Top 10 Highest-Earning Athletes Globally In 2023

In the world of sports, being an athlete not only requires talent, hard work, and dedication, but also the ability to generate substantial income through various sources. The fact is that being an athlete is one of the highest-paying jobs available. The income stream for sportsmen might be limitless between haggling for the best agreement, securing brand partnerships, and staging public appearances.

In 2023, some of the biggest names in sports are continuing to dominate the scene and set new records in earnings.
The list of the top 10 athletes in the world according to Forbes magazine includes information on how much money each athlete earns from their teams as well as outside of the playing field.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 highest-earning athletes globally in 2023.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo: $136 million

Cristiano Ronaldo, the renowned Portuguese soccer player, has secured the top position as the highest-paid athlete worldwide with a massive annual income of $136 million. He recently left Manchester United for Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, doubling his salary to $75 million. According to Forbes, Ronaldo earns around $90 million from his 850 million followers across various platforms and his new endorsement deal with Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange. His remarkable earnings make him the highest-paid soccer player in history.

2. Lionel Messi: $130 million

Although his future team is uncertain (with rumors suggesting a potential move to join Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia), the Paris Saint-Germain player is still raking in the dough with an income of $65 million from both his on and off-field endeavors. He has endorsement deals with some of the world’s top companies such as PepsiCo, Adidas, and Budweiser, and his partnership with Socios, a blockchain-based fan platform, generates approximately $20 million. In addition, the Argentine soccer star recently founded an investment firm called Play Time in the previous year.

3. Kylian Mbappé: $120 million

It’s no secret that being a soccer superstar comes with big bucks, and our third highest paid athlete is a prime example. At just 24 years old, Kylian Mbappé, who plays alongside Messi at Paris-Germain, makes an incredible $100 million annually from his salary alone. This makes him the highest paid soccer player from the game alone. Mbappé also earns an additional $20 million from off-field business endeavors, including a partnership with Sorare as an ambassador to the cryptocurrency fantasy game.

4. LeBron James: $119.5 million

In June of last year, the famous basketball player LeBron James made headlines for being the first active athlete to join the billionaire’s club. Although he earns a respectable $45 million from playing for the Lakers, James is widely recognized for his savvy business acumen. Along with his personal trainer Mike Mancias, he co-founded Ladder in 2018, a sports nutrition company that produces supplements and protein powders for athletes. James is also the founder of SpringHill, a production company that creates content aimed at underrepresented groups. Additionally, he invests in several companies, such as Fenway Sports Group, Lobos 1707 tequila, Canyon Bicycles, Neutral Foods, and Mitchell & Ness apparel, with his off-court earnings totaling up to a staggering $75 million per year.

5. Canelo Álvarez: $110 million

While many of his peers rely heavily on off-field endeavors, Canelo Álvarez’s boxing career is the primary source of his annual income, earning a staggering $100 million annually. The boxer has also ventured into entrepreneurship, with ownership of several brands such as Canelo Energy, the fitness app I Can, Yaoca, his sports drink, and VMC, a canned cocktail brand. Additionally, he has partnered with Hennessy and Michelob Ultra to boost his off-field earnings.

6. Dustin Johnson: $106 million

Last June, when LIV golf, a golf tour backed by Saudi Arabia, was launched, Dustin Johnson was one of the players who left the PGA. Though switching to LIV was risky, it turned out to be lucrative for Johnson as he earned $35.6 million. This move also allowed Johnson to co-own and captain the 4Aces GC team. In 2023 alone, Johnson earned $3.3 million from participating in five LIV events.

7. Phil Mickelson: $106 million

After switching over to LIV, Phil Mickelson followed his fellow golfer Dustin Johnson to the Saudi-backed golf tour. Despite losing some of his previous sponsors, Mickelson still earned a substantial amount of money in 2023, winning $1.6 million at the Masters tournament. The golf champion is also a co-founder of the coffee supplement brand, For Wellness. Apart from this, he recently invested in land outside Phoenix as part of a group of investors. Throughout his career, Mickelson has earned over $1 billion in total.

8. Stephen Curry: $100.4 million

Stephen Curry, the star player for the Golden State Warriors, is earning $48.1 million, making him the highest-paid player of the season. He has a long-standing contract with Under Armour and a new partnership with Chase Bank. Curry is not only an athlete but also an entrepreneur, as he founded his own multimedia company, Unanimous Media. This July, his company will release a documentary about his life on Apple TV+. Additionally, he is an investor in Golf+ and TMRW Sport, a company founded by Tiger Woods.

9. Roger Federer: $95.1 million

Although he has retired from professional tennis, the 41-year-old Swiss athlete has successfully invested in various businesses. Forbes reports that he has over a dozen partnerships that he is still actively involved with, including a recent licensing agreement with Oliver Peoples’ Eyewear. Federer is also a shareholder in the shoe company On, which contributes to his income of over $95 million.

10. Kevin Durant: $89.1 million

Kevin Durant’s new contract with the Phoenix Suns following his trade from the Brooklyn Nets now earns him an annual salary of $44.1 million. However, like the other athletes on this list, Durant is not solely reliant on his on-court earnings, as he has investments in several companies such as League One Volleyball, Happy Viking, Premiere Lacrosse League, TMRW Sports, and Athletes Unlimited, among others. He also recently received a lifetime contract with Nike, bringing his total earnings to $45 million, including his Suns salary.

Final Thoughts

The list of the top 10 highest-earning athletes globally in 2023 is a testament to the fact that sports is not only about physical prowess and skills, but also about smart business acumen.

These athletes have not only excelled in their respective sports, but they have also made significant investments and partnerships outside of their athletic careers, leading to substantial earnings both on and off the field. It is evident that the power of brand partnerships and investments in emerging companies has allowed these athletes to expand their portfolios, increase their earnings, and secure their financial future.

This list showcases the importance of strategic planning, diversification, and a forward-thinking mindset in achieving long-term financial success.

The post Top 10 Highest-Earning Athletes Globally In 2023 appeared first on Marketing Mind.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *