The 20 Highest-Paid Athletes Of The Year

By on June 17, 2018 in ArticlesEntertainment

Professional athletes are making more money that ever thanks to television contracts. The NBA gets the biggest benefit from this. The league's $24 billion TV contract is triple the amount of the last contract. Of course, while the NBA is big business in the U.S., soccer is a global phenomenon and the three highest paid soccer players all made more than the highest paid basketball player. LeBron James is the highest paid basketball player with $85.5 million. He is the sixth highest paid athlete.

Floyd Mayweather is the highest paid athlete of the year for the fourth time in seven years. His $275 million payday from his August boxing match against the UFC's Conor McGregor captured the top spot. McGregor took home $85 million—more than five times his next largest paycheck—and lands at number 4. Endorsements helped both men up their take home pay. Mayweather made an additional $10 million from appearances and endorsements.

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo was the highest paid athlete in the world the past two years, this year, he falls to the third spot behind Lionel Messi. Neymar is the third soccer player to rank in the top five. He made $90 million, with $19 million of that coming from endorsements.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Let's take a look at the 20 Highest Paid Athletes In The World:

#20. Rafael Nadal – Tennis

Salary/Winnings: $14.4 million

Endorsements: $27 million

#19. Derek Carr – Football

Salary/Winnings: $40.1 million

Endorsements: $2 million

#18. Sebastian Vettel – Auto Racing

Salary/Winnings: $42 million

Endorsements: $300,000

#17. Drew Brees – Football

Salary/Winnings: $29.9 million

Endorsements: $13 million

#16. Tiger Woods – Golf

Salary/Winnings: $1.3 million

Endorsements: $42 million

#15. Canelo Alvarez – Boxing

Salary/Winnings: $42 million

Endorsements: $2.5 million

#14. James Harden – Basketball

Salary/Winnings: $28.4 million

Endorsements: $18 million

#13. Russell Westbrook – Basketball

Salary/Winnings: $28.6 million

Endorsements: $19 million

#12. Lewis Hamilton – Auto Racing

Salary/Winnings: $42 million

Endorsements: $9 million

#11. Kevin Durant – Basketball

Salary/Winnings: $25.3 million

Endorsements: $32 million

#10. Matthew Stafford – Football

Salary/Winnings: $57.5 million

Endorsements: $2 million

#9. Matt Ryan – Football

Salary/Winnings: $62.5 million

Endorsements: $5 million

#8. Stephen Curry – Basketball

Salary/Winnings: $34.9 million

Endorsements: $42 million

#7. Roger Federer -Tennis

Salary/Winnings: $12.2 million

Endorsements: $65 million

#6. LeBron James – Basketball

Salary/Winnings: $33.5 million

Endorsements: $52 million

#5. Nemar – Soccer

Salary/Winnings: $73 million

Endorsements: $17 million

#4. Conor McGregor -MMA

Salary/Winnings: $85 million

Endorsements: $14 million

#3. Cristiano Ronaldo – Soccer

Salary/Winnings: $61 million

Endorsements: $47 million

#2. Lionel Messi – Soccer

Salary/Winnings: $84 million

Endorsements: $27 million

#1. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. – Boxing

Salary/Winnings: $275 million

Endorsements: $10 million

Articles Written by Amy Lamare
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer covering business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and pop culture. She spent 8 1/2 years covering the entertainment industry for www.hsx.com. She has written for Los Angeles Magazine, Your Tango, Thinknum Media, and various airline magazines. Follow her on Facebook. Amy's favorite self-made billionaire is Sara Blakely.
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