Pro athletes earned ungodly sums of money in 2015, just as they did last year and every year before that since sports became big business. There are now innumerable companies that exist just to track the business of sports, how much athletes are bringing in, and the varying earning powers across professional sports. As part of their 2015 Year in Review the website Opendorse.com has tracked the 5 highest earning athletes (via endorsements, not salary) across the seven major sports (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, Tennis).
They plotted the average endorsement earnings from those 5 athletes as well as the average ages of those athletes and the results show that it’s pretty fucking great to be a pro golfer. Not only do the top tier pro golfer earn considerably more in endorsements than athletes in other sports they’re also able to keep playing much later in life than most:
Here’s what Opendorse.com has to say about why golfers reign supreme:
+ $30.6 million— The average 2015 endorsement earnings of the sport’s top five earners — Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth.
+ 33.4 the athletes’ average age.
+ $6.4 thousand — The average price per Tweet of golf’s highest-valued athletes on Twitter.
With average annual earnings of over $30 million, Golf’s top five endorsers are on top by a comfortable margin. However, golf’s reign as champ could be short lived. Phil Mickelson’s years on tour are waning, and Tiger Woods’ return to the game appears uncertain. The loss of its two highest earners would mean a drop off of nearly $100M in annual endorsement earnings.
They also go on to elaborate on how/where pro soccer players are earning their money, and it’s from getting jabronis like myself to follow them on Twitter and click on their tweets:
SOCCER DOMINATES TWITTER
It would make sense that the sport with the youngest group of stars would also see the most success on social media. Soccer, as a global brand, has a wide audience who loves their athletes, and it shows. Cristiano Ronaldo is not only the most followed soccer player on Twitter, he is the most followed athlete in the world. A sponsored tweet from the Real Madrid star will set you back over $260,000. A distant second is LeBron James at around $140,000 per tweet. To further soccer’s case of dominance, in our breakdown of top athlete Twitter prices in the world, soccer holds seven of the top ten positions. To pay all seven players to tweet about your brand, you can expect a price-tag of over $700,000.
A single sponsored tweet from Crisitano Ronaldo will set you back $260,000!!!! That’s $1,857 per letter that he has to type on his phone. I send out like 50 tweets every time I drop the kids off at the pool and this dude’s getting paid over a quarter million dollars every time he tweets ONE SPONSORED TWEET. More power to him I guess? I could be a hater, but it’s seriously impressive that he’s swindled people into spending that much money with him.
Something of note is that the MLB/baseball finished dead last in both ‘endorsements’ and ‘price per tweet’, which is a troubling sign for America’s favorite pastime.