Athletes across the world can make more in one day than most of us can dream of making in a lifetime. Those who are blessed with the gift of athleticism will also become some of the biggest superstars in the world. So, we’re about to answer the question that’s often on everyone’s lips, and show you the 10 richest athletes in the world.
1. Michael Jordan – $1 Billion Net Worth
Michael Jordan made a slam dunk when he entered the world of basketball, as he is the first billionaire athlete. According to Forbes’ 2015 rich list, the gifted sports star is an entrepreneur, and has earned approximately $80 to £100 million every year from his various business ventures and endorsements.
He makes an incredible $60 million per year from Nike/Jordan brand royalties alone, and his NBA career also added an amazing $90,235,000 to his bank account.
2. Michael Schumacher – $800 Million Net Worth
Michael Schumacher is considered by many as the most successful Formula One driver in history – and that is most definitely reflected in his bank balance. He’s now worth an incredible $800 million, as he was paid $10 million per year by Shell to wear a hat with the company’s logo at most public appearances.
3. Arnold Palmer – $675 Million
Arnold Palmer is the greatest golf players of all time, winning the Championship Tour 10 times and the PGA tour 62 times. On top of a successful golf career, he is also a rather successful entrepreneur, as he has a drinks company that’s worth over $200 million. His name is also licensed in over 400 apparel and leather goods stores across Asia.
4. Tiger Woods – $550 Million
Tiger Woods is synonymous with golf, and vice versa. While Arnold Palmer might be the most successful golfer in history, it’s pretty fair to say that Woods is the most famous on and off the golf course. He has been ranked #1 in the world rankings for more consecutive weeks more than any other golfer, and was the first athlete to earn $1 billion in salary and endorsements.
So, why isn’t he tied with Michael Jordan? Well, $100 million was deducted from his bank account when he divorced Elin Nordegren in 2010.
5. Magic Johnson -$500 Million Net Worth
It looks as though basketball and golf are most definitely the best two sports to become a pro, if the rich list is anything to go by. Magic Johnson, the retired Lakers basketball player, earned a whopping $18 million salary during his career, and earned several million more in endorsements. He also owns his own record label, Magic Johnson Music, and is a successful motivational speaker.
6. Floyd Mayweather – $400 Million Net Worth
Floyd Mayweather is one of the most tactical boxers in the sport, and this ability has made him arguably one of the greatest fighters in boxing. His bravado, skill and smarts have resulted in him winning six boxing championships in five different weight classes, as well as $400 million. He is the highest paid athlete in sport, as he can demand a significant salary, without the need for endorsements.
7. Shaquille O’Neal – $350 Million Net Worth
Shaquille O’Neal is the third basketball star on the rich list, and earned $292,198,327 in his career alone. He also secured $100 million when he signed a five-year contract with Miami Heat. The retired player is also a successful TV host and entrepreneur, and he has appeared in many commercials throughout his career.
8. David Beckham $350 Million Net Worth
David Beckham is one of the most famous players in football (soccer). A talented athlete on the pitch, and a celebrity off it, he is one of the biggest endorsers in the world. The former England Captain and Manchester United Star star also invests his money in the sport, and his business group, Beckham Miami United, has agreed to finance a $250 million stadium in Florida, and will hold 20,000 spectators.
9. Greg Norman – $300 Million Net Worth
Greg Norman has won 20 PGA tours in his career, and was even inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001. His career and entrepreneurial ventures have also resulted in him totalling a net worth of $300 million.
10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – $300 Million Net Worth
Dale Earnhardt Jr. started his Nascar career at the age of just 17 years old. Little did he know when starting his career that he would one day become one of the highest paid athletes of all time, as he earned an unfathomable $25.9 million in 2014 alone. He also owns his own media production company, Hammerhead Entertainment, and has partnered with a group of investors who are building Alabama Motorsports Park.
Want to learn more about your favourite stars? Read 10 Rags-to-Riches Stories That Will Inspire You.