- Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi’s $20 million-per-year partnership with Socios expands on Messi’s endorsement portfolio, which already includes PepsiCo, Adidas, and Budweiser. In a deal announced in June 2022, he became Hard Rock International’s first athlete brand ambassador, bringing Messi’s off-field earnings level with those of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time since 2013. In 2021, Messi won the Ballon d’Or as the best men’s soccer player in the world. However, he has had a tougher time on the field recently, scoring just nine goals in 32 games for Paris Saint-Germain after scoring 38 goals in 47 games for Barcelona in his final season.
- LeBron James
Despite the fact that LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers did not advance to the postseason this year, he has never been as dominant off the court. Space Jam, released last year, starred him: A New Legacy and his talk show, The Shop, recently moved from HBO to YouTube. His net worth increased to $850 million when he sold a substantial minority stake in SpringHill, the production company behind both projects, in October for approximately $725 million.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
Like his opponent Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo has had a frustrating first season with his new group, with Manchester Joined caught in 6th spot in the Chief Association standings with one game excess. Ronaldo, who previously played for Manchester United from 2003 to 2009, may be moving once more during the summer transfer window, according to rumors. Quite a bit of Ronaldo’s procuring power comes from his monstrous web-based entertainment presence: Because he has 690 million followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, he can get sponsors like Nike, Herbalife, and Clear shampoo to pay him astronomically high rates.
- Neymar Jr. Neymar
Like Lionel Messi, received criticism following Paris Saint-Germain’s early Champions League exit, despite scoring his 400th career goal in November. His consideration will presently move to the World Cup in Qatar this fall, which he has said could be his last. He has valuable endorsements outside the field, including those from Puma and Red Bull, and he is the subject of a new Netflix documentary series called Neymar: The ideal chaos In addition, he is venturing into the world of NFTs. In November, he joined the platform NFTSTAR and spent more than $1 million on two Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs in a single day in January.
- Stephan Curry
Stephen Curry was the NBA player with the highest salary this season. The Golden State Warriors guard signed a $215 million, four-year contract extension in August. In the upcoming season, he will earn approximately $48 million, which will increase to just under $60 million in 2025-26. Curry’s new endorsement deal with FTX also included an equity stake, and in December, he launched a collection of NFTs featuring his sneakers and linked to three metaverse platforms.
- Kevin Durant
The Brooklyn Nets’ star Kevin Durant receives approximately $28 million annually from Nike. Only LeBron James’ ($32 million) sneaker deal is greater among active players. While he has recently signed deals with Coinbase, NBA Top Shot, and Weedmaps, his business empire includes investment firms Thirty Five Ventures and Boardroom Media. His most recent investments include the NFT platform OpenSea and the digital fitness startup Future. He also supports SeatGeek’s merger with SPAC.
- Roger Federer
Roger Federer missed six tournaments in 2020 and 2021 as a result of injuries, and he has yet to return to tennis in 2022. Regardless, the former No. One player continues to be the best pitchman in sports, promoting brands like Rolex and Uniqlo. In 2019, he also made an investment in the fledgling Swiss shoe brand ‘On’.
- Canelo Alverez
With earnings of $40 million or more from his two pay-per-view victories in May and November, Canelo Alvarez is the most popular boxer in the sport. On May 7, 2022, he lost to light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol. Beyond the ring, Alvarez owns a taco restaurant in his native Mexico and has plans to expand to California through a lucrative partnership with Hennessy. Alvarez stated last year that he would establish a gas station chain, and Canelo Promotions, in conjunction with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN, is organizing a series of fights in Mexico.
- Tom Brady
After a spectacular 2021 season at the age of 43, Tom Brady’s retirement this offseason lasted less than six weeks, which was good news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is undoubtedly picking up some new skills off the field. In January, Autograph, the NFT platform Brady cofounded last year, announced a $170 million Series B funding round. In March, Religion of Sports, the production company he cofounded with filmmaker Gotham Chopra and Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, announced a content agreement with Skydance Sports.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the only member of 2022’s top ten athletes who is still in his 20s. Neymar will turn 30 in February. In December 2020, the two-time NBA MVP of the Milwaukee Bucks signed a $228 million contract for five years, making it the NBA’s largest contract ever in terms of total value. He participated as an investor in the $165 million funding round that was announced in November for watch resale platform WatchBox. He has also signed a licensing agreement with NFT platform NFTSTAR and added WhatsApp and Google’s Pixel 6 phone to his endorsement stable.