Bryant could have made a lot more if he was alive. Perhaps he would have become a successful movie mogul after winning an Oscar for the short film Dear Basketball. Although his area of interest in business went far beyond this industry.
Shaquille O’Neal won three Lakers titles with Kobe. Most basketball fans now see Shaq as an expert on TNT. Few people know about the entrepreneurial qualities of the legendary center. O’Neill earned $ 292 million in NBA contract salaries and over $ 200 million in advertising during his career. I spent them wisely. After leaving the league, Shaq earns even more money every year than when he entered the court.
O’Neill is an active player in the stock market and real estate. It has long been an important part of the business world. On March 22, 2019, the center joined the board of directors of the Papa Johns pizza chain. In August 2021, Shaq sold his minority stake in the NBA club Sacramento Kings for $ 11 million and became the main sponsor of the online gambling company WynnBET. Advertising revenues continue to flow to his account. According to media reports, O’Neill replenishes his wallet with at least $ 60 million annually.
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant is the best NBA player at the moment according to most experts and fans. Off-site, Kevin has earned himself a reputation as the league’s chief startup executive. Durant loves to invest in promising projects, which sometimes brings him a large income. A few years ago, Durant invested just $ 1 million in the CoinBase cryptocurrency exchange platform. The company’s shares rose quickly from $ 1.6 billion to $ 100 billion. As of this spring, Kevin has made 62.5 times more than he invested. $ 1 million is Durant’s typical investment in many projects. He recently made 100 times more profit from another sharply higher asset. Durant has every chance of climbing into the top 10 rankings in a few years.
Ronaldo and Messi? Probably the most recognizable athletes on the list in every country in the world with the exception of the United States. Their football career is coming to an end. They will receive considerable income from advertising and business investments even after they hang their boots on a nail. Another successful footballer in the rankings is David Beckham, who is in the top 12 largely due to the fact that he is now doing business in the United States. It is likely that Cristiano and Lionel will also do this sooner or later, otherwise there is a risk that they will be bypassed by the same basketball players O’Neill and Durant.