If you are on the way to raising sports champions and athletes, or if you are taking on that arduous path yourself, stay motivated and continue to play the game because you will have a lucrative career.
According to Forbes, this year's highest-paid athletes are a toss-up between soccer and basketball players, whose on-court wages and sponsorships will surpass $500 million by 2022. By reducing the number of live tournaments, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the salaries of some of these performers. According to the tracking window at Forbes, these losses scarcely made a difference due to the influx of sponsorships.
Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers, $1.2B
Lebron James, who was born in Akron, Ohio, and is perhaps the best NBA player, has relocated to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers. He earned an estimated $1.2 billion between on-court and off-court earnings, surpassing Michael Jordan's record while still actively playing.
James has demonstrated over the years that he is also a skilled entrepreneur. The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player leads advocacy for “More than Just Athletes” alongside his best buddy Maverick Carter, who co-manages his enterprises. James is involved in several additional cooperation agreements with companies such as Crypto.com, Tonal, StatusPRO, and Nike.
Lionel Messi, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), $130M
Lionel Messi's departure from Barcelona to PSG was a devastating move for many of his supporters. These followers have followed his career since he was 17 years old. Messi signed a contract with PSG and earned less than $130 million through endorsement deals with Adidas, MasterCard, Pepsi, Gatorade, Huawei, Ooredoo, and Hawkers.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, $115M
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is the world's third highest-paid athlete. His transfer to Manchester United resulted in a pay drop, although he still managed to earn an estimated $115 million in salary and sponsorships. His 690 million social media followers enabled him to negotiate better sponsorship deals with Clear Shampoo, Herbalife, and Nike. His stake in Spanish restaurant Tatel has grown to Madrid, Beverly Hills, and Ibiza.
Neymar, Paris Saint- Germain's $95M
This Brazilian player scored his 400th goal in his most recent game, and he may play his final season at the World Cup Finals in Qatar this Fall. He inked two lucrative contracts with Puma and Red Bull. And portrayed himself in a Netflix documentary series. Early this year, he invested nearly a million dollars in Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs in a single day.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors $92.8M
As a professional basketball player in the United States, Curry has led his club to three titles and earned an estimated $92.8 million. He has secured a hefty four-year contract deal with the Golden State Warriors that comes with a $215-million salary.
Due to his FTX endorsement, which carries equity, he has followed James's example and taken the prudent path. His NFT assets become more substantial and are accessible on three Metaverse platforms.
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets, $92.1M
Kevin Durant's expected earnings as a two-time NBA MVP are $92.1 million. His other endorsement deals with the NBA Top Shot, Weedmaps, and Coinbase earn him almost $28 million. His investments include OpenSea and Future, his digital fitness firm.
Roger Federer, Tennis, $90.7M
Federer earned $90.7 million in the past year, not through his on-field performance but his off-field accomplishments. Federer, hampered by injury, concentrated on endorsements with Rolex and Uniqlo. He invested in the shoe company ON, which grossed $600 million upon its IPO in September 2021.
Saul Canelo Alvarez, Boxing, $90M
With estimated total earnings of $90 million, the Mexican boxer has earned over $40 million from his May and November 2021 pay-per-view triumphs. He is in business with Hennesy. In Mexico, he operates his taco restaurant, which he hopes to expand to California.
Tom Brady, Buccaneers of Tampa Bay, $83.9M
Tom is one of the highest-paid American football players. Off the field, he earned $52 million, bringing his total earnings to $83.9 million. He founded Autograph, an NFT platform, and Religion of Sports, a production firm. He is the only quarterback in the past 30 years to win the Super Bowl. He disregarded age restrictions and was named NFL MVP at the age of 43. He recently signed a $375 million contract with Fox News.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, $80.9M
Giannis, who is 27 years old, is one of the year's youngest and highest-paid athletes. As discrimination endures, the Nigerian-Greek inspires young athletes of colour who doubt their significance. His contract with the Milwaukee Bucks is for $228 million over five years. His investment revenue enabled him to launch Watchbox, a platform for reselling timepieces. He has endorsement deals with Google pixel 6 and Whatsapp, in addition to a licence agreement with NFTSTAR.
In addition to their weekly wage, sportsmen receive prize money for winning competitions such as the Champions League, Premier League, and World Cup. Prize money is contingent on a league, club, and place. At the end of the day, money is not the only thing that matters.
LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Tom Brady, the highest-paid players, have all managed to give back to the areas they come from through various educational and athletic programmes that will benefit future generations.