Most people think that soccer players are the richest athletes in the world. But this is not true. The top ten richest people in sport include only one person who played soccer – David Beckham. The remaining places were taken by basketball players and people who played golf.

Tiger Woods managed to earn over 90% of his fortune through advertising. There’s a boxer who has earned more than $100 million with the help of the opponent’s sharp tongue. Michael Jordan became a famous basketball player and made a fortune of $1.85 billion thanks to his older brother. We will discuss the richest sportsmen in this article.

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So, let’s start with our list of the money giants of the sports industry:

  1. Michael Jordan (basketball) – $1.9 billion

If it wasn’t for Michael’s elder brother, humanity would not have seen the most expensive athlete and the basketball star. Since childhood, Jordan was fond of baseball and showed excellent results. Everyone thought that his future was connected only with this sport. But Michael’s decision was influenced by his brother Larry, who was playing basketball then. He decided to prove to everyone that he could achieve the same success as his brother. 

Years of hard training and playing for different teams were not in vain: in 1984, he participated in the NBA draft and became a Chicago Bulls player. Throughout his career, Michael was leaving basketball for several times, but he was always on display and did not let people forget about him. He signed many highly-paid advertising contracts, which contributed to the accumulation of a fortune of $1.9 billion. Jordan finally retired from basketball in 2003. Now he plays in amateur baseball tournaments, accepts invitations to play golf, and often participates in motorcycle races.

  1. Tiger Woods (Golf) – $1.5 billion

This professional golfer made a fortune of $1.4 billion thanks to advertising and not golf. Sure, he plays golf very well. During his career, he won 80 times in the PGA, won 14 times in the Major, and got 40 victories in European tournaments in 2000 and 2001. He achieved the Athlete of the Year title. Since 2014, he has played only 18 tournaments. But sponsors do not neglect him, but rather encourage and add money to his fees. And in 2017, he went to jail for driving a car under the influence of drugs. After this incident, he created a rehabilitation clinic and helped people cope with addictions.

Tiger Woods is the example of a strong and, of course, wealthy person.


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  1. Arnold Palmer (Golf) – $ 1.4 billion

Jack started his golf journey as his father’s caddie. Over time, he started liking the game, and he became an amateur player. In 1959, when Arnold was 19 years old, he was already playing golf professionally and taking first places at the US Amateurs tournaments.

To conclude

Professional sport is a world of big money. These sports giants managed to conclude multimillion-dollar advertising contracts.