Top 10 Richest, Highest Paid Athletes (2009)



Here at PinoyMoneyTalk, we’ve always been a fan of the “List of the World’s Richest.”

We continue this today with a list of the top-paid sports persons in 2009. Compiled by Forbes Magazine, the ranking is based on earnings of the athletes from salaries, bonuses, prize money, endorsements and licensing income between June 2008 and June 2009 and does not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees.

Interestingly, Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is ranked 6th on the list, having earned more than $40 million.

List of World’s Highest Paid Athletes – 2009

#1. Tiger Woods
$110 million
Age 33

Woods has earned almost $900 million in prize money, endorsements and appearance fees during his 13-year professional golf career and next year is poised to become the first athlete to earn $1 billion during a career.

Woods racked up more than twice the earnings of any other athlete over the past 12 months despite being sidelined for eight months after knee surgery thanks to lucrative endorsement deals with Accenture, Gillette and Nike as well as a thriving golf course design business.

Tiger is the best paid sportsman for eight consecutive years now.

#2 (Tie). Kobe Bryant
$45 million
Age 30

Bryant secured his place among the NBA’s all-time greats when he won his fourth NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in June.

The Black Mamba’s popularity is at its zenith as his No. 24 jersey is the top seller in the U.S., Europe and China.

Bryant pads his $21 million Lakers salary through endorsement deals with Nike, Upper Deck, Activision and VitaminWater.

#2 (Tie). Michael Jordan
$45 million
Age 46

MJ retired as a player for the third and presumably final time six years ago, but he is still the most famous athlete in the United States.

The Jordan Brand is approaching $1 billion in sales for Nike which turned Jordan into a marketing phenomenon.

Jordan is on the short list of potential buyers for the Charlotte Bobcats where he is head of basketball operations and a minority owner.

#2 (Tie). Kimi Raikkonen
$45 million
Age 29

Formula One’s highest-paid driver finished a disappointing third in the World Championship standings last year after winning the title in 2007.

This year has been even worse for the Iceman who sits in 10th place in the current standings.

Ferrari resigned Raikkonen in September to a one-year contract extension keeping the Finn behind the wheel for Ferrari through 2010.

#5. David Beckham
$42 million
Age 34

Beckham is far from the best player on the pitch, but he is still the most famous which is why companies like Adidas, Giorgio Armani and Motorola pay him millions for his endorsement. Beckham spent five months on loan this year playing for AC Milan before his planned return to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in July when the MLS season is half over.

#6 (Tie). Lebron James
$40 million
Age 24

The NBA’s MVP led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the league’s best record and had a playoff performance for the ages this year, but his team was bounced from the playoffs by the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals. His free agency next summer has teams maneuvering to get under the salary cap in hopes of signing King James. The Cavs can offer the biggest contract under NBA salary rules, but James might go in search of a bigger market.

#6 (Tie). Phil Mickelson
$40 million
Age 39

Playing second fiddle to Tiger Woods has proven very lucrative for the world’s second-ranked player. His most lucrative deal is with Callaway, which signed Mickelson to a five-year extension this year. Other sponsors include Barclay’s, Exxon, KPMG and Rolex. Mickelson has won $54 million in prize money during his career, third all-time behind Woods and Vijay Singh.

#6 (Tie). Manny Pacquiao
$40 million
Age 30

Pac-Man hogged the boxing spotlight over the past year with victories in two blockbuster fights against Oscar De La Hoya in December and Ricky Hatton in March that combined generated more than $100 million in pay-per-view revenue in the U.S.

A member of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Pacquiao plans to run for political office when his days in the ring are over.

#9. Valentino Rossi
$35 million
Age 30

The Doctor won his eighth World Championship in 2008 after two straight years of falling short of the title.

The biggest star in motorcycle racing earns $16 million annually from his contract to ride for Yamaha and his earnings more than double when you count licensing income, bonuses and endorsement deals with the likes of energy drink Monster.

#10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
$34 million
Age 49

Earnhardt was chosen as Nascar’s most popular driver for a sixth straight year in 2008 despite winning only one race during the past two seasons. His merchandise sales were twice the total of any other driver. Earnhardt’s biggest personal sponsorship deals are with Adidas, Chevrolet, Polaris, Wrangler and Nationwide Insurance, which he added this year.

Source: Forbes

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18 thoughts on “Top 10 Richest, Highest Paid Athletes (2009)”

  1. Sorry Guys. Cristiano Rolando killed Tiger with a 132 million Dollar contract with Real Madrid soccer club of Spain. But hey, you don’t see that because soccer is the most underrated sport in the USA, although it has been proven for almost 100 years that it brings over 5 times more money that golf, NLF, MLB, and any other sport in the world.

    Reply
  2. @ Soccer # 1

    Yeah, the contract was for 132M dollars, but do you know how much Cristiano Ronaldo makes everything is said and done? About 12.5M dollars. This list is money the players themselves make; not the organizations they play for. Nice try, though.

    Reply
  3. that’s not a 1 year contract, so cristiano ronaldo doesn’t get 125 million dollar annualy.Real madrid wouldn’t survive paying 125 million dollar for 1 player.

    Reply
  4. hey, soccer#1 that contract is not purely for Ronaldo he will get only 26M according to Forbes
    highest paid athletes. still GOLF is no.1 and Tiger is the highest paid athletes for year 2009 and
    though he will be sideline for a year, hes still the top of the list. And also as per Forbes magz
    Tiger will hit a Billion mark in his earnings. This is for your info only. Im not against to Ronaldo
    hes a good footballer no doubt about it. Dont drag players name into this mess if you dont know any-
    thing about their salary.

    Reply
  5. Tiger Woods is really amazing, He’s just 33 year old and yet he had that huge income. This athletes are really the one who are experts in their fields of interests.

    Reply
  6. whoah this weblog is excellent i like studying your posts. Keep within the good paintings! You already know, plenty of everyone is hunting around to the info, you can help them greatly.

    Reply

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