They’ve proven their serious athletic prowess time after time, and they’ve amassed towering net worth to go with their high-scoring talent. See how much wealth these sports icons have made while wowing the world, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Forbes and other sources.
Phelps started swimming at age 7 and first competed in the Olympics at 15. He closed out the 2016 Rio Olympics with a lifetime total of 28 medals: 23 gold, three silver and two bronze. Endorsement deals with companies including Under Armour and Visa make up the majority of Phelps’ income. His swimming competitions have brought in about $1.9 million, according to site Money Nation. Endorsement deals have brought in an estimated $94 million.
Williams’ father taught her and sister Venus Williams to play tennis starting at age 3. In 2002, she won the French Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon. That year, she took home around $12 million and was ranked the top female tennis player. Her career prize money as of 2016 totaled $81.7 million, according to ESPN. And endorsement deals have made her more than twice as much.
Since his arrival as the NBA’s No. 1 draft pick in 2003, LeBron James has taken full advantage of his influence on and off the court. He is the first NBA player to appear in six consecutive finals since the Boston Celtics reigned in the 1960s. Forbes says James earned $71 million in 2016, including a $23 million salary and a whopping $48 million in product endorsements.
Tiger Woods began his golf career in the public eye at age 2, when he appeared on TV to putt with Bob Hope. Born in 1975, Woods turned pro in 1996 and has become one of golf’s most famous players. In addition to his golf winnings, he’s landed several high-paying endorsement deals, and endorsements now account for the majority of his annual earnings.
Basketball is the foundation on which Michael Jordan’s tall financial house was built. After his successful college career as a University of North Carolina Tar Heel, he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984. While his six NBA championships certainly contributed to his wealth, his net worth also was built on moves off the court. Not only has he partnered with several companies in ad campaigns — think, “Air Jordan” — but he’s also a team owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
Mayweather was fitted for his first pair of boxing gloves at age 7. He dropped out of high school to pursue a career in boxing and, by 1996, already had won three Golden Gloves. He won an Olympic bronze medal in 1996 and turned pro shortly thereafter. He retired from boxing in 2015 with a 49-0 record, after making $250 million from a fight with Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather’s career earnings total around $700 million.