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All-Time Wealthiest Athletes



Athletes are known for making insane money on blockbuster contracts, but it’s usually what they do after their time in the major leagues that escalates their already crazy high net worths.
From entrepreneurs, to investments and clothing brands, these businesses-savvy athletes put their money to good use and only raised the stakes of their iconic profiles. Read ahead to see how much the richest athletes in the world are worth!

The Rock – $320 M

Dwayne Johnson’s domination of the WWE was only the beginning, because since he’s left, he’s arguably become more popular as an actor and ambassador for many things, not to mention people hope he’ll run for president one day.

Wayne Gretzky – $250 M

“The Great One” is cemented as probably the greatest player of all time, as many of his impressive records will likely never be broken. And his value mirrors that, as he’s the hottest hockey commodity that’s ever lived.

Serena Williams – $200 M

Serena Willams needs no introduction. She’s the greatest female tennis player to ever live, and that’s that. Needless to say, her endorsements and notoriety make her invaluable to be honest, but she’s easily the richest female athlete out there.

Derek Jeter – $185 M

The New York Yankees legend is a baseball icon for most people alive today, and to say he redefined the shortstop position is an understatement. With his endorsements and credibility, his net worth is inevitable.

Tom Brady – $200 M

This G.O.A.T has no competition when it comes to worthiness in the NFL after he took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl at the age of 43. It’s not surprise that with his status, he’s racked up the checks during his illustrious career.

Michael Jordan – $1.6 B

Jordan dominated the world of sports, and then went on to dominate the business world. MJ was a genius when it came to marketing himself during his career. This skill was the biggest factor that impacted the growth of his business.

Tiger Woods – $800M

Tiger’s fortune is made up of all of his winnings and his numerous endorsements. In fact, Tiger makes roughly $50 million a year from endorsements alone. While he isn’t at the top of the golf world any more, Tiger has broken most of the PGA records and he will no doubt, go down as a legend.

Magic Johnson – $600 M

While he was a magician on the court, Johnson’s smile and charisma are what carry him in the business world. Johnson has partnerships with many big brands and is making an effort to help them get into ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

Roger Federer – $450 M

On top of his career winnings, Federer earns about $30 million per year in endorsement money. He currently holds the most impressive portfolio of endorsements in sports, with Nike, Wilson, Rolex, and many more on the list.

Cristiano Ronaldo – $450 M

With $32 million a year in endorsement income, Ronaldo should be moving up this list in short order. Oh yeah, he also is still active, so he’s receiving $56 million in salary per year… Just in case you were feeling sorry for him.

Lewis Hamilton – $285 M

Not only is Lewis the highest earning sportsman in Britain, he’s also only 32 years old. Recently he moved to Switzerland in a move to gain some privacy, but the tax shelters there certainly don’t hurt him…

David Beckham – $450 M

While his talent on the soccer field is a bit overrated, there is no doubt that Beckham is a marketing genius. With $42 million in endorsement revenue alone, he has mastered the sale of his sex appeal. That may make him a marketing prostitute, but with that kind of revenue, do you think he cares?

Shaquille O’Neal – $400 M

Most of Shaq’s net-worth is from his playing career, but The Big Aristotle certainly still enjoys being in the public spotlight. He has a few endorsement deals still, as well as a contract as a broadcaster with Turner Sports.

LeBron James – $500 M

LBJ is currently one of the most endorsed athletes on this list, and he could end up being near Jordan’s level when it’s all said and done. Currently, Lebron rakes in over $55 million per year in endorsement revenue, and his name has become almost synonymous with the NBA.

Floyd Mayweather – $500 M

Money Mayweather may not have as much money as he claims, but he certainly was one of the highest paid athletes in history. At this point, he may be almost broke after a significant amount of bad money management.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – $300M

Dale is a good driver, but he’s primarily riding the family name. However, he’s done a great job of capitalizing on his hereditary fame, as can be seen in his net worth.

Alex Rodriguez – $350 M

A-Rod is probably best known for his massive 10 year $275 million contract with the Yankees, and frankly, he was worth it. A-Rod continues to win off the field, with his new relationship with Jennifer Lopez.

Greg Norman – $300 M

Prior to his retirement, Norman was the world’s top golfer for a total of 331 weeks. He has made some investments since his retirement, but this is primarily the case of a very talented athlete winning a lot.

Phil Mickelson – $400 M

Mickelson is no longer as sharp as he once was, but he’s still a very competitive pro. During his peak, he managed to reach the #2 spot in the world in back to back years.

Lionel Messi – $400 M

Standing a diminutive 5’6″, Messi has been an incredible success story from the beginning. He was recently voted as the best soccer player in the world – an incredible feat for someone whose nickname is “The Flea.”

Jack Nicklaus – $400 M

He’s the most accomplished golfer of all time, with 18 major championship wins during his illustrious career. Nicklaus finished his career with 115 professional wins and a nice pile of cash.

George Foreman – $300 M

Sure, Foreman was a great boxer, but what do you really know him from? His grill of course! In fact, George has even said that the grill has made him more money than his boxing career did.

Peyton Manning – $250 M

The oddly charismatic Manning brother had a great NFL career, which included a couple Super Bowl rings. However, he now appears frequently as a Papa John’s Pizza spokesman. Peyton has also done advertising work for a few other brands since leaving the game, and his quirky speaking style will likely keep him in demand for a while.

Kobe Bryant – $600 M

The Mamba came to the NBA straight out of highschool, and immediately vaulted to stardom. Throughout his career, he dominated the league, and was the highest paid NBA player at one point. He finally retired in 2016, but his endorsements still make him a modest income of $20+ million.

Arnold Palmer – $700 M

“The King” of golf died in 2016, but he was still one of the wealthiest athletes ever. Plus, his delicious beverage of sweet tea and lemonade will carry on his legacy for years to come.

Vince McMahon – $1.7 B

McMahon has a long resume, but his main occupation would be his wrestling promotion. Currently, he is the CEO of WWE. At one point, he was a billionaire, but he fell back under when WWE stock dropped back down.

Michael Schumacher – $600 M

It’s understandable if you haven’t heard of him, but Schumacher is one of the winningest drivers in Formula One history. His net worth of $800 million came entirely from winnings and endorsements during his career.

Manny Pacquiao – $220 M

He’s one of the best boxers ever, but he also had higher aspirations. In 2010, Pacquiao was elected to Congress of the Philippines. He managed this, while still having an active boxing career.

Michael Buffer – $400 M

Buffer is known best for his trademarked phrase, “Let’s get ready to rumble!” However, few know how much money he generates from the trademark on that phrase. Since he acquired the trademark, Buffer has received nearly $400 million in income from the phrase alone.

Roger Staubach – $600 M

While he was a 6 time Pro-Bowler and a Super Bowl MVP, Staubach’s wealth came mostly from his career after football. In 1977, he started a commercial real estate business, which he would eventually sell for $613 million.

Paul Caddick – $300 M

His rugby career was cut short by an injury, but Caddick has become enormously successful as an entrepreneur. In fact, he had started an engineering group, while still being an active rugby player.

Dave Whelan – $210 M

Whelan had a solid career as a pro soccer player, but he broke his leg during the 1960 FA Cup final. Since then, he became a successful businessman, and actually became part owner of the Wigan Athletic club.

Junior Bridgeman – $600 M

Junior was only moderately successful in the NBA, but he took his career earnings and put them to good use. Today, he owns 160 Wendy’s franchises, as well as 118 Chili’s restaurants.