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The Fortunate 50

July 04, 2005
July 04, 2005

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July 4, 2005

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The Fortunate 50

SI's second annual ranking of the highest-paid U.S. athletes

Plus

This is an article from the July 4, 2005 issue Original Layout

• THE BEST-COMPENSATED WOMEN

• THE MOST CHARITABLE SPORTSMEN

• FUTURE ZILLIONAIRES

• THE RICHEST FOREIGN JOCKS

Sources: salaries, winnings and bonus figures from players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports.

Endorsement estimates from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, IEG, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salaries based on current or most recently completed seasons (exception: 2005 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (auto racing, boxing, cycling, golf, tennis), 2004 calendar year amounts used.

AND THE RICH GET EVEN RICHER. IN COMPILING OUR RANKINGS for 2005, we saw that even a subpar year doesn't stop people from throwing money at Tiger Woods, who will rake in $10 million more in endorsements this year than he did in '04. The top 10 had three newcomers, led by quarterback Michael Vick at No. 5. Golf fans' favorite lefthander shot up 27 places, and tennis's Serena Williams was the only woman to crack the rankings. Candidates had to be active athletes who are U.S. citizens. Again we limited income to salary or winnings, bonuses, endorsement contracts and appearance fees.

1 TIGER WOODS

Salary/Winnings: $6,370,407

Endorsements: $80,000,000

TOTAL: $86,370,407

The asking price of the world's top-rated golfer just keeps rising: He signed a new endorsement contract in 2004 with Buick.

LAST YEAR: 1

2 ANDRE AGASSI

Salary/Winnings: $1,177,254

Endorsements: $44,500,000

TOTAL: $45,677,254

Jumped five places after receiving a $20 million balloon payment from Nike in January as part of his endorsement contract.

LAST YEAR: 7

3 SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

Salary/Winnings: $27,696,429

Endorsements: $14,000,000

TOTAL: $41,696,429

In '05--06 the Heat center's salary will be more than $10 million higher than those of the NBA's next highest-paid players.

LAST YEAR: 2

4 OSCAR DE LA HOYA

Salary/Winnings: $38,000,000

Endorsements: $2,000,000

TOTAL: $40,000,000

The boxer's golden touch apparently doesn't extend to reality TV: His show, The Next Great Champ, lasted four episodes on Fox.

LAST YEAR: 6

5 MICHAEL VICK

Salary/Winnings: $30,100,000

Endorsements: $7,000,000

TOTAL: $37,100,000

Nice work if you can get it: $30 million of the Falcons quarterback's signing bonus is paid off; he gets another $7 million in '06.

LAST YEAR: NR

6 KEVIN GARNETT

Salary/Winnings: $23,000,000

Endorsements: $7,000,000

TOTAL: $30,000,000

KG took a pay cut so the Timberwolves could recruit more talent. His reward? Team headaches Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell.

LAST YEAR: 5

7 PEYTON MANNING

Salary/Winnings: $19,165,000

Endorsements: $10,500,000

TOTAL: $29,665,000

The Colts quarterback--and the NFL's top endorser--received $18.5 million in March owed from his $34.5 million signing bonus.

LAST YEAR: 4

8 LEBRON JAMES

Salary/Winnings: $4,320,360

Endorsements: $24,000,000

TOTAL: $28,320,360

In only his second year in the NBA, King James, the Cavaliers' virtuoso forward, has become the league's top endorser.

LAST YEAR: 3

9 PHIL MICKELSON

Salary/Winnings: $6,384,823

Endorsements: $21,000,000

TOTAL: $27,384,823

Lefty, who won his first major in '04, signed with Callaway for close to $10 million a year, doubling his old contract with Titleist.

LAST YEAR: 36

10 DALE EARNHARDT JR.

Salary/Winnings: $7,201,380

Endorsements: $20,000,000

TOTAL: $27,201,380

Is there any question who NASCAR's biggest star is? Watch the TV broadcasts and try to find an advertisement that Junior is not in.

LAST YEAR: 13

11 ALEX RODRIGUEZ

Salary/Winnings: $20,076,000

Endorsements: $6,000,000

TOTAL: $26,076,000

Look closely at the Yankees superstar's Speed Stick ad on TV. The stadium lights spell E5. Is someone at Mennen a Red Sox fan?

LAST YEAR: 16

12 DEREK JETER

Salary/Winnings: $19,650,000

Endorsements: $6,000,000

TOTAL: $25,650,160

Less bang for the buck? The Yankees captain's best season, statistically, was 1999--when he made a paltry $5 million.

LAST YEAR: 9

13 TOM BRADY

Salary/Winnings: $15,506,160

Endorsements: $9,000,000

TOTAL: $24,506,160

The New England Patriots quarterback and three-time Super Bowl champ received his entire $14.5 million signing bonus up front.

LAST YEAR: NR

14 MANNY RAMIREZ

Salary/Winnings: $23,200,000

Endorsements: $1,000,000

TOTAL: $24,200,000

Because A-Rod defers portions of his pay, Boston's star outfielder has been the highest-salaried major leaguer the past two years.

LAST YEAR: 12

15 KOBE BRYANT

Salary/Winnings: $14,175,000

Endorsements: $9,000,000

TOTAL: $23,175,000

Thanks, but we're going in a different direction: Given Kobe's legal woes, McDonald's and Nutella dropped him as an endorser.

LAST YEAR: 8

16 TRACY MCGRADY

Salary/Winnings: $14,487,000

Endorsements: $8,000,000

TOTAL: $22,487,000

He's No. 2: T-Mac's Rockets jersey is second in sales only to Shaq's ample Heat top and more popular than LeBron's Cavs jersey.

LAST YEAR: 15

17 SERENA WILLIAMS

Salary/Winnings: $2,251,798

Endorsements: $20,000,000

TOTAL: $22,251,798

Last year's top-endorsing female athlete was overtaken by another tennis player, a certain blonde teenager from Russia.

LAST YEAR: 23

18 ALLEN IVERSON

Salary/Winnings: $14,625,000

Endorsements: $7,000,000

TOTAL: $21,625,000

The Philadelphia 76ers guard has a so-called lifetime contract with Reebok that pays him at least $5 million a year.

LAST YEAR: 17

19 JEFF GORDON

Salary/Winnings: $6,437,660

Endorsements: $15,000,000

TOTAL: $21,437,660

The NASCAR star is No. 29 on Fortune magazine's "40 Richest People under 40" list, with a net worth of $155 million.

LAST YEAR: 21

20 ROGER CLEMENS

Salary/Winnings: $18,000,002

Endorsements: $3,000,000

TOTAL: $21,000,002

Is the Rocket hoping for a return to pinstripes? It wouldn't hurt him in the wallet. He gets an extra $3 million if he's traded.

LAST YEAR: NR

21 VINCE CARTER

Salary/Winnings: $12,584,688

Endorsements: $8,000,000

TOTAL: $20,584,688

New riches in New Jersey? Not yet; as a Net, the erstwhile Air Canada has yet to be offered any fresh major endorsements.

LAST YEAR: 11

22 MIKE MUSSINA

Salary/Winnings: $19,000,000

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $19,500,000

Moose's homes away from Yankee Stadium include spreads in suburban New York City, Tampa and near his native Montoursville, Pa.

LAST YEAR: T30

TIE

23 BARRY BONDS

Salary/Winnings: $15,000,000

Endorsements: $4,000,000

TOTAL: $19,000,000

After the seven-time National League MVP, the next-highest-paid San Francisco Giant is pitcher Jason Schmidt, at $8.75 million.

LAST YEAR: 19

TIE

23 MIKE PIAZZA

Salary/Winnings: $15,000,000

Endorsements: $4,000,000

TOTAL: $19,000,000

The New York Mets catcher lives in a penthouse apartment in the same Manhattan building as The Daily Show's Jon Stewart.

LAST YEAR: 14

25 CHRIS WEBBER

Salary/Winnings: $17,531,250

Endorsements: $1,000,000

TOTAL: $18,531,250

C-Webb's hefty contract was his ticket from Sacramento to Philadelphia; the Sixer will make more than $19 million next season.

LAST YEAR: 27

26

ALLAN HOUSTON

Salary/Winnings: $17,531,250

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $18,031,250

This past season the Knicks' injury-plagued sharpshooter played less but earned more than ever: $33,000 per minute.

LAST YEAR: 32

27 RANDY JOHNSON

Salary/Winnings: $16,000,000

Endorsements: $2,000,000

TOTAL: $18,000,000

The Big Unit's $32 million contract extension with the Yankees expires in 2007, when the five-time Cy Young winner will turn 44.

LAST YEAR: NR

28 LANCE ARMSTRONG

Salary/Winnings: $497,500

Endorsements: $17,500,000

TOTAL: $17,997,500

Team spirit: The Texan cyclist always passes his Tour de France (and Tour de Georgia) winnings on to his domestiques.

LAST YEAR: 26

29 JASON KIDD

Salary/Winnings: $14,796,000

Endorsements: $3,000,000

TOTAL: $17,796,000

Spoiled rotten? The New Jersey Nets point guard bought his children two-story luxury playhouses for a total of $14,000.

LAST YEAR: 34

30 TIM DUNCAN

Salary/Winnings: $14,260,640

Endorsements: $3,500,000

TOTAL: $17,760,640

The three-time champion Spurs have their big three (Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker) signed through 2010.

LAST YEAR: 33

31 CARLOS BELTRAN

Salary/Winnings: $17,000,000

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $17,500,000

The Mets lured their new centerfielder from the Astros with an $11 million signing bonus, $4 million of which is yet to be paid.

LAST YEAR: NR

32 TIM HUDSON

Salary/Winnings: $16,750,000

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $17,250,000

The Braves locked up their four-pitch wonder with a $10 million signing bonus on top of his $6.75 million salary.

LAST YEAR: NR

33 ANTOINE WALKER

Salary/Winnings: $14,625,000

Endorsements: $2,000,000

TOTAL: $16,625,000

The Celtics forward could be on his way out of Boston again and will command nowhere near his previous $71 million contract.

LAST YEAR: T38

TIE

34 BRETT FAVRE

Salary/Winnings: $9,500,000

Endorsements: $7,000,000

TOTAL: $16,500,000

The longtime Green Bay quarterback's endorsement portfolio includes deals with Nike, Starter, Ford and MasterCard.

LAST YEAR: NR

TIE

34 CURT SCHILLING

Salary/Winnings: $14,500,000

Endorsements: $2,000,000

TOTAL: $16,500,000

The Red Sox were contractually obligated to bump up the pitcher's '05 salary by $2 million if they won the World Series.

LAST YEAR: NR

36 GRANT HILL

Salary/Winnings: $14,487,000

Endorsements: $2,000,000

TOTAL: $16,487,000

Endorsement contracts from the Orlando magician's heyday, such as his $80 million deal with Fila, are finally lapsing.

LAST YEAR: 10

37 KEVIN BROWN

Salary/Winnings: $15,714,000

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $16,214,000

Baseball's first $100 million man, now pitching for the Yankees, is in the final year of the seven-year deal he signed with the Dodgers.

LAST YEAR: T38

38 STEPHON MARBURY

Salary/Winnings: $14,625,000

Endorsements: $1,500,000

TOTAL: $16,125,000

Since signing a four-year extension for at least $76 million with the Suns in '03, the Knicks point guard has been in four playoff games.

LAST YEAR: 42

39 JASON GIAMBI

Salary/Winnings: $15,500,000

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $16,000,000

While Barry Bonds has kept most of his endorsements, the Yankees slugger, also under steroids suspicion, has lost most of his.

LAST YEAR: 24

TIE

40 RAY ALLEN

Salary/Winnings: $14,625,000

Endorsements: $1,000,000

TOTAL: $15,625,000

Is this SuperSonic worth a max contract? He averaged 24 points in '04--05, second highest output of his career, but turns 30 in July.

LAST YEAR: T44

TIE

40 ANFERNEE HARDAWAY

Salary/Winnings: $14,625,000

Endorsements: $1,000,000

TOTAL: $15,625,000

Not-so-Li'l Penny: The Knicks can't wait to get his burdensome seven-year, $87 million contract off their books after next season.

LAST YEAR: 22

42 BERNARD HOPKINS

Salary/Winnings: $15,000,000

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $15,500,000

Thanks, Golden Boy: Hopkins got the biggest paycheck of his career through two fights promoted by Oscar De La Hoya.

LAST YEAR: NR

43 DAMON STOUDAMIRE

Salary/Winnings: $14,900,000

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $15,400,000

His seven-year, $81 million deal at an end, this Trail Blazer and Portland native could be on his way out of the Rose City.

LAST YEAR: 43

44 JERMAINE O'NEAL

Salary/Winnings: $14,782,500

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $15,282,500

The All-Star Indiana center's fleet includes a BMW, a Land Rover, a Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari and a $350,000 Lamborghini.

LAST YEAR: NR

TIE

45 SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM

Salary/Winnings: $14,625,000

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $15,125,000

With Abdur-Rahim's and Damon Stoudamire's huge contracts finally off the books, the Portland Trail Blazers will rebuild.

LAST YEAR: T47

TIE

45 LATRELL SPREWELL

Salary/Winnings: $14,625,000

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $15,125,000

After an abysmal season (in a contract year, no less), this Timberwolf might actually have to worry about feeding his family.

LAST YEAR: T47

47 MICHAEL FINLEY

Salary/Winnings: $14,609,375

Endorsements: $500,000

TOTAL: $15,109,375

The highest-paid Dallas Maverick averaged 15.7 points per game in '04--05--his fewest since '96--97, his sophomore season.

LAST YEAR: 50

48 JALEN ROSE

Salary/Winnings: $14,487,000

Endorsements: $250,000

TOTAL: $14,737,000

The Raptors became the third team to take on the seven-year, $93 million deal this swingman signed in 2000 with Indiana.

LAST YEAR: NR

49 KEITH VAN HORN

Salary/Winnings: $14,487,000

Endorsements: $150,000

TOTAL: $14,637,000

The much-traveled forward will likely exercise his option to return to the Dallas Mavericks next season for $15.7 million.

LAST YEAR: NR

50 ORLANDO PACE

Salary/Winnings: $14,000,000

Endorsements: $200,000

TOTAL: $14,200,000

The All-Pro offensive lineman's new seven-year, $52.9 million deal with the St. Louis Rams gives him a lot of money up front.

LAST YEAR: NR

GENDER GAP

A woman has far fewer opportunities to get rich in sports than a man does, unless she's handy with a tennis racket. On SI's list of the world's 10 best-compensated female athletes, seven--led by Maria Sharapova (left)--play on the Women's Tennis Association tour.

View this article in the original magazine

 
RANKATHLETETEAM/SPORTCOUNTRYTOTAL INCOME
1MICHAEL SCHUMACHERAuto RacingGermany$81,000,000
Formula One king gets $28 million base salary from Ferrari, the rest from endorsements    
2DAVID BECKHAMReal MadridGreat Britain$30,000,000
English soccer prince has endorsement deals with, among others, Gillette, Adidas and Vodafone    
3VALENTINO ROSSIMotorcycle RacingItaly$24,500,000
Dominant performer in niche sport has won world championships last four years in a row    
4RONALDO DE LIMAReal MadridBrazil$24,000,000
Earns same $8 million salary as Beckham but outscored him 21--4 in league play in '04--05    
5MARIA SHARAPOVATennisRussia$23,006,263
Top-earning female athlete makes $20 million a year from the likes of Canon and Motorola    
6VIJAY SINGHGolfFiji$22,038,699
In 2004 he earned more than $11 million in prize money, twice as much as that Woods kid    
7ERNIE ELSGolfSouth Africa$21,868,386
He's investing in a $900 million golf community in the Bahamas and also designing the course    
8ICHIRO SUZUKISeattle MarinersJapan$20,500,000
His $10 million a year in endorsements, including Pepsi and Nikko Cordial, are mostly in Japan    
9YAO MINGHouston RocketsChina$19,436,880
Companies don't pay him $15 million a year just for his words in TV spots: "Yao" and "No"    
10DIKEMBE MUTOMBOHouston RocketsCongo$19,021,511
Made $4.5 million in salary, but Nets had to pay him $14.3 million as part of '03 buyout    
11SAMMY SOSABaltimore OriolesDominican Republic$19,000,000
Orioles are paying only $8.85 million of the slugger's salary this year; Cubs pay the rest    
12ADRIAN BELTRESeattle MarinersDominican Republic$17,250,000
Five-year, $64 million deal (including $10 million bonus) makes him highest-paid Mariner ever    
13ZINEDINE ZIDANEReal MadridFrance$16,000,000
At 33, World Cup '98 hero is on the downside of his career but makes as much as Ronaldo    
14ZYDRUNAS ILGAUSKASCleveland CavaliersLithuania$14,875,000
Big Z just played the last year of his $71 million deal; unlikely, at 30, to get such money again    
15CHRISTIAN VIERIInter MilanItaly$14,700,000
Italian soccer's Michael Jordan has changed jerseys often: Inter is his fifth Serie A team    
16CHAN HO PARKTexas RangersSouth Korea$14,250,000
Rangers fans still wonder why owner Tom Hicks gave him a five-year, $65 million deal    
17PEDRO MARTíNEZNew York MetsDominican Republic$14,000,000
Has spent hundreds of thousands improving his poverty-stricken hometown, Manoguayabo    
18DIRK NOWITZKIDallas MavericksGermany$13,584,688
No. 2 German on list is sandwiched by Schumachers: Michael's brother, Ralf, earns $12 million    
19HIDEKI MATSUINew York YankeesJapan$13,000,000
Godzilla's $5 million endorsement portfolio includes Mizuno, Upper Deck and Japan Airlines    
20LARRY WALKERSt. Louis CardinalsCanada$12,916,667
Looking for a new address soon, eh? Cards may not exercise $15 million club option in '06    
 

 

Sources: salaries, winnings and bonus figures from players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports.

Endorsement estimates from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, IEG, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salaries based on current or most recently completed seasons (exception: 2005 forNFL). For winnings-based sports (auto racing, boxing, cycling, golf, tennis), 2004 calendar year amounts used.

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