World’s top 10 highest paid athletes collectively earned a whopping $636 million in 2015-16.
Forbes published its list of 2016 highest paid athletes featuring many of the world’s famous sportsmen who are leading their teams, breaking records and achieving highest level of excellence in their respective sports. It is their due diligence, hard work and raw talent that has earned them the titles of greatest sportsmen of the world.
These athletes are earning enormous amount of money from game plays, prize winnings and bonuses; plus they are sponsored by some of the largest most reputable brands which pay them millions for endorsements and appearances.
Our list is based on ranking from Forbes Highest Paid Athletes. This year 3 basketball, 2 soccer, 2 golf, 2 tennis and 1 American football player were featured in the list.
10. Kobe Bryant
Total Earnings: $50 million
Kobe Bryant was a legendary basketball player who played for Los Angeles Lakers of NBA. He retired in 2016 after NBA 15-16 session. His 2016 earnings are composed of $25M in salary and $25M in endorsements.
9. Jordan Spieth
Total Earnings: $52.8 million
Jordan Spieth is an American golf player who won 2015 Masters Tournament and U.S. Open. He earned $32 million from endorsements and $20.8 million from game wins, salary and bonuses.
8. Phil Mickelson
Total Earnings: $52.9 million
Phil Mickelson is a professional golf player from United States. His endorsement for major brands of ExxonMobil, Barclays, Rolex, KMPG and Callaway Golf brought in $50 million.
7. Cam Newton
Total Earnings: $53.1 million
Cam Newton is the only player of American football to be featured in 2016 list of highest earning athletes. He plays for Carolina Panthers of National Football League. Newton earned major portion of his total earning from games salaries and winnings which contributed $41.1 million and remaining $12 million from endorsements.
6. Novak Djokovic
Total Earnings: $55.8 million
Novak Djokovic, currently ranked no. 1 in men’s single tennis, is a Serbian tennis player. He endorses Peuguet, Uniqlo, Adidas and Seiko. He earned $34 million in endorsements and $21.8 million in salary and prize winnings.
5. Kevin Durant
Total Earnings: $56.2 million
Kevin Durant is an American basketball player who plays for Golden State Warriors of NBA. His sponsors are BBVA, Nike, 2K Sports and Panini. He accumulated $36 million in endorsements and $20.2 million in salary.
4. Roger Federer
Total Earnings: $67.8 million
Roger Federer is a Swiss tennis star who is regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time. He has a wide array of sponsors which includes Nike, Rolex, Mercedes Benz, Wilson, Credit Sussie and Gillette. He is the top paid sportsman in terms of endorsements as his endorsement earnings for 2015-16 was $60 million.
3. LeBron James
Total Earnings: $77.2 million
LeBron James is an American basket player who plays for NBA Cleveland Cavaliers. Many considers him to be the face of NBA. He raked in $54 million from endorsements from Nike, Coca Cola, Samsung and KIA Motors.
2. Lionel Messi
Total Earnings: $81.4 million
Lionel Messi is an Argentine soccer player who plays for FC Barcelona club and Argentina national team. He is sponsored by many global brand including Adidas, Electronic Arts, Tata Motors and Gillette. His endorsements earned him $28 million which combined with $53.4 million of salary and winnings totals to $81.4 millions.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Total Earnings: $88 million
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese soccer player who plays for Real Madrid club and Portugal national team. Considered the best soccer player of all time, he has acquired tremendous reputation, wealth and fame. He is brand ambassador of many highly profile brands like Nike, Tag Heur and Herbalife Nutrition who paid him a hefty sum of $32 million in endorsements. He earned $56 million from his game-plays and income, amassing total of $88 million in 2016 making him the highest paid athlete of 2016.