Over the past 2 years, the golfer Tiger Woods had no luck in business: Accenture, AT&T, Gillette, and Pepsi would not renew endorsement contracts with him after in November 2009, he was the focus of a sexual scandal. His business in in the golf fields designing has been severely affected by the last recession. For twenty consecutive months, Woods did not win a single tournament: as a result, the former number one player in the world has dropped to 13th in the golfers ranking. His annual income decreased for $50 million during last two years. And yet, those who writes a research paper on professional athletes salaries should know that Tiger Woods remains the highest-paid athlete in the world, leaving his competitors far behind. Over the last 12 months, he earned $75 million, which is $23 million more than the second place ranked basketball player Kobe Bryant.
Most of his salary, Woods gets from his sponsors. He has the contract with Nike since 1998, from the very beginning of his professional career, when he signed the Company for 5 consecutive years with $40 million salary. In the same year the Electronic Arts company, his second major sponsor, released the video game Tiger Woods PGA Tour.
Both companies have built successful business on the cooperation with Woods.
Among the 50 highest paid athletes, most are basketball players: there are fifteen of them in the list. The most financially successful of them is Kobe Bryant, occupying the second place of the ranking with an income of $53 million. This year, his portfolio of endorsement contracts was added with Turkish Airlines and Smart. His annual salary at the Club Los Angeles Lakers equaled $24.8 million, which is the largest salary of a basketball player in the world.
Another NBA player, LeBron James, who became $48 million richer for the last year, takes the third place.
In calculating, the annual income Forbes took into account the salary, bonuses, advertising and endorsement revenues, and other marketing activities over the past 12 months. The taxes and agency fees have not been deducted from the total sum.
This year, all of the 50 highest paid athletes earned together impressive $1.4 billion, or $28 million each on average. It is at 11% less than the previous year because of falling revenue of Tiger Woods and the pause the year number two, Boxer Floyd Mayweather, took for the last 13 months. The minimum salary in the top 50 totaled in $18.8 million ($21 million last year).
The only woman in the ranking was the tennis player Maria Sharapova from Russia. She was placed the 29th with the revenue of $24,2 million.
Most of the money comes from the contract with Nike, according to which she receives royalties from the sales of the tennis clothing and the shoe brand Cole Haan named after her.
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