Ashraf Ali Siddiqui describes High earning athletes
Star High earning athletes are very well remunerated for their expertise in the wide sporting field as they provide very attractive entertainment. All together, the Top 50 have earned a combined $45.9 billion when adjusted for inflation and $33.2 billion on a nominal basis. They represent nine different sports and 17 countries. Americans make up 62% of the list. Fifteen athletes have reached $1 billion on an inflation-adjusted basis, with Greg Norman at $1 billion even. His business empire involved apparel, wine, restaurants, turf, course design and more, before he became CEO of LIV Golf.
Eight athletes earned 10-figures without adjusting for inflation. The latest is Phil Mickelson, who hit the mark after his reported $200 million signing bonus for joining LIV. Within the ranks of athletes participating in various sports Michael Jordan surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the American NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Not only that but also in financial terms, Jordan is still the top-earning athlete. Since he was drafted in 1984 Jordan has earned an estimated $3.3 billion when adjusted for inflation, more than any other athlete in the history of sports.
Eight golfers landed in the top 50 highly-earning athletes including the three athletes ranked directly behind Jordan: Woods with $2.5 billion, Arnold Palmer, $1.7 billion and Jack Nicklaus $1.63 billion. Golfers benefit from decades-long careers and the sport’s biggest stars remain popular pitchmen long after their biggest victories. Palmer was earning nearly $40 million a year from endorsements and licensing his name when he died in 2016 at 87 years old. It was 43 years after his last PGA Tour win and 28 years from his final title on the PGA Tour Champions, formerly Senior PGA Tour. Another advantage for elite golfers: diverse revenue streams, including prize money, endorsements, appearance fees and course design work. Their influence could be gauged from the fact that Nicklaus Design has been the architect for 425 courses around the world.
Athletes belonging to boxing landed seven entries, thanks to the massive pay-per-view scores for the sport’s biggest attractions. Floyd Mayweather with $1.41 billion claimed the top spot for boxers in large part because he kept a bigger slice of the pie as both promoter and fighter for his bouts during the second half of his career. Racing—including F1, NASCAR, and MotoGP—landed six athletes, led by Michael Schumacher at No. 11 with $1.31 billion.
Serena Williams is the only woman to make the cut, coming in at No. 38 and $600 million in 2023 dollars. The recently retired 23-time Grand Slam champion is the WTA’s all-time prize money leader with $95 million but has earned the bulk of her income off the court through dozens of endorsements deals, including those with Nike, AT&T, Beats, Ford Motor, Gatorade and Subway. Not included in the estimate are earnings from Serena Ventures, which she founded in 2014 and which has made more than 60 investments. Williams ranked second among the world’s highest-paid female athletes last year at $35 million, behind Naomi Osaka with $53 million. TW