The list of the highest paid athletes between 2021-22 has been released recently. The sports business publication Spotico has created a list of top-100 highest paid athlete between June 2021 to May 2022. The stats include the athletes’ salary, prize money, incentives, bonuses, and brand endorsement deals like sponsorships, royalties, memorabilia, media appearances, and licensing. The top 100 athletes globally have acquired $4.5 billion during the period mentioned above, which is 6% up from last year.
For 2022, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has topped the list. King James earned $126.9 million last year. The 37-year-old topped the list by replacing MMA fighter Conor McGregor. Moreover, LeBron is joined by 35 other NBA players who have made it to the top-100 rankings. The four-time NBA champ has progressed from the fifth spot last year to the first position this year. Also, James is the only American in the top-5 athletes.
Meanwhile, Stephen Curry from Golden State Warriors is in the sixth place with $86.3m, while the Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant ($85.9m), James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers ($76m), and Tiger Woods ($73.5m) are in the top-10. Further, tennis legend Naomi Osaka is the highest-paid woman athlete on the list, with 53.2 million. In addition, the 23-time Grand Slam champ Serena Williams is the only other woman athlete in the top 100 with earnings of $35.3 million.
NBA, NFL, MLB & Ligue One Athletes Steal The Top Spots
NFL is America’s most popular sport. There are 25 athletes from the American football league in the top 100 list. Moreover, international football players like Lionel Messi ($122 million), Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million), and Neymar Jr.($103 million) are the other athletes in the top-5 alongside James. There are a total of 13 soccer players on Sportico’s list, while NFL has the second highest number of athletes on the list after NBA.
Further, there are ten quarterbacks from all the NFL athletes on the list. The Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford is no. 11 on the list with a $60 million signing bonus. Stafford is the highest-ranked NFL athlete and earned $73.3 million last year, along with a Super Bowl victory. Moreover, Josh Allen and Tom Brady have also made it to the top-20. Furthermore, New Orleans Saints Ryan Ramczyk and Jacksonville Jaguars’ Brandon Scherff are the NFL’s two offensive linemen who have made it to the list. Meanwhile, Trevor Lawrence is the youngest athlete, ranked at no. 72 with a total earning of $32.8 million.
Two athletes have slipped into the top-100 list. McGregor broke his leg and missed out on the fighting action in July. Thus, the MMA fighter has fallen from the first position to no. 22. Moreover, Golfer Phil Mickelson has dropped from no. 33 to 44 after he lost several sponsorship deals. The 51-year-old received criticism after he gave a controversial statement about the Saudi Arabian Government.