The world’s highest-paid athletes earned 28% more than last year. The 10 highest-paid athletes in the world earned $1.05 billion in the past fiscal year as professional sports returned.
Ticket sales were down across every sport. Some seasons were abbreviated. But that didn’t stop the highest-paid athletes from bringing in hundreds of millions.
Conor McGregor is the highest-paid athlete in the world right now. McGregor earned an astounding $180 million. That’s more than double what 9th-ranked Tom Brady earned ($76 million).
Forbes publishes an annual list of the highest-paid athletes in the world. This year’s top ten earners fell just short of the $1.06 billion record set in 2018. Floyd Mayweather earned $285 million that year to help set the record.
Off The Field Earnings Boost McGregor
Conor McGregor earned a modest $22 million for his UFC 257 fight against Dustin Poirier. Forbes reports that McGregor recently sold a majority stake in Proper No. Twelve whiskey brand for $150 million.
Three of the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world are soccer players (Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Mess, and Neymar Jr). Dak Prescott and Tom Brady are the two NFL athletes in the top 10. And there are two NBA players on the list, Lebron James and Kevin Durant.
Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World for 2021
- Conor McGregor – $180 million ($22M on-field, $158M off-field)
- Lionel Messi – $130 million ($97M on-field, $33M off-field)
- Cristianoo Ronaldo – $120 million ($70M on-field, $50M off-field)
- Dak Prescott – $107.5 million ($97.5M on-field, $10M off-field)
- LeBron James – $96.5 million ($31.5M on-field, $65M off-field)
- Neymar Jr. – $95 million ($76M on-field, $19M off-field)
- Roger Federer – $90 million ($0.03M on-field, $90M off-field)
- Lewis Hamilton – $82 million ($70 million on-field, $12M off-field)
- Tom Brady – $76 million ($45 million on-field, $31M off-field)
- Kevin Durant – $75 million ($31 million on-field, $44M off-field)
The annual Forbes list features in-depth breakdowns of how each athlete earned his money over the past twelve months. Roger Federer earned over 99% of his $90 million from partnerships with Rolex and others.
Dak Prescott earned the vast majority of his money on the NFL field. Prescott does have sponsorships with Sleep Number, 7/11, and others.
LeBron James left a long-term partnership with Coca-Cola for PepsiCo and also has a stake in Fenway Sports Group.
Kevin Durant has diversified his earnings. Durant was Executive Producer on a short film that won an Oscar. He also owns a stake in the Philadelphia Union and is heavily invested in Uber and Postmates.
You can visit Forbes to read more about how each of the highest-paid athletes in the world made the top 10 list