Top Ten Highest Paid Athletes of 2009

‘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 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
Nuggets Lakers Basketball

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
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
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
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.


6. Lebron James
Lebron James

Crowned the MVP in the last season of NBA, he is also known as ‘King James’. He has earned around $39 million in this fiscal year courtesy his salary at Cleveland Cavaliers and his personal endorsements which include a mega deal with Nike, Vitamin Water, Upper Deck Trading and Sprite.


7. Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson

The highest earner in professional golf league after Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson has earned over $38 million in the year 2009. His deals with Barclays, Rolex, KPMG and Callaway have been lucrative enough to get him the seventh rank in this list of high profile earners.


8. Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao

The surprise entry in the list this year, Manny has earned his way by beating Oscar la Hoya and Ricky Hatton in the two biggest blockbuster fights of boxing history. This achievement led to Manny earning cool deals with Nike, Alaxan, Mcdonald’s and EA Sports to name a few. His total earnings this year has amounted to $35 million.


9. Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

After losing two straight World championships in 2006 and 2007, Rossi fought his way back in 2008 to prove his detractors wrong and earn a fortune worth $35 million. His endorsement deal with the energy drink Monster gets him a cool $28 million while the rest is courtesy Yamaha Corporation with whom he has a long term contract.


10.  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Despite being a winner in a single race in the past two seasons, Dale Jr has won all the popularity contests in Nascar Championship. This has led to his endorsement deals with Adidas, Sony and Chevrolet etc. His total earnings this year has totaled to $34 million. Merchandise bearing his name has been a huge hit among the Nascar fans.

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