Although Federer tops money list, Michael Jordan still king
As Federer tops highest paid athlete list: Retired GOAT Jordan tops them all.
Federer was just named the highest paid athlete in the world by Forbes. Federer is now paid between 3 million and 30 million a year in sponsorships. Uniqlo has stated that their relationship is long term, regardless of whether he’s playing or not. This makes total sense. One only needs to see what Michael Jordan did with Nike to understand the power of a great athlete and their ability to merchandise.
To this day, nobody seems to come close to Jordan’s deal with Nike which still pays him more than 100 million a year. Jordan hasn’t been active in 20 years. However, it doesn’t matter, as Forbes stated, Jordan is now a lifestyle brand for Nike, and what a lifestyle brand it is, pulling around 3 billion dollars a year.
If you watch The Last Dance, Episode Five, it’s fascinating when they speak about the fact that Jordan’s endorsement deal with Nike was fashioned after Tennis players such as Arthur Ashe and John McEnroe. Back then, it was these individual sports players that got these sorts of endorsements. After Jordan, that became history, as shoe and apparel deals became the norm in team sports for individual stars.
So, it’s nice to see Uniqlo, and the rest of his endorsements land Federer at the very top with $100 million in endorsements and $6.3 million in prize money. Unfortunately, in the rest of the top 20 highest paid athletes, there is no other tennis player on this list. You have to go all the way to number 23 and 27 to see Novak and Rafa. Novak made $32 million in endorsements and $12.6 million in salary. Rafa Nadal, made $26 million in endorsements and $14 million in salary..
Who’s the top five? It’s no surprise that Christian Ronaldo follows Federer, then comes Leonel Messi and finally Basketball great Lebron James. However, if you look at the top 100 earners, it seems Basketball, American Football, and Soccer rule the endorsement game. Tennis comes in fourth, but lags behind those top three.
In sum, the moral of the story is twofold. Play basketball professionally and be as good at basketball and business as Michael Jordan.
In sum, the moral of the story is twofold. Play basketball professionally and be as good as good and business savvy as Michael Jordan