The list of the highest paid sportsman in the world according to Forbes for the first time topped the Swiss tennis player Roger Federer. Due to the pandemic, which forced the cancellation of major sports tournaments for the first time since world war II, the income of 100 participants in the ranking fell this year after several years of continuous growth.
Earnings of the world’s highest paid Sportsman, according to Forbes estimates, have declined for the first time in four years. This is due to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many important sporting events to be canceled or postponed for the first time since world war II.
For this year, the 100 highest-paid athletes in the world collectively earned $3.6 billion — 9% less than last year. The income of rating participants decreased for the first time since 2016. But in that year, the decline occurred only because of the” high base “of the previous year, when the total income of the elite of world sport soared after the” fight of the century ” between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, for which the boxers earned $400 million.
The first line of the rating was taken by tennis player Roger Federer for the first time in history, who earned $106 million before taxes over the past 12 months. Thus, he overtook footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who replaced each other on the first line of the rating three times in the last four years.
Over the past 12 months, two world football legends have earned a total of $209 million, that is, $28 million less than in 2019. This is due to a reduction in salaries at many European football clubs, caused by the suspension of the playing season in March 2020.
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For the entire history of the ranking of the highest paid Sportsman in the world, which Forbes releases since 1990, Roger Federer became only the ninth athlete to take the first place. He also became the first tennis player to top the ranking in 30 years of its existence. Over the past 12 months, Roger Federer has earned $100 million off the court, thanks to sponsorship agreements with Uniqlo, Credit Suisse, Mercedes-Benz and 10 other companies. None of the other athletes there has many sponsorship contracts. Cristiano Ronaldo earned $45 million through sponsorship deals with Nike, Altice, Herbalife and his own brand CR7. Lionel Messi earned $32 million through contracts with Adidas, MasterCard and PepsiCo.
According to Forbes, athletes from 21 countries have been included in the ranking of the highest-paid athletes in the world. The rating participants compete in 10 sports. In the ranking for the first time since 2016, two female tennis players — Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams (in 2016, the company in the ranking of the highest-paid athletes in the world, Serena Williams was the tennis player Maria Sharapova) were included at once. For winning tournaments, Naomi Osaka earned $3.4 million, and under sponsorship agreements with brands like Nike, Nissan Motor and Procter & Gamble – $34 million. She became the highest paid female athlete in the history of world sport. Previously, only tennis players became the highest-paid athletes. Women from other sports have never managed to win this title.
Although the ranking of the highest paid Sportsman in the world has the most basketball players from the NBA, this year it got quite a lot of American football players playing in the National football League. Due to the fact that the NFL’s playing season begins in late summer, the COVID-19 pandemic did not have much impact on player salaries. In total, 31 athletes from the NFL were included in the rating, although last year only 19 American football players became participants in the rating.
At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted Major League baseball. Due to the postponement of the start of the season, which was supposed to take place in March 2020, only one professional baseball player was included in the ranking. This is Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Last year, 15 baseball players took part in the rating.
At the moment, after a long break, only NASCAR series races and German Bundesliga games have resumed. Most likely, the total income of the world’s highest-paid athletes will also fall next year.
To assess the income of athletes, Forbes took into account their prize money at tournaments, salaries under professional contracts and bonuses received between June 1, 2019 and June 1, 2020. Forbes took into account the salary for the entire playing season, if it was about European football or NBA basketball players, because after June 1, 2020, they will still receive wages for the playing season, which usually ends by this time.
However, due to the delay of the season which is as a result of -19 pandemic, Forbes reduced the total salary of basketball players by 25%, based on data on the maximum salary reduction in the NBA. Depending on the club, Forbes also reduced the salaries of European football players in a few months to 70%. Based on the agreement between the owners of Major League baseball clubs and players, Forbes estimated the salary of baseball players for April and may at $286,500.
To assess the earnings of American football players, Forbes took into account their base salary for 2019, as well as bonuses earned over the past 12 months, including bonuses for staying on the team, signing a new contract, reaching the NFL playoffs, and for additional training after the end of the season. To assess the income of golfers and tennis players, Forbes took into account their prize money at tournaments received over the past 12 months.
In addition, Forbes took into account the income of athletes from sponsorship agreements, licensing fees, and payments for participation in various events in the period from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2020. To assess this portion of each athlete’s income, Forbes interviewed dozens of industry experts. If we were talking about golfers, then Forbes also took into account their income for designing Golf courses. All athletes ‘ income is shown before tax. Forbes also did not take into account payments to agents and income from investments. The ranking includes athletes who competed in their own sports in the period from June 1, 2019, to June 1, 2020.
- Roger Federer
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Lionel Messi
- LeBron James
- Stephen Curry
- Kevin Durant
- Tiger Woods
- Kirk Cousins
- Carson Wentz
- Kevin Durant
- Lewis Hamilton
- Russell Westbrook
- James Harden
- Canelo Alvarez
- Tiger Woods
- Drew Brees
- Sebastian Vettel
- Derek Carr
- Rafael Nadal