Golfers dominate sport's richest of all-time

2016 09 Palmer15
FORBES LIST

Golfers are represented more than any other sport in Forbes’ list of the highest paid athletes of all-time.


A quarter of the top 20 were golfers, with boxers and basketball players the next highest sports represented after with four.

Michael Jordan, perhaps unsurprisingly, topped the list with earnings of $1.7 billion, but three golfers followed him.

Here’s the top five:

Michael Jordan

1. Michael Jordan - $1.7 billion


The megastar earned $93m in his 15-year NBA career but now, from his Jordan brand in collaboration with Nike, he pockets $100m per year.

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2. Tiger Woods - $1.65 billion


In 2012, Woods topped $100m in PGA Tour career earnings but the vast chunk of his wealth has come from a whole host of endorsements, which are reportedly half as many as he had before the scandal surrounding his many affairs.

Arnold Palmer

3. Arnold Palmer - $1.35 billion


Before his death in September, it was said Palmer still earned $40m per year thanks to a load of endorsement and licensing deals as well as 500 Arnold Palmer-branded stores in Asia selling footwear and apparel.

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4. Jack Nicklaus - $1.15 billion


Nicklaus’ huge course design firm is largely to thank for his incredible earnings. The Golden Bear has designed more than 400 courses in 41 countries and 39 states, with 57 projects currently under development.

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5. Michael Schumacher - $1 billion


The German F1 legend regularly pocketed $80m per year during his heyday in the late 90s/early 00s en route to his seven world titles.

And the rest? Here they are:

6. Kobe Bryant (Basketball) - $770m
7. Floyd Mayweather Jr (Boxing) - $765m
8. Phil Mickelson (Golf) - $760m
9. David Beckham (Football) - $730m
10. Shaquille O’Neal (Basketball) - $700m
11. Mike Tyson (Boxing) - $685m
12. Greg Norman (Golf) - $680m
13. LeBron James (Basketball) - $640m
14. Cristiano Ronaldo (Football) - $620m
15. Roger Federer (Tennis) - $600m
16. Alex Rodriguez (Baseball) - $600m
17. Lionel Messi (Football) - $520m
18. Jeff Gordon (NASCAR) - $515m
19. Oscar de la Hoya (Boxing) - $510m
20. Manny Pacquiao (Boxing) - $490m

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