The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes



The 50 Highest-Paid Athletes

In the span of 12 months ending on May 1, the world's 50 highest-earning athletes collectively amassed a staggering $2.97 billion, surpassing the previous record of $2.76 billion set in 2021. This year's list reveals several noteworthy figures. Here's a breakdown:

3: A total of three athletes exceeded $100 million in earnings over the past year. LeBron James achieved this milestone for the first time on the Forbes athletes list, earning $121.2 million. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi ($130 million) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million) are both esteemed members of the "century club" for the fifth time. Only seven other athletes in history have accomplished this feat: Roger Federer, Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor, Neymar, Manny Pacquiao, Dak Prescott, and Tiger Woods.

6: Among the top 50 athletes, six individuals made their debut appearance on a Forbes athletes list. These include boxer Jake Paul and football players Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk, and T.J. Watt. The NFL's substantial upfront signing bonuses contribute to a high turnover rate. For instance, Matthew Stafford ranks 13th on this year's list with total earnings of $72.3 million, $60 million of which stems from his signing bonus. However, his on-field earnings are expected to drop to $27.5 million for the next tracking window, which, when combined with his $2.5 million annual off-field earnings, will likely keep him out of the top 50.

9: The list encompasses athletes from nine different sports. Basketball leads the way with 18 representatives, followed by football (14), soccer (5), boxing (3), golf (3), tennis (3), Formula 1 auto racing (2), baseball (1), and mixed martial arts (1). Notably, several sports such as cricket, hockey, and NASCAR lack representation on the list.

14: Athletes from 14 different nationalities are featured on the list. The United States is home to 35 of the ranked athletes, while the United Kingdom, with Tyson Fury, Lewis Hamilton, and Rory McIlroy, is the only other country with more than one athlete.

20: Out of the top 50, a total of 20 athletes did not appear on the previous year's list. This includes notable names like Kawhi Leonard and Rory McIlroy, who were featured in the 2020 ranking but absent in 2021.

32: The average age of the athletes on this year's list is 32. The youngest athlete is Kylian Mbappé, aged 23, with a total of seven athletes aged 25 or younger. Phil Mickelson, at 51, is the oldest athlete on the list. Four athletes are in their 40s: Tiger Woods (46), Tom Brady (44), Roger Federer (40), and Serena Williams (40).

$43,500: Tiger Woods earned the lowest on-field earnings figure on the list, with prize money of $43,500 within Forbes' tracking window. Woods, whose competitive schedule was limited by injuries sustained in a February 2021 car accident, secured the 14th spot thanks to an estimated $68 million in off-field earnings. In addition to lucrative endorsements with brands like Nike, Rolex, and TaylorMade, he earned $8 million from the PGA Tour's Player Impact Program, which rewards golfers who generate significant attention for the sport.

$37.6 million: The cutoff to make it into this year's top 50 was set by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt at $37.6 million. This surpasses the previous high of $34 million from the previous year and represents a 69% rise since 2013.

Here is a summary of the earnings of some notable athletes mentioned:

Jake Paul: Earned $38 million in the span of 12 months, primarily from his boxing matches and outside ventures.

Canelo Alvarez: Reported earnings of $40 million from a fight outside the tracking window, which would have tied him with Lionel Messi for the top spot if included.

Conor McGregor: Earned $43 million in the past year, excluding the $150 million from the sale of his whiskey brand. This represents a $13 million increase from the previous year when he topped the rankings.

Phil Mickelson: Earned $45.3 million, with the majority coming from off-course earnings. He faced controversy and lost some endorsements but offset the loss with other sources of income.

Mike Trout: Earned $49.5 million, falling just short of his own record for baseball players set in 2019. He benefited from his equity stake in Bodyarmor, which was acquired by Coca-Cola.

Naomi Osaka: Earned $59.2 million, slightly below her record-breaking earnings from the previous year. Serena Williams also had her best earning year at $45.3 million. They are the only women in the top 50.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Earned $80.9 million, marking the cutoff for the top ten and setting a new record.

LeBron James: Earned $121.2 million, a record for an NBA player. He is one of four athletes to have made over $70 million off the field in a year.

Lionel Messi: Earned $130 million, tying his own record for soccer players and securing the top spot in the ranking.

Endorsements and business endeavors: The top 50 athletes collectively earned $1.06 billion off the field, setting a new record. Roger Federer led this category with $90 million, followed by several other athletes who earned at least $50 million from endorsements and other ventures.

Sport Globel