The sports industry has always been a lucrative business and in modern days it has touched new heights as the sporting events are broadcasted live and the viewership has increased many times. Athletes have always been well taken care of but with the advent of social media they are have attained a celebrity status which is equal to that of the movie stars if not more.
Athletes are not only competing with movie stars in fame but also in wealth, top level athletes are making millions in prize money and contracts with their teams and they are also making big fortunes from sponsorship deals and endorsements.
Here is the list of the top ten highest paid athletes of 2016.
10. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant earned $680 million throughout his twenty year old career in salaries and endorsements. He is the most earning team athlete to earn this much money in his career. After retirement he has invested millions of dollars in BodyArmor which is an upcoming sports drink.
In 2016 Kobe Bryant earned almost $50 million dollars, his salary income was $25 million dollars and he earned another $25 million dollars in endorsements. He resides in Newport Beach, California.
09. Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth is known as the golden boy of Golf and in 2015 he won two major titles and became the youngest player ever to win the US Open. He earned the $10 million reward in fall by winning the FedEx cup, this win along with the No. 1 ranking helped him capture massive bonuses from his partners Under Armour and Titleist.
His total earnings in 2016 are about $53 million dollars, $28.8 million of this money was earned through salary/winnings while the other $32 million were earned through different endorsements. Jordan now resided in Dallas, Texas, United States.
08. Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson is a legend in Golf and he has earned $53 million most of which was earned through endorsements. He earned only $2.9 million in salary and the rest of $50 million was earned through his endorsements.
Phil Mickelson is sponsored by some of the largest business organizations including Rolex, Amgen, Barclays and Callaway, Phil’s ability to connect with his fans is valued a lot by his sponsors. Phil Mickelson lives in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, United States.
07. Cam Newton
Cam Newton is the current superstar of NFL and he has won the MVP award by getting 48 out of 50 votes. In 2015 he signed a fresh contract with the Carolina Panthers for five years worth $103.8 million. He has also made $53 million this year.
Cam Newton’s salary has earned him $41.1 million this year and he has made another $12 million through his endorsement deals. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States.
06. Novak Djokovic
The last five years have been amazing for the number one tennis player in the world Novak Djokovic who won 11 Grand Slam titles and earned $82 million dollars. He was also the first player ever to earn $20 million in prize money in a single season.
Djokovic earned a hefty $21.8 million in salary and $34 million from his endorsements from partners like Adidas, Uniqlo, Head, Peugeot, Seiko and ANZ. He lives in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
05. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant made headlines when Nike extended a deal that is worth $300 million for ten years in 2014. Kevin has also partnered with Footlocker and Neff to launch his own underwear line last year but most of his money is made through endorsement deals.
Kevin Durant’s salary in 2016 is $20.2 million and he has made an additional $36 million through his endorsements. Kevin Durant lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States.
04. Roger Federer
Roger Federer is undoubtedly the greatest player of tennis in the history of the game has earned a fortune playing it. The Swiss player has numerous records under his belt including the longest stay at No.1 ranking and consecutive appearances in Grand Slams.
Roger Federer is highest earning tennis player off the court and he made $60 million through his endorsements from companies like Credit Suisse, Rolex, Nike and Mercedes-Benz and $7.8 million in Salary, earning a total of $68 million. Roger Federer resides in Bottmingen, Switzerland.
03. Lebron James
At the age of 31 LeBron James is the highest paid basketball player in the NBA and the third highest paid athlete in the world. His earnings this year are $77 million dollars and he has also led the Cleveland Cavaliers to victory in the 2016 NBA finals.
For the first time in its history Nike has signed a lifetime deal with LeBron James in 2015. LeBron’s salary this year has been $23.2 million and he has earned $54 million in endorsements. LeBron lives in Akron, OH, United States.
02. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is rightly considered by many football experts as one of the best players ever to play this game and his achievements are a testament to this statement. He has won the FIFA’s player of the year award five times and he has led his club team Barcelona to numerous victories.
Messi has earned a total of $81.5 million this year, $53.4 million in salary and another $28 million in endorsements. He has been sentenced for 21 months for tax fraud be most likely he will spend this time on probation. Messi lives in Castelldefels, Spain.
01. Cristiano Ronaldo
With $88 million in earnings the Portuguese national Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest paid athlete of 2016. He has won the FIFA player of the year award three times and for six consecutive years he has broken the 50 goal mark for Real Madrid.
The club pays him a salary of $50 million and his contract will last till 2018, the other $32 million is earned through his endorsement deals with Tag Heuer, Monster Headphones, Sacoor Brothers Suites and Nike. He lives in Madrid, Spain.