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The Net Worth and Earnings of Some of the World’s Biggest Sports Stars

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Tiger Woods net worth

In the 1920s, players didn’t earn much for their exploits in the sporting arenas and stadiums of the world. In fact, they’d even supplement their income by taking on off-season jobs. Then around midway through the 1960s, baseball players began to negotiate for higher salaries, and in the 1970s, sports players began signing million dollar contracts. 

Come the 1990s, players were signing multimillion dollar contracts. Enter the new millennium and endorsements had become a popular, lucrative way for sports stars to bump up their earnings and set themselves up for a comfortable retirement. Below is a look at the net worth and the earnings of some the world’s biggest sports stars. 

Tiger Woods

Professional golfer Tiger Woods is reported to have a net worth of $1.1 billion, according to Forbes online, and has earned around $1.8 billion during his professional career, including $121 million in prize money, a PGA Tour record. Woods has made so much money from golfing that he was able to turn down an incredible sum from the LIV Tour. 

He’s invested some of his substantial winnings from golf in two homes on Jupiter Island, the high-end mini golf chain Popstroke and a golf course design business. When it comes to leisure interests, Woods is known as a high roller in the casinos and whereas some visitors would prefer slots, such as Megaways slots, Woods has a fondness for blackjack.

Michael Jordan 

In 2023, ex professional basketballer Michael Jordan became one of the 400 richest people in America, thanks to the sale of his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets at a whopping $3 billion valuation. Over the 15 seasons of his career, he earned $94 million from playing basketball. Off the court, he earned $2.4 billion pre-tax during his career through work with brands including McDonald’s, Gatorade, Hanes and, most famously, Nike. His most recent royalty check from the sports brand was for around $260 million. Today, Jordan has an estimated net worth of approximately $3 billion. 

Iga Świątek

Polish tennis sensation ought Iga Świątek has forged a well-earned fortune for herself, having earned around $23.9 million so far on the court. Going into the WTA finals, in November 2023, the 22 year old was believed to have a net worth of around $20 to 23 million. The win at Cancun returned her to the No 1 spot and is also likely to have boosted that net worth. 

Two wins at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, in Stuttgart, have seen Świątek walk away with the prize money and two cars, and, a result, team up with Porsche as a brand ambassador. She has also partnered up with the Swiss watchmaker Rolex and the Polish insurance company P7U. Toyota Lexus, Red Bull and Xiaomi have all teamed up with the tennis star too in the past. 

LeBron James

LA Lakers star man LeBron James has broken all kinds of records on the NBA courts, but off the court he’s also set a record as he’s the first active player in the league to become a billionaire. In 2022, Forbes estimated his net worth at $1 billion. The forward from Akron, Ohio, is believed to have earned more than $430 million before tax during his career. 

As you might expect, brands clamor to work with LeBron and he’s earned a substantial sum from endorsements. Off the court, he’s hauled in more than $900 million pretax. Nike, PepsiCo and Walmart are just some of the companies who have knocked on his door successfully for partnerships or other business ventures.

One of the keys to LeBron’s wealth has been his own business savvy. As well as partnering with brands, he also takes equity in them. This includes Beats by Dr Dre and the Blaze Pizza chain.

Cristiano Ronaldo

In 2020, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo became the first sports star to pass $1 billion in career earnings alone. The Portuguese footballing wizard is reported to earn around $220 million per year with his current side Al Nassar, in the Saudi Pro League. He’ll receive this until 2025, but the payment isn’t just for his work on the pitch but also for image rights and commercial deals to cover his salary. 

Only Ronaldo’s management company know exactly how much Ronaldo is worth, but he’s believed to have a net worth of around $500 million. He has a lifetime deal with Nike and also makes money with his CR7 brand, which includes clothing, hotels, accessories and gyms. 

Today, sports players can amass serious wealth, not just from their sport but also from endorsements and business ventures outside of the arena. Other players who make big money include Lionel Messi, who has a net worth of around $600 million and reached total career earnings of $1.28 billion in 2023, and Mexican boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who earns tens of millions from his fights and is believed to have a net worth of at least $180 million.

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