In 2023, Lillard signed a two-year $122 million extension with the Portland Trailblazers. The basketball star is playing in one of the NBA’s smallest markets but they’re desperate to keep him. That’s why they’ve thrown that much money at the seven-time All-Star. It’s unlikely that he’ll win rings in the Pacific Northwest but he’s still making a fortune.
Lilliard also has major deals with Adidas and Powerade. Many of the most successful basketball players create their shoe lines and Lillard is no exception. Now he’s one of the richest athletes in the U.S. despite being a big fish in a small pond. But that’s how the Oakland native prefers it (via Sportskeeda).
It says a lot about the current state of baseball that many people won’t know Trout. However, he’s arguably the greatest MLB player of today’s era. The Angels don’t know how to consistently build a playoff contender but they’ve successfully retained Trout. Throwing millions of dollars in his direction did the job.
In 2019, he signed a massive 12-year contract worth $426.5 million as he signed his career with the Angels. Meanwhile, he had a stake in Body Armor but then Coca-Cola bought it. This was a nice cash injection for the baseball star and made him one of the wealthiest athletes in history (via Forbes).
Harden is one of the top basketball players of his generation even if he never wins an NBA Championship ring. The former MVP has played for some of the biggest franchises in the league. He started his career with the Oklahoma Thunder before becoming a superstar in Houston. Then he joined a so-called ‘super team’ in Brooklyn before getting traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The point guard has made massive sums of money in signing-on fees and contracts with these teams. That’s why sources indicate that he has a net worth of about $165 million. Also, he has major deals with Adidas, Beats, and State Farm. The former offered him a mega sponsorship worth $200 million (via ESPN).
Fury is one of the most polarizing stars on the planet. The Gypsy King is a heavyweight boxing champion and a mental health champion. But he’s also a controversial figure because of his sexism, homophobia, and affiliations with drug cartels. However, there’s no denying his success in the ring because it made him one of the richest athletes ever.
It’s estimated that Fury’s total career earnings are about $200 million. He earned $50 million in 2020 after completing a spree of fights against Deontay Wilder. Some people hate him because of his controversial views but he is very successful. Fury also has sponsorship deals with Wow Hydrate and other big companies (via The Sun).
Hamilton is the greatest driver of his generation. The seven-time champion is also one of the most marketable U.K. stars on the planet. He achieved success even before Netflix came along and revitalized the sport in the U.S. Hamilton has an estimated net worth of about $285 million (via Essentially Sports).
This is a staggering amount of money but he’s won fortunes from his driver’s championships. Meanwhile, Hamilton has massive deals with Mercedes and Puma amongst many others. Now he has stakes in the Denver Broncos NFL franchise as well as a meat-free burger range. Hamilton is prepared for life away from the racetrack because he’s an entrepreneur.
With an estimated net worth of $200 million, Rodgers is one of the richest athletes in the world. The long-serving Packers quarterback is a brilliant player and achieved a lot on the field. He won a Super Bowl with his franchise and is a four-time MVP award winner. Yes, he rubs some people the wrong way but he’s one of the best of his generation.
Rodgers agreed to a massive contract extension with Green Bay in 2022 that guaranteed his future. They promised him $150 million across three years in a fantastic deal for the Californian. Meanwhile, Rodgers enjoys income from Adidas and State Farm. He’s a polarizing figure because of his eccentric views but he’s a cash cow (via Green Bay Press-Gazette).
Alvarez is one of the most lucrative combat sports athletes in the world. The four-weight champion fought the likes of Gennady Golovkin and Miguel Cotto in a glittering career. This made him a major box office draw and he signed an 11-fight deal with DAZN worth $365 million in 2018.
The Mexican star also has deals with luxury brands like Hennessy and Louis Vuitton. In short, he’s simply operating in a different stratosphere to many of his fellow boxers. However, despite being one of the world’s richest athletes, he stays humble. He loves his home and is a true Mexcian hero (via Wealthy Genius).
Nobody in the history of basketball shoots with Curry’s clinical accuracy. The Golden State icon is more accurate than a Navy Seal sniper. He helped his franchise to four NBA Championships and is a nine-time All-Star. This success on the court also translated to a lot of wealth in regular life too. It’s no surprise that he’s one of the richest athletes in the world.
Curry signed multiple extensions throughout his time in San Francisco. But Under Armor pays him his real income because he signed a lifetime deal with the apparel brand. This is worth up to one billion dollars and it means that he’s in a unique position. The clean-cut star is the perfect ambassador for the sportswear company (via Vibe).
Many experts predicted that Neymar would become the greatest player on the planet. It hasn’t worked out that way for the enigmatic Brazilian despite his precocious talent. Yes, he has won lots of trophies in Barcelona and Paris. But he sold his soul when he moved to the inferior French league (via Mirror).
In the end, Neymar didn’t care about his legacy because he is very rich. He also enjoys a crazy lifestyle that other places wouldn’t tolerate because they’d expect more professionalism. After several mega contracts, Neymar has a net worth of about $200 million. He also has major deals with Puma, Red Bull, and Qatar Airways.
In 2022, Durant signed a four-year contract worth almost $200 million. Now the Phoenix Suns carry that burden after he joined the franchise the following season. It’s not shocking that he’s one of the wealthiest athletes in the world. Durant is a two-time NBA champion as well as a 13-time All-Star.
Elite sports stars earn more money than mere mortals dream of. The Brooklyn Nets handed him incredible amounts of money as they tried to buy a super team. That experiment failed but Durant swelled his coffers and is a very rich man. Meanwhile, Nike and Alaska Air also pay him a ton of cash (via Sportskeeda).
Formula 1 is enjoying a moment after the successful Netflix series, Drive to Survive. This boosted Verstappen’s profile and made the Dutch champion a marketable figure. In 2023, he signed a massive deal with Heineken to endorse their 0.0 non-alcoholic beer. It made a lot of sense and gave the product a major boost (via PlanetF1).
The young driver isn’t afraid to splurge and make big purchases. He owns a private jet and a yacht but probably doesn’t worry because he has a net worth of $200 million. The fortunes of F1 drivers change rapidly but Verstappen has more money than he knows what to do with. It’s difficult to begrudge this talented young star because he dedicated his life to the sport.
Brady is the most successful NFL player in history after a mesmerizing career. The quarterback won seven Super Bowl rings across spells with the Patriots and the Buccaneers. His work ethic and consistency set him apart from many of his rivals. Brady is also one of the richest athletes on the planet.
In 2023, Brady had an estimated net worth of $250 million. He enjoyed massive contracts with both of his former teams. There were also big endorsements with Uggs and Under Armor. Fox Sports also signed him to a $350 million deal so it’s likely fans will see him on TV screens soon (via ESPN).
MMA famously underpays its athletes but McGregor is the rare exception. The Irishman became the sport’s first mainstream star after winning double-UFC gold. Meanwhile, the polarizing fighter achieved massive success in the business world because he made some smart investments. He created Proper Twelve Irish Whiskey and sold the company at the right time.
In 2021, he was Forbes’ highest-paid athlete and continues to impact the list. This is very impressive because he doesn’t fight very often these days. It’s alleged that he sold Proper Twelve for about $500 million and is on course to be MMA’s first billionaire. That’s why he’s one of the richest athletes in the world (via AS.com).
Messi is arguably the greatest soccer player. The World Cup winner has completed football with almost every individual and team prize. Meanwhile, the forward is one of the wealthiest athletes on the planet. He has a staggering deal with Adidas after joining the Germand brand in 2006. Saudi Arabia controversially sponsors him as a cultural ambassador.
They allegedly pay him more than $10 million per year but he has many more sponsors. Also, he enjoys over $40 million per year with PSG as he destroys the French league. Messi is an icon in his native Argentina after he led them to global dominance. There’s nobody like the diminutive attacker (via Digiday).
Mahomes changed the face of the NFL with his performances on the field and his work off it. The quarterback inspired the Kansas City Chiefs to multiple Super Bowl wins and is a two-time MVP. He’s one of the most powerful sportspeople in the world and commands a massive salary (via Essentially Sports).
The Chiefs QB signed a 10-year deal worth $450 million in 2020. Meanwhile, Mahomes signed deals with Bose and Adidas. He is also the new face of the Madden video game series. Tom Brady was the biggest name in the NFL but Mahomes is replacing him. It’s not surprising that he’s one of the wealthiest athletes in the world.
Ronaldo is one of those athletes who transcended his sport. The Portuguese superstar achieved success with every team he played for. He enjoyed periods of dominance with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Meanwhile, he won the European Championship with his country. He is one of the richest athletes in the world and has many massive deals.
Nike made him the first soccer player to receive a lifetime deal. The CR7 line is very lucrative but Herbalife and Dazn also endorse the superstar. In 2013, he signed a contract with the Saudi Arabian team Al-Nassr that promised to make him the wealthiest player ever. They’ll pay him $173 million per year in a wild deal (via The Mirror).
Federer is arguably the greatest men’s tennis player ever with 20 Grand Slam titles. The Swiss superstar enjoyed an incredible rivalry with Rafael Nadal throughout his career. He achieved rare success and popularity because nobody disliked him. Federer is also one of the richest athletes in the world today.
It’s believed that he retired with a billion dollars in career earnings. This is a mesmerizing figure but reveals his incredible consistency. Meanwhile, the unproblematic star enjoyed long-term deals with Nivea and Uniqlo. These endorsements drove up his net worth as he became the face of many brands (via CBS Sports).
There’s a good reason why Mayweather’s nickname is ‘Money.’ The American boxer earned over a billion dollars throughout his incredible career. Technically, he retired after he achieved a 50-0 unbeaten record. But he continues to participate in exhibitions around the world and enjoys watching his bank balance blossom.
Mayweather has deals with companies like Hublot but he generates most of his income. That’s because he has his promotion, TMT, so he controls his destiny. It’s a position that most boxers dream of but will never achieve. Meanwhile, he has other business interests like his luxury strip club Girl Collection (via Sporting News).
James is an icon on and off the basketball court. The Lakers superstar won four rings across a glittering career and continues to shatter records. Meanwhile, he is the first active NBA player to become a billionaire. His shoe range threatens the dominance of Michael Jordan’s legendary brand.
This lifetime Nike deal is the main reason he has reached billionaire status. But it doesn’t look like he’ll stop earning massive sums. That’s because he has many business interests including his production company. James would like to buy an NBA franchise but will wait until he retires (via Forbes).
The legendary Johnson is one of the most important athletes ever. Yes, he is one of the Lakers’ most iconic players and enjoyed great success with the franchise. But arguably his openness about his HIV diagnosis was even more special. It changed the way society perceived the cruel disease.
However, we’re here to talk about Johnson’s bank balance. The former basketball star has a net worth of about $620 million and enjoyed a lot of business success. He invested in many franchises including his former team. But he also had stakes in fast food chains including Starbucks and Burger King (via Parade).
Bridgeman is an outlier on this list because he had a mediocre career. It’s safe to say that many people won’t be familiar with the former Bucks player. He spent 12 years in the NBA without achieving much of note. But after retiring he didn’t go bankrupt like most former NBA stars. Instead, he invested in the restaurant industry and made millions of dollars.
Bridgeman bought Wendy’s franchises and the business exploded. Now he has over 160 of them and a further 130 Chili’s restaurants. He is also a bottler for Coca-Cola and made even more money. It’s believed that Bridgeman’s net worth is about $650 million. Every athlete should study his career because it’s amazing (via Celebrity Net Worth).
Nobody in PGA history has more wins than Woods. The American golfer became one of the most popular athletes on the planet during the 2000s. We all know about his notorious sex addiction and ultra-messy divorce. It’s a shame that this stained his brilliant career because he was an incredible golfer.
According to Forbes in 2022, Woods has an estimated net worth of over one billion dollars. It’s safe to say that the divorce payments aren’t hurting him. Meanwhile, he has longstanding deals with Nike and Gatorade. Now he’s building a business empire with stakes in multiple luxury companies.
Most Olympians only enjoy short-term success because sponsorships dry up. Danish dressage star Kasprzak is an exception because she has a billion-dollar business empire. That’s because her mother founded a famous shoe brand, Ecco. The Dane is one of the richest active athletes in the world.
It’s crazy because most people reading this won’t know her. Her unlimited wealth means that she can focus on her passion. She rode 14th place in the Rio De Janeiro athletes and achieved medals in European events. Make no mistake, she’s a serious competitor but she’s also insanely rich (via Celebrity Net Worth).
Tiriac is one of the most obscure names on this list but he’s also one of the most successful former stars. The Romanian was a dominant tennis player during his heyday and enjoyed several victories on the ATP Tour. But most of the richest athletes make their money away from their chosen sport.
Tiriac is no exception because he took advantage of communism’s collapse in the Eastern Bloc. He started a bank and it experienced massive growth. Now he’s one of the richest men in Romania and the nation’s first sports billionaire. It’s an amazing achievement for the former star (via Fox Sports).
Yes, we know that this is a controversial inclusion. Technically, McMahon competed and worked for a sports entertainment company. But he was still an excellent wrestler and put his body through the wringer. However, he made most of his money as an executive as he reached almost three billion dollars.
He transformed WWE into the global force that it remains today. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about his character but there’s no denying that he’s a great businessman. McMahon also dabbled in film production and has a hand in several other interests (via GiveMeSport).
Jordan changed the landscape for sports stars in the nineties when he rose to fame with the Bulls. Chicago enjoyed an incredible dynasty with Jordan as the franchise’s face. In 2016, he became the first billionaire in NBA history and still features in the news cycle. Forget about his career earnings because endorsements changed Jordan’s life.
His lifetime deal with Nike transformed him into the economic powerhouse that he is today. Meanwhile, his controversial Netflix series also enhanced his profile in the modern era. Jordan became the first former player to own an NBA franchise when he bought a stake in the Charlotte Hornets (via SCMP).