Following the release of the recent Forbes 100 highest-paid sports personalities list, the USA has proved to be a somewhat dominant nation with four of the top six athletes being American. Here, we take a look at the top six on the list…
Floyd Mayweather – $85m
At the top of the rankings is boxer Floyd Mayweather. The fact that Mayweather holds such a position is impressive to say the least, especially as he was serving a three-month prison sentence for domestic assault when the list was first released. Nevertheless, nobody can dispute his boxing ability and the bulk of these earnings have come from his two fights in 2011. The first, which saw Mayweather pitted against Victor Ortiz, is said to have generated a total of $78.44m – with Mayweather taking a large proportion of that. Mayweather’s earnings from the other fight, against Miguel Cotto, were released with the 35-year-old netting $32m.
Manny Pacquiao – $62m
Another boxer in the form of Manny Pacquiao was next in the list, having earned $62m. Despite losing his last fight against Timothy Bradley, the Filipino boxer took home $26m while he also earned $25m plus a share of the pay per view sales from his victory over Juan Manuel Marquez. His earnings could have been higher were it not for anti-gay comments the boxer made earlier in the year, which resulted in several of his deals with sponsors ending.
Tiger Woods – $58m
Practically every Forbes list over the last decade or so has featured Tiger Woods. Even though the golfer might not be at the top of his game, he still managed to take home a huge $58m from his various sponsorship deals. However, next year’s list could tell a completely different story, with Woods slowly returning to top form. The American has recently become the first golfer to surpass $100m in playing earnings, suggesting that he could rise up the list for 2013.
LeBron James – $53m
Basketball player LeBron James is ranked 4th in the list, after the American earned no less than $53m through 2011/12. Despitehis immense talent in the sport, his salary actually only contributes about $16m to this figure. Instead, it’s the various endorsement packages that have boosted his bank balance, with deals with Nike, Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robbins and State Farm being of massive value to the 27-year-old.
Roger Federer – $52.7m
Roger Federer happens to trail James by just $300,000, with the tennis star earning $52.7m. Even though Federer’s record on the court is not as successful as it was several years ago, that’s not prevented his earnings from increasing. The Swiss player has seen his earnings for 2011/12 increase by $5m on the previous year, as his sponsorship packages continue to boost his bank balance significantly. He represents the likes of Rolex, Nike, Wilson and Credit Suisse and Gillette and with all of these being international brands, it’s no surprise to see Federer sit so high in the rich rankings.
Kobe Bryant – $52.3m
The 6th man on the list is another US star, in the form of basketball player Kobe Bryant. Bryant sits just $400,000 below Federer in the earnings after taking home $52.3m in 2011/12. Out of all of the players on the list, Bryant actually holds the 3rd best earnings from sport alone having been paid $20.3m through his salary – a figure that makes him the highest paid star in basketball. In fact, that salary could have been around $5m higher had it not been the reduction of the season due to the NBA lockout. His endorsements make up around $32m, with the 34-year-old holding deals with the likes of Turkish Airlines and Nike.
Liam writes for UK sports blogs and likes a betting bonus offer when he finds the right sporting occasion.