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From the field to fortune: Athletes who are billionaires

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Tiger Woods
From the field to fortune: Athletes who are billionaires. Photo/ Wijet.
  • Top athletes have always been paid handsomely, irregardless of the sport
  • In addition to their salary, they also make a lot of money through endorsement
  • Michael Jordan has been a billionaire for a decade now and currently boasts a massive net worth of $3 billion

With talent and skill often comes fortune – and a lot of it – which explains why there are athletes who are billionaires. Over the years, top athletes have always been paid handsomely, irregardless of the sport. In addition to their salary, they also make a lot of money through endorsement deals and their various business ventures. However, not all of them have joined the billionaires club.

Here are the athletes who are billionaires, according to Forbes:

1. Michael Jordan

Athletes who are billionaires

Michael Jordan. Photo/Forbes

Michael Jordan has been a billionaire for a decade now and currently boasts a massive net worth of $3 billion. Just like the other athletes who are billionaires, Jordan’s fortune has also been greatly contributed to by endorsements.
The Chicago Bulls legend has made over $2 billion off-court by doing endorsements. Nike’s Jordan brand’s estimated revenue is $3.6 billion per year.

Michael Jordan owns several restaurants, including Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, which has locations in Connecticut, Washington, and 1000 North in Jupiter, Florida.

2. Tiger Woods

Well, no one would be surprised by the inclusion of Tiger Woods in the list of athletes who are billionaires. The American, who is undoubtedly the most popular golf player, has played a significant role in making the sport known worldwide. Woods began playing golf as a very small boy and made his debut at the age of two. What followed is years of success in the field and millions in his bank accounts.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods. Photo/ Wijet.

For over a decade, Woods led the Forbes’ list of the highest paid athletes in the world. While he collected millions as prize money for winning various tournaments, he also made a fortune through endorsements. His deal with Nike particularly played a massive role in making him a billionaire. Woods has earned over $1 billion in brand endorsements alone over the years and currently boasts a massive net worth of $1.7 billion.

The fact that he is still playing professionally means that his net worth is likely to increase in the years to come. Woods has so far won over 80 PGA Tour titles.

3. Magic Johnson 

Magic Johnson was officially recognized as a billionaire by Forbes last year. According to the outlet, Johnson has an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion, with the majority of his fortune coming from his business deals.

According to sources, Johnson made a whopping $40 million during his time in the NBA. He initially retired in 1991 after testing positive for HIV but returned to the sport a couple times before officially ending his playing career in 1996.

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson. Photo/GG

Apart from being an advocate for the virus’ protection, Johnson is well known for being a businessman. The 63-year-old has some unexpected investments, including a large stake in the life insurance company EquiTrust. He also has stakes in various sports teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Johnson previously said he would have reached the billionaire status had he not turned down Nike’s offer for in favour of $100,000 per year contract with Converse. Nevertheless, he has already joined the list of athletes who are billionaires.

4. LeBron James

Following the retirement of Michael Jordan, LeBron James become the face of the NBA, with the Los Angeles Lakers star achieving great success on the court. LeBron is one of the highest paid basketball players in the world and has also made millions through endorsements and his various businesses. As a result, he is one of the few athletes who are billionaires.

According to Forbes, the NBA icon has an estimated net worth of $1.16 billion. A lifetime contract with the Nike brand has contributed hugely to the basketballer’s income. Prior to signing the deal, LeBron had been offered 93-million seven year deal.

Richest NBA players in 2024

LeBron James. Photo/ Fresherslive.

The Lakers player has also taken equity stakes in several of the brand companies he has endorsed, including the at-home fitness company Tonal and food company Blaze Pizza.

LeBron has also invested in media production, bicycle brands and sports agencies. His success off the court can only be matched by his success on the court. In 2017, he sold a significant minority stake in his production company, SpringHill at a valuation of about $725 million.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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