The following is a list of the top ten athletes in sports who make the most money from endorsements. There are actually 13 athletes listed due to a big tie for tenth place. The endorsement money is from June of 2012 to June of 2013.
You can see which sport has the most number of players in the top 100 earning athletes at Which sport makes professional athletes the most money?
Top ten athletes who make the most money from endorsements
T-1. Tiger Woods - $65 million
Three years removed from his messy divorce and the ensuing negative publicity, Tiger Woods is back on top of the sports world in terms of making money through endorsements, having earned $65 million in endorsements in 2013. Tiger Woods really helped himself out with endorsement money by winning six PGA tournaments in 2013, which triggered big bonus money from two of his biggest sponsors, Nike and Rolex.
T-1. Roger Federer - $65 million
Roger Federer also made $65 million from endorsements in 2013, which tied Tiger Woods for the most endorsement money made by an athlete in 2013. Roger Federer may never win another Grand Slam tennis title, but his record 17 Grand Slam titles fuels big money endorsement deals with Nike, Rolex, Credit Suisse, Wilson, and Moet & Chandon.
3. Phil Mickelson - $44 million
Phil Mickelson has endorsement deals with Barclay's, Callaway, KPMG, Exxon Mobile, Rolex, and Amgen/Pfizer that paid him $44 million in 2013. I have certainly seen Phil Mickelson on TV in more ads, especially for the arthritis drug Enbrel, than I have seen Tiger Woods or Roger Federer in the United States.
T-4. LeBron James - $42 million
As much as I see Phil Mickelson in TV ads, I see LeBron James in even more TV ads in the USA. King James has $42 million per year worth of endorsement deals with companies like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nike, Samsung, Upper Deck, and Beats by Dre.
T-4. David Beckham - $42 million
David Beckham made $42 million from endorsements in 2013 from companies like Breitling, Adidas, Coty, H&M, Sainsbury's, and Samsung. David Beckham retired in 2013, so it remains to be seen if that will help or hurt his future endorsement deals.
6. Kobe Bryant - $34 million
Kobe Bryant made $34 million from endorsements in 2013 from a stable of clients that includes Coca-Cola, Nike, Turkish Airlines, Lenovo, Panini, Hublot, and Mercedes-Benz. Obviously, Kobe Bryant has a brand that reaches far beyond America's borders.
7. Mahendra Singh Dhoni - $28 million
Cricket is big business in India, and star Mahendra Singh Dhoni cashes in to the tune of $28 million from endorsements. Companies and products that sponsor Mahendra Singh Dhoni include PepsiCo, Reebok, Aircel, United Breweries Group, and Star Sports.
8. Usain Bolt - $24 million
Track star Usain Bolt made $24 million from endorsements in 2013 from companies like Puma, Samsung, and Comcast. Usain Bolt's Puma deal is worth around $9 million a year alone. No word on how much Insane or Lightning Bolt make a year.
9. Maria Sharapova - $23 million
Maria Sharapova, the only women to crack the top 10, made $23 million from endorsements in 2013. Maria Sharapova has deals with companies like Porsche, Nike, Cole Haan, Evian, Tag Heuer, and Samsung. Maria Sharapova also launched her own candy line called Sugerpova in 2013, which has already sold over 1.5 million bags priced from $5 to $6 each.
T-10. Rafael Nadal - $21 million
Rafael Nadal makes $21 million a year from endorsements from companies like Nike, Kia, Bacardi, Babolot (tennis ball maker), Lanvin, Armani, and Richard Mille.
T-10. Derrick Rose - $21 million
Even though he hasn't played much the last two years due to injuries, Derrick Rose makes $21 million a year from endorsements from companies like Powerade, Wilson, Skullcandy, and especially Adidas.
T-10. Cristiano Ronaldo - $21 million
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has endorsement deals with companies like Armani, Castrol, CR7 and Nike.
T-10. Lionel Messi - $21 million
Soccer star Lionel Messi has endorsement deals with Herbalife, Turkish Airlines, EA Sports, Adidas, Pepsi, D&G, WeChat, and Scalp-D (Japan).