Athletes Earn Less

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  • The top-100 highest earning athletes earned 9% less in 2020 than 2019.

Forbes’ annual 100 top-paid athletes earned a collective $3.6 billion, a 9% drop from 2019. The decline was the first in four years, but it appears the trend will continue through 2020.

Roger Federer took the top spot, earning $106 million – $100 million of which came from endorsements and appearance fees. Basketball players made up the bulk of the list with 35 spots, while 31 football players and 14 soccer stars rounded out the sports with the most athletes. This year was also the first time in four years that two women, tennis stars Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, have landed on the list.

With sports on a mass hiatus, the 2021 list will likely see a drop in collective earnings. Salaries have been cut alongside the reduced action with some, like boxers Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Joshua, missing out on $30 million paydays. Endorsement money is also expected to take a tumble, with sponsorships expected to drop 41% in 2020.

2020’s Top Five Highest-Paid Athletes: 

  1. Roger Federer – $106 million
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo – $105 million
  3. Lionel Messi – $104 million
  4. Neymar – $95.5 million
  5. LeBron James – $88.2 million