Roger Federer, despite being in the twilight of his career, is still making serious amounts of cash through endorsements. He remains one of tennis’ greats and earns an estimated $65 million in endorsements. Federer had a huge deal with Nike, but now is associated with Uniqlo. His yearly annual salary of $5 million with Mercedes Benz also helps keep the money coming in.
Sometimes it’s not about being the best, but being popular when it comes to making money through sports endorsements. Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori isn’t the biggest name on the tennis tour, but being in the top ten has increased his earning ability hugely. Nishikori earned around $1.9 million in the first half of 2019, but he’ll take in $33 million in endorsements by linking with major Japanese brands.
Although he’s now retired as an athlete, Usain Bolt is making a serious amount of cash by being one of the best-known faces in the world. His career as an Olympic sprinter might have been short, but it continues to pay well. Last year Bolt was estimated to have taken around $30 million in endorsements thanks to his affiliation with the sports brand Puma.
Cricket is not the most lucrative sport in the world when it comes to salary, but that doesn’t stop some of its biggest stars from earning huge payouts from endorsements. Annually Virat Kohli earns around $4 million through salary and winnings, but he makes his real cash through his endorsement deals. The Indian cricket captain earns $20 million through sponsorship deals, that’s five times what he makes through his actions on the field.
You don’t always have to be at the top of your game for the sponsors to use your face to sell their products. Endorsements help sports stars like these make way more money than their sports can give them.