After his marriage collapsed in 2009, Tiger Woods lost five sponsors and $50 million in annual income. The golf star also ended up disappearing from the top of the Forbes list of the world’s highest paid athletes for the first time in 11 years.
Tiger Woods has made a roaring return to the top of sport’s rich list from June 2012 through May 2013, earning a staggering $78.1 million in prize money, endorsements and appearance fees. A stunning resurgence on the golf course has resulted in extensive bonus payments by sponsors, and his prize money of $13.1 million is double last year’s figure.
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer comes second on Forbes’ list, with earnings of $71.5 million. He has ten sponsorship deals in place with companies including Nike, Rolex and Credit Suisse. Collectively, these long-term deals yield upwards of $40 million annually – Federer has the most impressive sponsorship portfolio in world sport.
With an annual income of $61.9 million, American basketball star Kobe Bryant rounds off the top three. He is the best paid NBA player by a considerable distance – Bryant’s salary of $27.8 million is at least $7 million higher than any other player. Present in the league for 17 years, Bryant has continuously delivered strong performances and he had the best-selling NBA jersey overseas for the 2011-2012 season. His endorsement portfolio includes the likes of Nike, Coca-Cola, Lenovo and Turkish Airlines.