As the years go by, it is always interesting to look at the sports and athletes that are making the most money. While the Mayweather-Pacquio fight put those two at the top of the list for 2015, who are the highest paid athletes of 2016?
Let’s take a look at the ten highest paid sports players in 2016:
#1 – Floyd Mayweather – $100+ Million (Boxing)
A year after bringing in over $300 million, most of which was from his fight with Manny Pacquio, Mayweather proved that he did not need a marquee fight to remain at the top of these rankings. At 39 and with talks of retirement being imminent, we may not be seeing Floyd at the top of this list much longer.
#2 – Cristiano Ronaldo – $80+ Million (Soccer)
Known for his good looks and incredible ball skills, Ronaldo has proven himself as one of the most marketable athletes in the world. On top of the $52 million per year that he receives as a salary from Real Madrid, he also receives close to $30 million per year in endorsements. At 29, expect to see Ronaldo at the top of this list for many years to come.
#3 – LeBron James – $72+ Million (Basketball)
While LeBron may not yet be the champion that Michael Jordan was, he is quickly proving that his marketing skills are up-to-par with the greatest of all time. LeBron has endorsement deals that exceed $50 million, which is interesting considering his yearly salary is less than $20 million per year.
#4 – Lionel Messi – $64+ Million (Soccer)
At only 28, Lionel Messi is one of the youngest members of this list. His slick scoring and out of this world ball handling skills has helped him earn over $23 million in endorsements. In addition, his contract with Barcelona pays him over $40 million every year.
#5 – Kobe Bryant – $60+ Million (Basketball)
While Kobe has announced that he is retiring after the 2016 season, that hasn’t stopped him from earning plenty of money before he leaves. The 16-time NBA All-Star receives one of the highest salaries in basketball, at $30.5 million per year, and also earns over $30 million a year from several endorsement deals.
#6 – Tiger Woods – $60+ Million (Golf)
Tiger Woods once dominated this list as he would annually earn well over $100 million per year from a combination of winnings and endorsements. While his game is certainly not what it once was, Woods still earns a pretty fair living as he has endorsement deals that bring in more than $55 million a year and still manages above $6 million a year in golf winnings.
#7 – Roger Federer – $56+ Million (Tennis)
Federer, like Tiger Woods, has certainly lost a step on the competition during his professional year. That has not, however, stopped him from earning over $52 million from endorsements while still bringing in a fairly solid $4 million a year from tournament winnings.
#8 – Phil Mickelson – $53+ Million (Golf)
Phil Mickelson has long been one of the most marketable golfers on the tour. Unfortunately for him, however, he has spent most of his incredible career in the shadow of Tiger Woods. Even still, Phil is doing pretty well for himself and earned over $48 million from endorsements to go along with over $5 million in golf tournament winnings.
#9 – Rafael Nadal – $44+ Million (Tennis)
Nadal is one of the few tennis players in the world that has been able to compete with Roger Federer on a consistent basis. But while he may be able to beat Federer on the court, he is not quite at his level when it comes to yearly earnings.
Nadal earned only $30 million in endorsements compared to Federer’s $50 million. He did, however, earn over $10 million more from tournament winnings. At only 29, however, that could certainly change in the not too distant future.
#10 – Rory McIlroy – $42+ Million (Golf)
McIlroy, at only 26, represents a bit of a changing of the guard when it comes to the golfing world. He has taken over many of the endorsements previously occupied by Tiger Woods and is considered by many to be the new face of golfing.
On top of his ability to win tournaments, having won over $15 million in prize money in 2015, he capped that number off by bringing in more than $25 million from endorsement deals. Watch out for McIlroy to continue to climb this list as his experience and endorsements grow.