Top 20 Highest-Paid Athletes in 2023-24

Top 20 Highest Paid Athletes

Highest Paid Athletes 2023 to 2024
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This guide features the world’s highest-paid athletes from different sports, including football, basketball, golf, F1, and American football. We hope that you find it useful!

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20. Max Scherzer

Total earnings, 2023: $60.8 million

At the bottom of our rankings, we have the Texas Rangers pitcher Max Scherzer. One of the two baseball players featured on this list, Scherzer, reportedly made $60.8 million in 2023. A lion’s share of that income ($58.8 million) came from his MLB salary, with the rest being courtesy of endorsements.

Scherzer’s net worth is estimated to be $120 million. He has endorsement deals from such brands as Nike and Indeed to go alongside his massive MLB contract.

19. Lewis Hamilton

Total earnings, 2023: $62 million

The first F1 driver on our list is Sir Lewis Hamilton. As of 2022, Hamilton’s net worth is reported to be $640 million. In 2023, the Mercedes driver made $62 million, with $50 million being his salary and $12 million coming from his endorsements.

Hamilton also works with global brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Mercedes-Benz, and EA. He’s also a partial owner of the Denver Broncos.

Although he’s currently contracted with Mercedes, Hamilton will be joining the Ferrari team in 2025. The move is widely expected to boost his earnings even more.

18. Erling Haaland

Total earnings, 2023: $63 million

One of the youngest athletes on our list, Erling Haaland, is only 23 years old. The Manchester City and Norway national team player is reported to have made $63 million in 2023. Out of that $63 million, $45 million came from his salary and $18 million from his endorsements.

In 2023, Haaland signed a $24 million deal with Nike, which is expected to boost his earnings even more. He also works with tech giants Samsung, Midea, and various other brands.

17. Canelo Alvarez

Total earnings, 2023: $66 million

The only boxer on our list is the Mexican fighter Santos Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The well-known counterpuncher received a salary of $60 million in 2023, which made up the lion’s share of his income of $66 million that year.

In addition to his salary, Alvarez also made $6 million from his endorsements. He frequently collaborates with brands like LVMH and Everlast. Alvarez is reportedly worth $460 million as of 2022.

16. Shohei Ohtani

Total earnings, 2023: $70 million

The second baseball player on our list is Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers fame. His 2023 salary of $30 million and his endorsement earnings of $40 million landed him in the sixteenth spot on our list. The pitcher and designated hitter is reportedly worth $50 million.

Like other athletes listed, Ohtani has a solid portfolio of endorsements. He works with brands, including Oakley, Hugo Boss, and New Balance.

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15. Max Verstappen

Total earnings, 2023: $75 million

The most well-paid racing driver on this list is current world champion Max Verstappen. The Belgian-Dutch Red Bull Racing champion made $75 million in 2023, $70 million of which came from his salary. His overall net worth is reported to be $210 million.

In 2023, Verstappen got an endorsement deal from Heineken for their non-alcoholic brand. His other endorsements include EA Sports and Red Bull.

14. Tiger Woods

Total earnings, 2023: $77.2 million

Out of these high-paid athletes, Tiger Woods stands out by being the athlete with the highest net worth amounting to $1.77 billion as of 2022. Despite his relatively low salary (compared with the others on this list) of $12.2 million in 2023, the golfer’s income that year totaled $77.2 million, thanks to his numerous endorsements.Tiger Woods playing golf

One of these endorsements was Woods’ 27-year partnership with Nike, which came to an end in 2023. In addition to the sportswear brand collaboration, Woods works with Bridgestone, Rolex, and TaylorMade.

13. Rory McIlroy

Total earnings, 2023: $77.4 million

Next up, we have the UK’s richest sportsperson under 35 – golfer Rory McIlroy. Like Tiger Woods, a significant chunk of McIlroy’s 2023 income came from his endorsements from brands like Omega, Nike, and GolfPass. This portion of his income totaled $40 million, compared to his salary of $37 million.

McIlroy’s 4-year deal with Nike, signed in 2023, is worth $100 million and is certain to ensure his status as one of the highest-paid golfers. He also co-runs TMRW Sports with Tiger Woods.

12. Karim Benzema

Total earnings, 2023: $78 million

The Al-Ittihad striker and captain Karim Benzema is twelfth on our list. The former star of the French national team reportedly made $78 million in 2023, including a salary from the Saudi club of $70 million and endorsements of $8 million.

As the face of the FIFA video game series, Benzema is well-known for his collaboration with the game developer EA. His other endorsements include deals with the car manufacturer Hyundai, Adidas, and Bwin.

11. Lamar Jackson

Total earnings, 2023: $82.5 million

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has the eleventh spot in our ranking, thanks to his reported 2023 income of $82.5 million. A lion’s share of that money ($80 million) comes from his NFL salary, with the rest coming from endorsements from brands like Visa, T-Mobile, and Monster Energy.

Although the Ravens have yet to win a Super Bowl with Jackson on the squad, he was an MVP in 2019 and 2023. His 5-year contract extension with the team, confirmed in 2023, is expected to significantly boost his net worth.

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10. Patrick Mahomes

Total earnings: $84.3 million

The highest-paid NFL player on our list, Super Bowl star Patrick Mahomes, opens the top ten. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback made $84.3 million in 2023, including his salary of $59.3 million and the brand endorsements worth $25 million.

Mahomes’ endorsement deals include Logan Paul’s energy drink Prime, Adidas, and Oakley. In addition to his salary, Mahomes’ Super Bowl performance earned him an extra bonus of $1.2 million.

9. Kevin Durant

Total earnings: $86.9 million

With a huge net worth of $710 million, the Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant takes the spot as the second-richest active basketball player as of 2022, after billionaire LeBron James. In 2023, Durant earned $86.9 million, made up of $44.9 million in salary and $42 million in brand endorsements.

Durant collaborated with brands like Nike (a lifetime deal), Gatorade, and BBVA. He also acts as a VC to several early-stage companies and earned $15 million after Uber acquired Postmates, where he had a stake.

8. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Total earnings: $88.4 million

Another NBA legend, the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo, is number eight in our rating. The power forward for the Milwaukee Bucks reportedly made $88.4 million in 2023. $45 million of that money came from endorsement deals from brands like JBL, Nike, Tissot, and Hulu, and $43.4 million is his base salary.

In addition to the salary and the endorsements, Antetokounmpo runs several business ventures and investments. In 2022, he was the pitchman for Meta’s WhatsApp.

7. Stephen Curry

Total earnings, 2023: $98.9 million

In the seventh spot, we have another NBA star – Stephen Curry. Narrowly missing out on the $100 million mark, his income in 2023 was reported to be $98.9 million. This figure consists of a salary of $48.9 million and endorsement deals from Rakuten, FTX, and other brands worth $50 million.

In addition to basketball and endorsements, Curry runs a production company and his own brand of whisky. The above, plus his other entrepreneurial ventures, have increased his net worth up to $565 million as of 2022.

6. Neymar

Total earnings, 2023: $121 million

The Brazilian soccer star, Neymar Jr, plays for the national team and Saudi-based team Al Hilal. In 2023, he reportedly made $121 million, composed of $86 million in football salary and $35 million in endorsements from brands like Red Bull, Puma, and Qatar Airways.

Sportico reports Neymar’s net worth to be $735 million as of 2022, making him the third-richest footballer behind Ronaldo and Messi.

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Top 5 Highest paid Athletes of 2023-2024
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5. Kylian Mbappe

Total earnings, 2023: $125 million

Opening the top five is the French footballer Kylian Mbappe – the youngest in the top five at 25 years of age. The captain of the French national team and the star of PSG (at least until the end of the season), Mbappe is reported to be worth between $120-180 million.

As of 2023, Mbappe’s earnings amounted to $125 million, with the majority of it coming from his football career. He’s endorsed by brands like Nike, Hublot, and Dior, which brought him $25 million.

However, it has recently been announced that the French striker will be joining Real Madrid this summer on a free transfer. Despite there being no fee, Mbappe is expected to receive a $162 million signing-on bonus, paid over a 5-year period, alongside a base salary of $16.2 million per season.

4. LeBron James

Total earnings, 2023: $125.7 million

The richest basketball player in the world is also the NBA’s first billionaire. LA Lakers legend LeBron James is number four on our list. The total earnings of King James for 2023 are estimated to be $125.7 million, with $80 million coming from endorsements with brands like AT&T and PepsiCo. The remaining $45.7 million came from his basketball career.

As of 2022, the total earnings of LeBron James amount to $1.29 billion. That puts him in the third spot in the rating of highest-paid active athletes of all time, behind Tiger Woods and Cristiano Ronaldo.

3. Lionel Messi

Total earnings, 2023: $130 million.

In third place, we have the Argentinian football superstar Lionel Messi, who plays for his home country’s national team and brought them their most recent World Cup victory in Qatar. He also plays for Inter Miami, who are co-owned by former Manchester United and England star David Beckham, as of July 2023, where he also owns a stake.

As a result of his contract and endorsements from brands such as Pepsi and Adidas, Messi’s 2023 income totals roughly $130 million. It’s split evenly between his football career and the endorsements, although his professional salary is expected to be even higher in 2024.

Messi’s total earnings in the course of his career amounted to $1.22 billion – so still slightly behind NBA star LeBron James.

2. Jon Rahm

Total earnings, 2023: $203 million.

Spanish professional golfer Jon Rahm comes second in our overall rankings, with an income of $203 million, as of 2023. The lion’s share of the income for the 29-year-old US Open winner (2023) is made up of his salary and winnings on the course, which amounts to $181 million. The rest of his wealth comes from endorsements from brands like Mercedes Benz and Rolex.

As of December 2023, Rahm is part of the LIV Golf League and owns an expansion team, Legion XIII. The contract is worth $300 million and could easily push Rahm to the first position on this list in a year’s time.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Total earnings, 2023: $275 million.

At the top of our list, we have the Portuguese football player and influencer, Cristiano Ronaldo. As of 2023, his income totals $275 million. The figure is made up of his football salary which sits at a cool $215 million, as well as his off-the-field earnings or endorsements from brands like LV, Nike, and DAZN, of $60 million.

His total career earnings amounted to $1.28 billion at the end of 2022 – the second-highest figure on the list behind US golfer Tiger Woods.

Ronaldo currently plays for the Portuguese national team and Al-Nassr FC, which he joined in 2023 as a free agent, becoming the highest-paid footballer in history.

In his previous career, he was the subject of some record-breaking transfer fees, such as the £80 million transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009.Cristiano Ronaldo, the highest paid athlete in 2023

Who Are the Top Five Highest-Paid Female Athletes in 2023-2024?

Unfortunately the top 20 highest-paid athletes list doesn’t currently include any female athletes. But here’s our breakdown of the top five highest-paid sportswomen in 2023-2024:

Athlete Sport Salary Endorsements Total income, 2023
Iga Swiatek Tennis $10 million $13.9 million $23.9 million
Eileen Gu Skiing $0.1 million $22 million $22.1 million
Coco Gauff Tennis $6.5 million $15.2 million $21.7 million
Emma Raducanu Tennis $0.2 million $15 million $15.2 million
Naomi Osaka Tennis $0 (maternity break) $15 million $15 million

Concluding Thoughts

The athletes listed in this guide are not only the best of the best in their respective fields, but they’re rewarded very handsomely for their skills.

In addition to their professional earnings, they’re also big brand names themselves, and collaborating with other global brands makes both sides a lot of money.

However, it’s our hope that in the next few years, we’ll see more female athletes in these ratings, as they’re no less deserving of the accolades.

Sources

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By 111 Tech

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