Net worth of your favourite sportsmen

Pace, power, gifted technical grace, athletic poise, twinkling toes, chiselled jawlines, toned abdominals, shining white teeth you could see in space, full heads of hair (natural or otherwise acquired), and a ferocious will to win at any cost.

A few sports stars in the world could lay claim to at least 90% of those attributes (100% if you were Manchester City star David Silva post-hair transplant).

But what is natural talent worth in today's market? Do the physical attributes add up to incredible wealth? It's said a smile gets you a long way in life, but how far can a really good and expensively assembled smile take you?

Let's take a look:

Tiger Woods

golf game

  • Sport: Golf (still active)
  • Net worth: $1.1 billion
  • Nickname(s): Righty, Urkel

Born Eldrick Tont Woods in 1975, Tiger's career began at an early age when he first appeared on a television show at the tender age of two - it was clear he was destined for the big time before he could count to fore (excuse the pun).

By age five, Tiger was already featured in Golf Digest for his impressive golf skills, and his career went from strength to strength. At the time of writing, he has won the second-most major championships (15) in golf, ranking only behind Jack Nicklaus (18).

But his unmatched marketing appeal truly sets Tiger apart from other highly successful athletes. With a combination of talent, charisma and marketability, Tiger has secured lucrative endorsement deals with some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Nike, Rolex, and Monster Energy, to name but a few.

LeBron James

  • Sport: Basketball(still active)
  • Net worth: $1 billion
  • Nickname: King James

LeBron James is a name that needs no introduction in the world of sports. As one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he has achieved incredible success on and off the court. Not only is he a four-time NBA MVP, four-time NBA champion, and two-time Olympic gold medalist, but he has also become one of the wealthiest sports stars in the world.

LeBron James' success on the court has translated to massive off-court earnings. He currently has numerous endorsement deals with major companies like Nike, Coca-Cola, and Beats by Dre, among others. In 2015, he signed a lifetime deal with Nike that is estimated to be worth over $1 billion.

In addition to his endorsement deals, James is also heavily involved in various business ventures. He owns a production company, SpringHill Entertainment, and has recently joined the ownership group of the Boston Red Sox.

He is a slam-dunking, deal-making, lay-upping legend of the game.

basketball game

Lionel Messi

  • Sport: Football (still active)
  • Net worth: $600 million
  • Nickname: The GOAT

Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi comes in at second place with an estimated net worth of $600 million. A six-time Ballon d'Or winner, Messi has been dominating the football world for over a decade and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time (hence his nickname).

With more than 800 goals and 300 assists in 1,045 professional games for club and country, the ex-Barcelona and PSG maestro averages more than a goal contribution every time he takes to the field.

In the ongoing debate about who the best player is between Messi and a certain other player on this list, many observers felt it was settled when he delivered a virtuoso display in the World Cup final for Argentina against France, scoring two goals and converting a penalty along the way.

He has also earns a significant amount through endorsement deals with top brands like Adidas, Pepsi, and Huawei. He's not just a fox in the box - he's grand with brand!

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Sport: Football (still active)
  • Net worth: $500 million
  • Nickname: CR7

The challenger to Messi's claim to GOAT, Cristiano Ronaldo, would have swept the floor with individual honours over the past 20 years if it had not been for sporting rival Lionel Messi.

The Portuguese superstar started out with Sporting Lisbon, before forging an incredible goalscoring record at Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and then Manchester United again. He has won the Ballon D'Or five times, and has 869 goals throughout his career - it would take a brave person to back against him scoring more than 1,000.

In addition to his athletic prowess, Ronaldo has also built a successful brand off the field. He has lucrative endorsement deals with top companies such as Nike, Tag Heuer, and Herbalife, contributing significantly to his wealth. Furthermore, he has invested in various business ventures, including hotels and a chain of gyms. Indeed, one of his more recent ventures is a partnership with US health club chain Crunch, a space Ronaldo seems intent on occupying moving forward.

Who wouldn't want abs like him, after all?

football game

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

  • Sport: Boxing (retired)
  • Net worth: $400 million
  • Nickname: Money, Pretty Boy

American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is next on the list, with an estimated net worth of $400 million. Mayweather's career in boxing is perfect, with a record of 50 wins and 0 losses, 27 knockouts, and 12 world championships in five weight classes.

He reportedly earned approximately $300 million per fight, with career earnings rolling in at a cool $1.1 billion at the time of writing.

It's not just in the ring where he commands some knockout power - he is also a marketing machine. He has also earned a considerable amount through endorsement deals with companies like Nike, Hublot, and Burger King.

There's a reason his nickname is Floyd 'Money' Mayweather Jr.

boxing gloves

Other non-sporting contenders

You don't have to be an athletic dynamo to make big money - from flipping fast food for a few bucks, figuring out a clever betting formula, or even winning the lottery, there are other methods to keep the wallet heavier than the heart.

Here are a few examples:

Phil Ruffin

The casino magnate has a net worth of $2.7 billion - the school dropout started selling hamburgers before buying convenience stores and eventually expanding into real estate.

Eventually, he became the owner of the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino and Circus Circus Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and in 2019, he was ranked 88th on the Forbes billionaire list.

Haralabos Voulgaris

The sports bettor who changed the game, Haralabos Voulgaris net worth was enough to live on for the rest of his life by 30.

Voulgaris's success was largely due to his expertise in basketball, specifically the NBA. His extensive knowledge of player statistics, coaching strategies, and game trends allowed him to predict outcomes with remarkable accuracy.

Michelle Thomas
Former Author
Master of Business and Finance
Expert in:
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Reviewed by Head of Content:
Dmitry Rogalchuk
Last updated on: 17.02.2024

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