10 Athletes Who Had a Crazy Payday in 2015

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Their names are well-known all over the globe. They represent several brands and endorsements, plus they’re paid multi-million dollars to do what they like for a living — play the sport they love. Here is a list of the top earning athletes in the world. Seeing how much these highest paid athletes earn will make you wish you pursued your favorite sport as a child.


10. Kobe Bryant (earnings: $49.5M)

Although Kobe Bryant played a limited number of games during the last season due to injuries, he’s still the highest paid player in the NBA with a $23.5M paycheck for 2014-2015. Besides his NBA career, Kobe is a brand ambassador for several huge consumer names such as Nike, Lenovo, Panini, and Hublot. In 2013, Kobe established his own firm, Kobe Inc. that owns more than 10% stake of the energy drink, BodyArmor.


9. Tiger Woods (earnings: $50.6M)

Despite suffering injuries to his back and elbow that majorly affected his winnings, as well as personal scandals here and there, Tiger Woods still lands on the 9th spot of the highest paid athletes in 2015. Although he only won $600,000 in winnings in the previous year, Woods owes the majority of his earnings to his Nike endorsement who continued the contract with the golf superstar even with his recent unimpressive record (compared to his prime years).


8. Phil Mickelson (earnings: $50.8M)

Just a few hundred thousand dollars richer than Woods is another PGA athlete Phil Mickelson. It was reported that Mickelson earns $40M from his appearances and brand endorsements from companies such as Callaway, Rolex, Barclays and Enbrel.


7. Kevin Durant (earnings:$54.2M)

Although his salary in the NBA is a few millions shy of Bryant’s ($19.1), the 2014 NBA MVP obtained most of his wealth with his endorsements amounting to $35M this year. Some of his endorsed brands are Nike, Sprint, Panini, Skullcandy, and 2K Sports.



6. LeBron James (earnings:$64.8M)

Despite failing to win the championship against the Golden State Warriors last season, LeBron James is still a winner for being named as one of the highest paid athletes in 2015. With a salary of $20.8M in the NBA and endorsements worth $44M for 2015  from brands such as Kia Motors, Nike, Samsung, McDonald’s, and Coca-cola, to name a few, King James adds $68.8M to his bank account this year.

5. Roger Federer (earnings:$67M)

Roger Federer, who ranks no.2 this year in the world of tennis,  hauled in $58M in endorsements and $9M in winnings. His existing brand endorsements include contracts with Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Nike and Switzerland’s telecom company, Sunrise.


4. Lionel Messi (earnings: $73.8M)

At 28 years old, the Argentine FIFA player has proven his skills by having a record of the most goals scored in a calendar year.

Messi’s latest contract includes a $9M raise every year until 2018, which earns him a huge $51.8M  this year just in salary and winnings alone. Besides his humongous paycheck, Messi also earned $22M for endorsements with brands like Samsung and Adidas which even launched a line of sports apparel under his name.


3. Cristiano Ronaldo (earnings: $79.6M)

The FIFA best player in the world is a champion not only in the soccer field but also in his earnings. This year, Ronaldo was paid more than $50M in salary and endorsements amounting to $27M. He is included in Forbes’ list of Top 10 Celebrities of 2015 and is named as the world’s most well-known athlete with 35 million Twitter followers and 102 million Facebook followers.


2. Manny Pacquiao (earnings: $160M)

Although he lost to Floyd Mayweather in what is dubbed as “The Fight of the Century”, Manny Pacquiao earned himself $125M just for that bout alone. His fight after Mayweather will also add $23M to his paycheck, which makes Pacman’s total earnings this year in salary and winnings alone to $148M. Besides that, Pacquiao earned $12M in endorsement deals from local companies in the Philippines and global brands such as Nike, Nestle, and Foot Locker.

1. Floyd Mayweather (earnings: $300M)


Boxing’s undefeated champ, Floyd Mayweather had a great year after banking in $300M in revenues this year, breaking Tiger Wood’s $115M revenue record in 2008.  Although his May 2 fight with Pacquiao didn’t live up to the hype, it helped him earn hundreds of millions of dollars. Although Mayweather isn’t an athlete who often accepts brand endorsements, the self-proclaimed best boxer of his generation earned $15M from his deals with brands such as Hublot, Burger King, and FanDuel.

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