‘Play hard, Earn harder’ … This seems to be the mantra of the athletes across the world these days. Be it their salaries or endorsement deals, contract payments or a simple public appearance, sport is definitely a money spinning profession for the talented. This list looks at the top earners of 2009:
1. Tiger Woods
Tiger has amassed riches worth $110 million in the year 2009 taking his total income to a staggering $900 million. Aged 33, he is sure to be the first sportsperson to reach the $1 billion milestone during a career. His earnings have comprised of appearance fees, prize money and endorsements some of which include Nike, Accenture and Gillette etc.
2. Kobe Bryant
Aged 30, this basketball great has already earned his name in the all time greats of NBA by winning his fourth NBA title and thereby adding to his ever increasing coffers. His famed No.24 jersey is a constant rage among fans in South East Asia, Europe and USA. His total career earnings this year have already surpassed $50 million.
3. Michael Jordan
Though it comes as a surprise but Michael Jordan has been pocketing a cool $45 million through the sales of the brand ‘Jordan’ made famous by Nike. He is even short listed as a potential buyer of the Charlotte Bobcats where he currently heads the basketball operations.
4. Kimi Raikkonen
Known as “Iceman”, this Finnish superstar earns a cool $42 million through his salary at Ferrari and other endorsements which includes Tag Heur. He has extended his contract at Ferrari which will keep him till 2010 which will result in doubling of his personal riches.
5. David Beckham
Although David Beckham is in the twilight of his football career, his earnings graph doesn’t seem to indicate that. He has pocketed around $40 million through his salary at Los Angeles Galaxy and his endorsement deals with Giorgio Armani, Adidas and Pepsi Co. His football jerseys are still a rage with his fans as they account for a major part of his earnings.