Former golfer Jack Nicklaus holds the record for the most major tournament victories at 18. He gained the majority of his wealth at the peak of his golfing career. However, he has also received income from his golf course design company, which is responsible for 410 courses in 41 countries.
Alex Rodriguez signed two of the three biggest contracts in the history of baseball during his 22-year career and earned $545 million before his retirement from the game. These days, He’s known as actress Jennifer Lopez’s boyfriend and as a host for a CNBC reality show.
American professional golfer Phil Mickelson has won 42 events on the PGA Tour in his career, including five major championships. His $84 million in career prize money ranks second all-time. He also keeps his finances well stocked with endorsements from agencies like Rolex and Callaway.
Lebron James is widely considered one of the best basket players on the planet. He has won three NBA championships since his debut in 2003. Aside from his on-court winnings, James rakes in millions in endorsements, investments and movie deals.
Shaquille O’Neal, nicknamed “Shaq,” is a retired American basketball player. O’Neal’s success stemmed not only from his high-paying NBA contracts during his playing days, but also from his many endorsements, acting and more.
Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer and considered one of the best players in the world. Messi has been at Barcelona since the age of 13, and his contract extension will keep him with the club through the 2020-21 season. The buyout clause for Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer was doubled under the new deal to $835 million.
Former basketball player Kobe Bryant had a legendary 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers earning a cool $680 million, including $280 million from various endorsements. He also has his own company, Kobe Inc. and a venture capital firm, Bryant Stibel.
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has made $116 million in prize money from his tennis career, but that’s nothing compared to what he’s made from endorsement deals. He has been working with famous brands like Mercedes-Benz, Moet & Chandon, Wilson, and Rolex for many years.
David Beckham has successfully transformed himself from soccer sensation to model, spokesperson and international superstar, earning enough money along the way to rank amongst the wealthiest athletes of all time.
Former Irish racing driver Eddie Jordan obtained his wealth by being the founder and owner of the Jordan F1 team. He is currently the lead analyst for F1 coverage on Channel 4.
After his NBA career, during which he reportedly earned more than $18 million in salary alone, Johnson started an empire with Magic Johnson Enterprises, an investment conglomerate now valued at an estimated $1 billion.
Floyd Mayweather is a former professional boxer with an unbelievable record of 50-0, undefeated. In addition to his $300 million salary in 2015, Mayweather also made approximately $15 million in endorsements. He reportedly earned over $200 million when he fought and defeated UFC champion Conor McGregor in August, 2017.
Roger Staubach is a legendary quarterback who played eleven straight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys from 1969-1980. After he retired from the NFL, Staubach went on to have a successful career in commercial real estate.
Cristiano Ronaldo gets paid handsomely for his soccer prowess: He recently signed a contract with Juventus that will pay him over $50 million for the next three years, and which makes him one of the world’s highest-paid soccer players. Besides this, he also makes masses of cash from endorsements.
Arnold Palmer won 62 PGA Tour titles and is regarded as one of the greatest golfers to have ever lived. On top of his millions of dollars of golf tournament earnings during his career, Palmer wisely sold the rights for his signature drink to the AriZona Beverage Company.
Tiger Woods has won 14 professional major golf championships and 18 World Golf Championships. However, Tiger Woods’ main wealth comes not from prize money but through endorsement deals including Nike and Rolex.
Former German Formula One race car driver, Schumacher holds the records for the most World Championship titles (7) and the most Grand Prix wins (91). He reportedly made $1 billion during his career. Sadly, he was severely injured in a skiing accident in 2013.
Vince McMahon is an American former professional wrestler. He took over WWE from his father in the 1980’s and now is the owner, chairman, and CEO of the company. The major of his money came from his success with the WWE company.
The former NBA star is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Jordan’s salary totaled $90 million, and he’s made more than $1 billion through endorsement deals with brands like Nike and Hanes and his stake in the Charlotte Hornets.
Tiriac is a Romanian businessman and former professional tennis and ice hockey player. Owing to his successful business ventures, he has become the second richest athlete in the world.
Having won a total of twenty-five Olympic and World Championship medals, Simone Biles is one of the most decorated American gymnasts of all time. Biles’ fortune has been earned through cash prizes and endorsements deals from companies such as Nike, Hershey and GK Elite.