An elite class of iconic athletes who’ve used their skills and business acumen to earn big
The Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match was more than just surprisingly competitive and compelling. It also made Mayweather the only boxing champ to score a remarkable 50-0 record and is projected to catapult the superstar fighter into in an elite class of athletes who’ve earned over $1 billion during their career.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather
According to Forbes, “the money fight” will likely gross around $700 million, making it the richest fight in boxing history. The exact amount of revenue will be confirmed later on this week once details about the pay-per-view sales are disclosed.
Meanwhile, Mayweather, who has generated $700 million in his career, is slated to earn $300 million from that one night, which would tip his career earnings to $1 billion. Here’s a breakdown of how the richest boxer of all time has made money.
After this fight, Mayweather would become the third professional athlete to reach this extraordinary benchmark following Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. Here’s a look at how these two world-class athletes earned $1 billion, along with a breakdown of why LeBron James will likely join this exclusive club.
Although Jordan is regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time, he only made about $90 million during his stellar career in the NBA. However, thanks to lucrative endorsements, like his lifetime deal with Nike, and big investments, like his purchase of the Charlotte Hornets, he was added to the Forbes $1 billion list in 2015, for the first time. Today, his net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion. Here’s how Forbes calculates his earnings:
He was the NBA’s highest-paid player only twice during his 15-year career. His total career playing salary was $90 million, but Jordan has earned another $1.3 billion (pre-tax) from corporate partners since he left U. of North Carolina in 1984. His biggest backer has always been Nike, which generates nearly $3 billion in annual revenue from the Jordan Brand. Nike commands 90% of the U.S. basketball shoe market, with the Jordan Brand representing more than half of that. MJ also maintains his longtime endorsement relationships with Gatorade, Hanes and Upper Deck. His biggest single investment is his 90% stake in the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. When he bought a majority stake in 2010, the team was valued at $175 million. It is now worth $780 million. He also owns seven restaurants and a car dealership.
Woods’ became the first billionaire in sports back in 2009. However, his stock and public persona took a major hit following his notorious sex scandal in 2009. As a result, the iconic golfer lost big endorsement deals. Plus, he has failed to win a major tournament since 2008. His net worth currently stands around $740 million.
The next athlete projected to join the club is King James, himself. In 2016, James signed a mega lifetime deal with Nike worth more than $1 billion. He also has endorsement deals with Coca-Cola, Verizon, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, and Microsoft. He received a big payout as an owner of Beats Headphone in 2015 when the company was acquired by Apple. As a result, he made roughly $30 million. In addition, he and his longtime friend and business partner, Maverick Carter, own 17 franchise restaurants and a production company.
Today, James’ net worth is estimated to be $400 million, however, with his business acumen, it will only be a matter of time before he reaches billionaire status.
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