Regional Director, USA Sport Group.
With the ever growing popularity of sports in our society, it is no wonder professional sports have become an incredibly profitable profession. Us mere mortals could only ever dream of earning the millions that professional athletes earn in this day and age, so it made me wonder who are the highest paid athletes at the moment?
#10: Lionel Messi
Messi is the 3rd highest paid soccer player and half of his earnings come from Barcelona, then endorsements from Adidas, Pepsi, Konami, Audemars Piguet, Chery & Air Europa top up his yearly earnings.
#9: Michael Schumacher
The most decorated driver in F1 history (mainly with Ferrari) has endorsements with DVAG, Jet Set, Navy Boot, Audemars Piguet, Schuberth and Rosbacher.
A-Rod is the highest paid baseball player in history and makes most of his money from the sports. He does not have endorsements due to his unpopularity.
Makes most of his money from Nike and has expanded his brand by using Facebook and Twitter.
#6: David Beckham
Beckham makes $6.5 million alone from Galaxy and then huge endorsements from EA, Samsung and H&M to name a few help top up his earnings.
#5: Phil Mickleson
Mickleson is a 4 time major winner and collects money from endorsing Amgen, Pfiser, ExonMobil, Rolex and Barclays.
#4: Rodger Federer
#4: Rodger Federer
Although now 3rd in the tennis world he has 16 grand slam titles between 2003-10 making him the greatest tennis player of all time. He also collects endorsements from Nike, Wilson, Rolex, Credit Suisse, Gillette and Lindt.
#3: LeBron James
LeBron makes $15 million from basketball along with having the most popular jersey in the league and best selling show in the market. He also has a stake in Liverpool Football Club and supplements his earnings from deals with Nike, Upper Deck, State Farm, Sprite and McDonalds.
#2: Kobe Bryant
Bryant is the highest paid NBA player and his deals with Mercedes, Nike, Turkish Airlines and Coca-Cola help him get to the 2nd spot.
#1: Tiger Woods
Even though Woods has not won for 2 years and has been plagued by personal scandal and injuries, resulting in a loss of some big endorsements, he still remains at the top due to the HUGE contracts he has with Nike and EA.