Reported by Victor Ochieng
While there are players who earn exclusively from their performance contract, there are other athletes who, besides their athletic prowess, have great personalities that corporations can take advantage of to sell a product. This can sometimes earn the athlete more money than their respective sports activities.
Below is a list of the top 6 Black athletes who make much more from endorsements than from their actual athletic career:
There is no doubt that Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all time. He boasts of earnings totaling $78.1 million, of which 83% emanate from endorsement deals. His golfing salary is $13.1 million, yet he earns a whopping $65 million from endorsements. Woods faced a challenge after his controversial divorce, but he’s attempting to get back on the right track and is expected to sign a lucrative deal with Nike. Although he lost most of his deals due to his controversy, he’s still connected to Rolex.
Kobe Bryant is one of basketball’s greatest players to ever grace the professional court. He has earnings totaling $61.9 million, with his basketball salary accounting for $27.9 million. His endorsements account for 55% of his total earnings. The player has deals with McDonald’s, Turkish Airlines, Nike, and he recently signed a deal with Hublot, a Swiss luxury watch brand.
He is, no doubt, basketball’s best player at the moment. LeBron James has garnered a total of $59.8 million in earnings, with his athletic salary and winnings accounting for $17.8 million. This means his endorsement deals account for 70% of his total earnings. James landed a $90 million deal with the sportswear maker, Nike, during his high school days. Besides his Nike deal, the player also has sponsorship deals with big names such as Coca-Cola, Dunkin Donuts, Samsung, and McDonald’s.
Derrick Rose’s earnings total $37.4 million, with his salary accounting for $16.4 million, meaning his endorsement deals form 56% of his total earnings. In 2012, the 26-year-old basketball player signed a 13-year contract worth $200 million with Adidas and has endorsement deals with reputable companies, including Wilson Sporting Goods, Powerade, and Skullcandy.
This Jamaican sprinter rakes in 99% of his total earnings from endorsement deals. He earnings total $24.2 million, yet his salary is only $200,000. His most lucrative deals are with Puma, Virgin Media, and Gatorade. His deal with Puma is the most profitable ever secured by a track athlete and is rumored to be worth $32 million over 4 years.
Serena Williams, the world’s #1 female tennis player, boasts of $20.5 million in total earnings and has a total salary of $8.5 million, meaning her endorsements account for 59% of her total earnings. She currently has endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, and Wilson.