In the sporting world, determination, hard work, and exceptional performance pay off. The world’s 50 highest-paid athletes earned $2.97 billion before taxes and agent fees in 2022, an increase of 8% ($2.76 billion) over the previous year’s record. On-field earnings (including prize money, salaries, and bonuses) and off-field earnings accounted for the income (including sponsorship deals, appearance fees and memorabilia, and licensing incomes).
Thirty-three of the top 50 highest-paid athletes are Black. Forbes’ most recent list included a number of well-known names. Here are the top ten highest-paid Black athletes, with a total earnings of $790.2 million and a net worth of $3.3 billion.
LeBron James tops the list with a total earnings of $121.2 million, which includes $41.2 million in salary/winnings and $80 million in endorsements. James plays basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers. He is the world’s second highest-paid athlete and the first NBA player to become a billionaire, with a total net worth of $1 billion as of January 23, 2023. 2K Sports, AT&T, Beats Electronics, Blaze, Pizza PepsiCo, Walmart, Calm, CRYPTO.com, GMC, Nike, and RIMOWA are among the companies that have sponsored the 38-year-old athlete.
Stephen Curry comes in second with a total earnings of $92.8 million, which includes $45.8 million in salary/winnings and $47 million in endorsements. He is currently ranked fifth in the world. The Golden State Warriors’ 31-year-old athlete is sponsored by 2K Sports, Callaway, Golf, CarMax, FTX, Google, Panini, Rakuten, and Under Armour. His net worth is estimated to be $170 million.
The athlete, 34, earned $92.1 million, which included $42.1 million in salary/winnings and $50 million in endorsements. He is ranked sixth in the world and has endorsement deals with 2K Sports, Coinbase, Dapper Labs, Nike, and Weedmaps. He is a Brooklyn Nets player with a net worth of $210 million.
With a total of $80.9 million earned from salary/winnings ($39.9 million) and endorsements ($41 million), the 28-year-old athlete is the second-youngest athlete on this millionaire list and the youngest NBA player. The Greek-Nigerian basketballer is a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He was ranked tenth in the world at the time. Come Ready Foods LLC, Google, Gr. Sarantis S.A., Greek From Greek Café Cuisine, JBL, Meta, Mytilineos S.A, Nike, and TCL are among Giannis’ sponsors. His estimated net worth is $110 million.
Russell Westbrook ranks fifth with $79.2 million in earnings from salary/winnings ($44.2 million) and endorsements ($35 million). The 34-year-old athlete plays basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers and is ranked 11th in the world. He has endorsement deals with Hennessy and Nike. His estimated net worth is $210 million.
James is ranked sixth with a total earnings of $74.4 million, which includes $44.4 million in salary/winnings and $30 million in endorsements. He is the 12th best player in the world and plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. Adidas, Block Inc, Body Armor, Gopuff, Pura, Therabody, and Vanguart are among the companies that have sponsored the 33-year-old athlete. His estimated net worth is $170 million.
The Golf Legend, 47, earned $68 million in endorsements. He is currently ranked 14th in the world. Tiger Woods is sponsored by 2K Sports, Bridgestone, Centinel Spine, Full Swing, Hero Motor Corp, Kowa Company Ltd, Monster Energy, Nike, Rolex, TaylorMade, and Upper Deck, among others. With a net worth of $1.1 billion as of 23/01/2023, he is the second billionaire on this list, slightly ahead of LeBron James.
Lewis is ranked eighth with $65 million in earnings from salary/wins ($57 million) and endorsements ($8 million). The 38-year-old Formula 1 driver is currently ranked 17th in the world and is sponsored by Bose, Mercedes-Benz, Monster Energy, Police, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, and Vodafone-USD. His estimated net worth is $270 million.
The 25-year-old tennis pro is the youngest on the list, as well as the only tennis player and female in the top ten. Naomi earned $59.2 million in total earnings from salary/wins ($1.2 million) and endorsements ($58 million). Autograph, Beats Electronics, Body Armor, Hyperice, Levi Strauss & Co, LVHM Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton Mastercard, Modern Health, Morinaga & Company, Nike, Panasonic, Tag Heuer, Workday, Wowow Inc, and Yonex are among her sponsors. She is ranked 19th in the world’s highest-paid athletes and first in the world’s highest-paid female athletes. Her estimated net worth is $170 million.
Damian is the last person on this list, having earned $57.4 million in salary/winnings ($39.4 million) and endorsements ($18 million). The basketball player, 32, is a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. He is ranked 20th in the world and is sponsored by 2K Sports, Adidas, AT&T, Gatorade, Oakley, Spalding, Tissot, Hulu, McDonalds, Moda Health, and Toyota Motor. His estimated net worth is $110 million.