The World's Highest-Paid Athletes

Tiger Woods leads the annual Forbes ranking

Published: Jul 11, 2013
The World's Highest-Paid Athletes
Image: Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Tiger Woods’ 2009 troubles cost him five sponsors, $50 million in annual income, his perch as the world’s top golfer and his marriage. Now he’s back at number one on the course and on Forbes’ annual ranking of top athletes’ earnings. The full list includes 100 athletes from 11 sports and 23 countries.

Tiger Woods, Golf
Earnings: $78.1 million Winnings: $13.1 mln; Endorsements: $65 mln
Woods has been busy overseas, collecting more than $10 million in appearance fees with stops in Abu Dhabi, China, Malaysia and Turkey.

Roger Federer, Tennis
Earnings:
$71.5 million Winnings: $6.5 mln; Endorsements: $65 mln
Federer’s income surged after a barnstorming tour of South America in December that netted him $14 million for six exhibitions.

Kobe Bryant BasketBall
Earnings:
$61.9 million salary: $27.9 mln; Endorsements: $34 mln
Bryant had the NBA’s highest salary for the third straight year. Sponsors include
Nike, Coca-Cola, Turkish Airlines, Lenovo and Mercedes-Benz.

LeBron James, Basketball
Earnings:
$59.8 million salary: $17.8 mln; Endorsements: $42 mln
Sales of his signature Nike shoes rose 50 percent in the US in 2012. He is the fifth player to win four NBA MVP awards.

Drew Brees American, Football

Earnings:
$51 million salary: $40 mln; Endorsements: $11 mln
The seven-time Pro Bowler signed a five-year, $100 million contract extension with the Saints in July that included a $37 million signing bonus.

Aaron Rodgers American, Football
Earnings:
$49 million salary: $43 mln; Endorsements: $6 mln
Rodgers inked a deal in April that pays $62.5 million in the first three years and makes him the highest-paid player in the NFL.

Phil Mickelson, Golf
Earnings:
$48.7 million Winnings: $4.7 mln; Endorsements: $44 mln
Endorsements include Callaway, Barclays, KPMG, Exxon Mobil and Rolex. He added a deal to promote Enbrel after being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2010.

David Beckham, Soccer
Earnings:
$47.2 million salary: $5.2 mln; Endorsements: $42 mln
Beckham announced his retirement from soccer last month but still maintains sponsors Adidas, Coty, H&M, Sainsbury’s, Samsung and Breitling.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer
Earnings:
$44 million salary: $23 mln; Endorsements: $21 mln
Ronaldo’s contract with Real Madrid runs through the 2014-15 season, but extension talks last year stalled over his share in his image rights.

Lionel Messi, Soccer
Earnings:
$41.3 million salary: $20.3 mln; Endorsements: $21 mln
Barcelona locked up FIFA’s four-time player of the year through 2018 with a two-year contract extension in February worth more than $20 million a year.

(This story appears in the 12 July, 2013 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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