The last time we saw Roger Federer, he was having a good laugh at Rafa Nadal’s struggles with Instagram Live, and wearing a big smile.
The Swiss tennis maestro usually seems in a good mood, and it’s not hard to see why, with Federer topping Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes for the first time.
Forbes’ figures include all prize money, salaries, and bonuses earned between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020.
In total, the top 100 athletes on the list raked in a combined $3,6 billion this year, which is a 9% drop on last year’s figure, and the result of the coronavirus pandemic affecting live sport around the world.
Federer takes the top spot for the first time, with $106 million of pre-tax earnings, edging past Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have swapped the No. 1 spot in three of the past four years.
The two soccer icons earned a combined $209 million during the past 12 months, a $28 million drop from 2019, due to salary reductions at many European soccer clubs when league play was halted in March.
Federer, who has the best endorsement portfolio in sports, is just the ninth athlete to have landed in the top spot since 1990, the first year Forbes began tracking athletes’ earnings. He is also the first tennis player in the 30-year history to land at No. 1.
A quick look at the top 10 before we focus on Roger:
Here’s how Roger’s $106 million earnings can be broken down:
Federer’s haul includes $6.3 million in prize money and $100 million from endorsements and appearance fees, lifting him from the No. 5 spot he held in 2019 and beating his previous high of second place in 2013…
Federer’s endorsement portfolio is unmatched among active athletes, with 13 brands including Barilla, Moet & Chandon and Rimowa paying between $3 million and $30 million to associate themselves with the 20-time Grand Slam champ. The 38-year-old and golfer Tiger Woods are the only two active athletes to have hit $100 million in a single year from sponsorships alone…
Another sign of his command of the off-court side hustle: Once companies align themselves with him, they almost never leave. Rolex, Credit Suisse, Mercedes-Benz and Wilson have all been on Team Fed for more than a decade.
The fact that Federer recently signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with apparel brand Uniqlo is proof that his appeal is not expected to diminish once he retires from the game.
For those who are trying to figure out which sport their child should pick to earn untold riches, here’s a breakdown of the top 100 by sporting code:
That cricketer is Virat Kohli, who earned a cool $26 million.
To finish, the earnings of each of the top 10:
Not a bad 12 months.
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