8 billionaire athletes in 2023: richest athletes in the world

8 billionaire athletes in 2023: richest athletes in the world

Babu Tendu
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:14 PM

The existence of billionaires is a new occurrence that has been made possible by the constant growth in social media influence. In addition to their salary, the athletes who are billionaires have also had lucrative endorsements with all-time-selling brands, increasing their net worth to enormous amounts of money.

Richest athletes in the world
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Few current athletes are billionaires due to the difference in salary, their demand, and the years they have been active in their respective areas of expertise. A few of the billionaires who are athletes will be keenly analyzed here.

Which athletes have become billionaires?

It is possible for a sportsperson who has lately gained notoriety to have made more money in one year thanks to wages, sponsorship deals, and other sources of income. This does not imply that the individual is wealthier than others who previously held the top sporting positions for an extended period. Before Floyd Mayweather, athletes like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Michael Schumacher, and a host of others amassed billions of dollars.

8. Floyd Mayweather, $1.08 billion

The boxing champion, in 2018, produced an awesome $275 million, the biggest payday in the history of sports against a fight with Conor McGregor. This contributed a lot to his net worth.

Black athletes who are billionaires
Floyd Mayweather Jr. looks on during a news conference with Deji Olatunji at the Mayweather Boxing Club on October 13, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Steve Marcus.
Source: Getty Images

He also decided to start his own promotion company for his boxing games, which led him to receive a cut of the pay-per-view, gate, sponsorships, merchandise, and international TV deals for each of the four most profitable fights in boxing history.

Finishing his career with an undefeated record, Floyd remains among the few top-ranked boxers in history. His fortune was through the sport of boxing since he came from a very poor background. This, however, did not stop him from achieving the best of the best in his life.

7. Roger Federer, $1.09 billion

Despite the 40-year-old tennis player not engaging in any tournaments in recent months, he has made more money, $90 million, outside the field than any other athlete in the world.

What athletes have become billionaires
Roger Federer of Team Europe acknowledges the fans as they enter the centre court during Day Three of the Laver Cup at The O2 Arena on September 25, 2022, in London, England. Photo by Julian Finney.
Source: Getty Images

He's a top endorser for Rolex, Credit Suisse, Rolex Mercedes Benz, and Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo brands and has a sizable investment in burgeoning shoe brand On. He has become the highest-earning athlete regarding brand endorsements and has led the way up until his retirement.

6. Lionel Messi, $1.15 billion

The forward soccer player was the highest-paid athlete while playing for Barcelona, nevertheless took a significant 50% pay cut when he joined the Paris Saint Germaine team. He added a $20 million deal with fan engagement app Socios in March to go with long-term endorsement deals with Adidas, Budweiser, PepsiCo, and Hard Rock International.

Current athletes who are billionaires
Lionel Messi of Paris Saint Germain in action during the match between Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Marseille at Parc des Princes on October 16, 2022, in Paris, France. Photo by Antonio Borga.
Source: Getty Images

He is among the all-time active athletes who are billionaires. His sources of wealth are listed as football contracts, endorsement deals, and investments. Forbes ranked him top on their list of highest-earning athletes of 2019, putting his income for the year at 127 million dollars, making him the best-earning footballer in the world.

5. LeBron James, $1.16 billion

A lifetime contract with the Nike brand has contributed hugely to the basketballer's income. The basketball legend sold a significant minority stake in his production company, SpringHill, in October at a valuation of about $725 million.

Taking equity stakes in several of the brand companies he has managed and endorsed, including the at-home fitness company Tonal, has generously contributed to pushing him to a net worth of $1 billion.

James has maximized his business to more than $1.2 billion in pretax earnings. As the NBA's highest-paid active player, he has commanded more than $385 million in salary from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers teams. He has raked upwards the basketball court $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures.

4. Tiger Woods, $1.17 billion

The golf champion, raking in over $100 million of the course per year and leading Forbes' annual list of the world's highest-paid athletes for a decade straight, at 46 years, was the most prolific athlete brand endorser in history.

His ethnicity is, however, undoubtedly intriguing. Tiger's mother is from Thailand, making his ethnicity Cablinasian — as in Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian. He was nicknamed Tiger in honour of his father's friend Colonel Vuong Dang Phong, also known as Tiger. Tiger grew up in Orange County, California, and his father, Earl Woods, was acquainted with golf before he turned two years old.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo, $1.24 billion

The world's all-time soccer goal-scoring leader has garnered more than 690 million followers across social media, allowing him to command enormous rates from lucrative brand sponsors like Nike, Herbalife, and Clear shampoo.

In addition, he has also made personal investment progress in Tatel restaurants and the forthcoming soccer community app ZujuGP.

2. Michael Jordan, $1.6 billion

The famous previous NBA star player is counted among black athletes who are billionaires who are athletes. He, however, did not acquire his title until after his retirement in 2014, when the NBA franchise gained popularity.

He reportedly made $100 million a year from Nike royalties by 2015. Moreover, his income is surprisingly more than his total playing salary during his career. He earned $90 million total in NBA salary, about $63 million of which came in his final two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Active athletes who are billionaires
Michael Jordan attends a press conference before the NBA Paris Game match between Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks on January 24, 2020, in Paris, France. Photo by Aurelien Meunier.
Source: Getty Images

Nike's Jordan Brand's estimated revenue each year is $3.6 billion. The popularity of Air Jordans has resurged in recent years thanks to celebrity partnerships that have managed to connect to a younger audience, and new versions of retro styles emerged to reconnect to the older fans.

Nike's Jordan Brand has even partnered with the popular video game 'Fortnite.' He has amassed endorsement deals with companies like Gatorade and trading card company Upper Deck among many more.

Jordan has always been picky about his endorsements because he wanted to be genuine and build his brand. He once rejected a huge endorsement deal with the Beanie Weenies brand because he didn't like the name.

He owns several restaurants, including 1000 North in Jupiter, Florida, and Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, which has locations in Connecticut, Washington, and Chicago, Jordan. He is also one of many celebrities to start a tequila business, Cincoro tequila. He also owns a Nissan dealership in Durham, North Carolina.

1. Vince McMahon, $2 billion

The former wrestler purchased a business and changed its status from a regional operation to a global phenomenon. He single-handedly changed how people perceived professional wrestling and made WWE the billion-dollar enterprise it is today.

Athletes who are billionaires
Vince McMahon speaks at a news conference announcing the WWE Network at the 2014 International CES at Wynn Las Vegas on January 8, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Ethan Miller.
Source: Getty Images

He took part in most of the WWE championships and is undoubtedly a huge star, having beaten the likes of Undertaker and others.

The sportsperson who had a good plan after and during their careers ended up having a fruitful retirement either because they saved money or developed interesting business ideas. For that reason, there are athletes who are billionaires today.

READ ALSO: Best Asian Football team: Which is the best Asian squad for the upcoming World Cup and why?

Sportsbrief has recently posted about Asian teams. Asia may be the most populous continent, but that doesn't stop its citizens from loving the beautiful game. Interest in the round leather game, commonly known as soccer, has reached an all-time high in Asia over the past few decades.

To help you prepare for the upcoming World Cup, this article ranks the best Asian football teams and explains why it is the best.

Babu Tendu photo
Babu Tendu
SEO Editor