Professional athletes are often touted as the best because of their love for the game, but they typically are well compensated for their efforts as well. Shockingly, some of the highest paid athletes have gone bankrupt with overspending, while others have invested in ways that have increased their empires. Check out these top athletes who have made more than a name for themselves and read up on additional tips for betting on likely winners.
Net Worth: $2 Billion
Playing both professional tennis and professional hockey, this Romanian athlete reaches the top of the list with his overall wealth. He was at the height of his athletic career in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He won 22 career titles as a tennis doubles player alone and then got into business after retiring from sports, making the Forbes’ annual billionaires list in 2007.
Net Worth: $1 Billion
This was the first year Michael Jordan qualified for the Forbes’ annual billionaires list, largely due to his skyrocketing NBA franchise value. Jordan played the professional game of basketball for years before earning large amounts for his line of Nike shoes, endorsements, and ownership of the Charlotte Hornets, earning $100 million dollars in 2014 alone. According to a posted article at Doc’s Sports this NBA legend will not have any close competition in the near future.
Net Worth: $800 Million
Winning races with the German Formula One car, Michael Schumacher easily earns $50 million through endorsements alone. His driving career spanned from 1991 to 2006, during which he won more championships than any other driver in racing’s history. During the peak of his career, Shell paid Michael Schumacher $10 million each year to wear a hat with the company logo on it at most public appearance.
Net Worth: $750 Million
Currently the promoter, chairman, CEO, and majority shareholder of World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly the World Wrestling Federation), Vince McMahon has made a name for himself with a company formerly owned by his father. Over half of his net worth is from his 57 percent of the WWE’s Class A common stock and his $40 million mansion in Greenwich.
Net Worth: $675 Million
Considered one of the greatest players of men’s professional golf, Arnold Palmer won the PGA Tour 62 times and the Championship Tour 10 times. He went on to own the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, which is the venue for the PGA Tour in Bay Hill, Florida, in addition to many endorsements and spokesman associations.
Net Worth: $600 Million
Not only was Roger Staubach an NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys, but he spent his college career in the U.S. Naval Academy. He won the coveted Heisman Trophy and was one of four players ever to win the Super Bowl MVP as well. Despite spending a tour of duty in Vietnam after graduation from the Navy, he joined the Cowboys in 1969 and went on to help get them to the Super Bowl in four out of five seasons. He is now the executive chairman for a real estate investment company that purchased his own commercial real estate business in 2008.
Net Worth: $580
Though he’s not yet finished with his professional golfing career, Tiger Woods has already made the list of wealthiest athletes. His annual income of $50 to $60 million comes from winnings and endorsements with companies like Titleist, Nike, Gatorade, Gillette, American Express, EA Sports, Upper Deck, and more. He has won the PGA Tour four times, the World Golf Championships event 18 times, and has been ranked No. 1 for more consecutive weeks than any other player.
It is interesting to see such a wide spread of athletes from various sports. Though baseball has the highest paid athletes, the highest listed MLB professional, league commissioner Bud Selig, only makes the 14th spot. David Beckham comes in 16th for soccer, and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, who earned the No. 1 spot for highest paid athlete in 2015, ranks just 22nd on the list of wealthiest athletes. This just goes to show that the overall wealth of an athlete has far more to do with choices of long-term investment and spending than with initial salary.