The World's Highest-Paid Athletes: Champions Earning Big in Sports and Endorsements


The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes: Champions Earning Big in Sports and Endorsements

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Eight months have passed since Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Tom Brady graced the sports arenas. Despite entering new chapters in their careers, these icons continue to shine, earning a place among the world’s 50 highest-paid athletes. Together, they boast 25 appearances in the prestigious list over the past 12 years.

This achievement is monumental, considering the cutoff for the top 50 this year is $45.2 million, a staggering 20% increase from the previous record. In total, these athletes raked in an estimated $3.44 billion over the last year before taxes and agent fees, marking a 16% rise from the previous record of $2.97 billion.

Field earnings reached an unprecedented $2.36 billion, comprising salaries, bonuses, and prize money, fueled in part by substantial investments from the Middle East. Off-field earnings, totaling $1.08 billion, include endorsements, appearances, licensing, memorabilia, and other ventures, setting a new record.

Despite the formidable competition, 11 newcomers secured their spots, and six others returned after an absence of a year or more. The NBA leads with 15 players, while golfers made a significant surge, with a dozen featuring in the top 50, four times more than last year, mainly due to substantial guarantees from LIV Golf.

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the top spot, earning an estimated $136 million over the past year, transitioning from England’s Premier League to Saudi Arabian soccer club Al Nassr. With 16 athletes under 30, including five aged 25 or younger, the future of the list remains bright, ensuring a legacy even as legends like Brady, Federer, and Williams contemplate retirement.


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