With many overseas athletes about to reap the financial rewards of Olympic success in terms of new sponsorship deals and advertising contracts many Australian athletes – and the company’s they promoted – may be a little embarrassed that they were a little premature in paying out the big bucks. Consistency is the key to making it big financially in sport as the recent list of highest paid athletes from June 2011 – June 2012 proves.
Topping the list is Boxer, Floyd Mayweather jar with earnings in Australian dollars $79million, fellow boxer Manny Pacquiao is second with $57.6million. Tiger Woods surprised many by coming in third with $55million. Basketballer LeBron James was fourth with $49million and Roger Federer was fifth with $48 million.
Following in the next five places came another basketballer Kobe Bryant, golfer Phil Mickleson, footballer David Beckham with a meagre $42million, Cristiano Ronaldo was ninth with $39 million and NFL star Peyton Manning was tenth.
Only two women, both tennis players made the Forbes list of the 100 highest paid athletes, Maria Sharapova – $25million – came in 26th and China’s Li Na with $17million came in 81st.
Interestingly along with a list of the highest paid athletes Forbes also revealed the top ten richest sporting events and confirmed something that many had talked about and that could spell trouble for Football’s governing body FIFA. That is that the UEFA Champions League is the richest sporting event. The figures produced were based on prize-money paid out to winners of either single events or tournaments. They did not include an event’s total prize money or any season long competitions that don’t end in play off finals.
The UEFA Champions League came in first with prize money of $71.5million, the UEFA European Football Championship was second with $30.6 million and the FIFA World Cup third with $28.8million. Making up the top five were The Super Bowl with $14.4million and The World Series Baseball with $13.7million.
Golf”s FedEx Cup came in sixth followed by the Dubai World Cup Night horse race and then the UEFA Europa league. Coming in ninth and tenth are the World Series of Poker with prize money of $8.1million and the ICC Cricket World Cup with $3.7million.
Football may only have two players in the top ten earners but having four tournaments in the top ten shows exactly what pulling power and potential earnings are there are if the competition is run correctly.
NB All figures have been rounded up and down when converted from US dollars to Australian dollars.