Every year, Forbes Magazine releases its rankings of the top 10 highest-paid athletes. The 2021 list was unveiled in May, with UFC star Conor McGregor topping the rankings. The Irish fighter earned $180 million over the past year. If you have followed this sport at least a little bit, you will not be surprised by this outcome.
Conor McGregor has established himself as one of the most popular athletes in the world, and the decline of his popularity is nowhere to be seen at this moment. Maybe he will retain this spot next year.
Did you know that you can actually bet on the Forbes top 10 highest-paid athletes? Sportsbook BetUS offers a novelty prop wager asking bettors to make a yes or no play on several prominent athletes as to whether they will make the Forbes list in 2022. All you have to do to get in on this action is to sign up at BetUS. When you do, be certain to input the sportsbookbonus in order to access their 125 percent signup bonus offer.
Among the athletes available for wagering with this prop are McGregor, soccer’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar, boxing’s Floyd Mayweather Jr., Jason Paul, Anthony Joshua, and Tyson Fury and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, tennis star Roger Federer, basketball’s LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Damian Lillard, football’s Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, baseball’s Mike Trout, Jacob DeGrom, Gerrit Cole, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Trevor Bauer and hockey’s Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Auston Matthews, and Alex Ovechkin.
Thinking of making a play on this prop wager? Well, let’s look back at the Forbes 2021 top 10 to see how the list shaped up and get a handle on who might be there a year from now.
1. Connor McGregor ($180 million)
The 32-year-old lost his only time in the octagon in 2021. McGregor was knocked out at UFC 257 by Dustin Poirier. However, it needs to be said that this loss didn’t have any negative influence on his popularity and income. He managed to make his income as stable as it was before that by including a plethora of different endorsements.
He earned $22 million for that fight and banked an additional $158 in endorsement deals from DraftKings and his own whiskey brand Proper No. 12. Because of all of these factors, he managed to retain the top spot on Forbes Magazine’s list. It looks like he will be able to be on the first spot on this list for many years to come.
2. Lionel Messi ($130 million)
The Argentina and Barcelona striker might be nearing the end of his playing days at 33, but his earning power is better than ever. He banked an impressive $97 million from Spanish giants Barca. He is one of the two most popular soccer players in the world, and nobody should be surprised with the amount of money he managed to earn over the years.
A key endorsement deal for Messi is with footwear superpower Adidas. Since he is the most important player of his national team, which makes him the most popular athlete in his native country.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo ($120 million)
Another legendary soccer star nearing the end of the line on the pitch at the age of 36, Ronaldo became the first person to gain 500 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. He also surpassed Pele’s career total of 770 goals.
All in all, we are talking about one of the best ever. Despite him being 36 years old, we can expect him to reach some new heights in the future. The Portuguese star earned $70 million from Juventus and banked $50 million from endorsements that include a lifetime deal with Nike.
4. Dak Prescott ($107.5 million)
The Dallas Cowboys quarterback bagged a $66 million signing bonus as part of his new four-year, $160 million contracts with the NFL team. Since NFL is one of the two most popular sports in the United States, nobody should be surprised by this achievement.
Of course, we are talking about one of the best athletes in the league. It’s only natural that his club will make sure that his club would make sure to tie him for an extended contract. He adds to that another $10 million in endorsement money from companies such as DirecTV.
5. LeBron James ($96.5 million)
King James won another NBA title last season with the Los Angeles Lakers and he kept on making huge bank. He is the best player of our time, alongside the late Kobe Bryant. So, it’s only natural that he has one of the highest salaries in the world. But, that’s no all, he is also an entrepreneur.
His Space Jam film is due for a summer release and purchased a stake in Fenway Sports Group, making LeBron a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, and NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing.
6. Neymar ($95 million)
The Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain striker lists endorsement deals with Nike, Puma, and Epic Games. The Brazilian is definitely one of the best players of our time. Many people think that he didn’t realize his complete potential. Nevertheless, he is a player in one of the most lucrative clubs in the world.
He made $76 million for his work on the pitch and as the third most popular athlete on social media, off-field opportunities figure to keep rolling in for him. He is still relatively young, therefore, we can expect him to reach some new level in the future.
7. Roger Federer ($90 million)
Even though knee surgery scuttled almost the entire tennis season for the Swiss legend, Federer is such a mega-star that he still maintained a spot in the top 10 sporting earners.
Probably the best tennis player in the world continues to be competitive in his later years. He is still competing with his two fiercest rivals, Nadal and Djokovic. His list of sponsorship deals includes Rolex, Credit Suisse, and Uniqlo.
8. Lewis Hamilton ($82 million)
The perennial Formula 1 world champion won his sixth title in seven years in 2020. Lewis Hamilton is the next big name in the sport after Michael Schumacher. If you know how lucrative this sport is, you will understand how he managed to earn so much money over the years.
He earned $70 million on track and the rest from endorsement deals with Tommy Hilfiger, Monster Energy, and Puma. Besides sport, he managed to create a couple of companies that provide him with additional money, which influences his net worth.
9. Tom Brady ($76 million)
Winning the Super Bowl at the age of 43, Brady appears like he might go on forever. He is a good shape, and we would say that he has at least a couple of years on a high level.
Earning $31 million in endorsements, Brady works with Fanatics, as well as his own brand of TB12 wellness products.
10. Kevin Durant ($75 million)
Signing a free-agent deal with the Brooklyn Nets, Durant banked $44 million off the court. He owns a film company and was an executive producer of Two Distant Strangers, which took home the Oscar for a best live-action short film.
The Bottom Line
Athletes are one of the richest people in the world, especially if they are among the best ones in their own discipline. Plus, they are always attractive because millions of people from all over the world are interested in seeing their magic every week.