10 Athletes Who Make The Most Money In Endorsements

That kicked opened the floodgates, and now everyone is looking for that Nike or Adidas cash. It could be as economically uninteresting as free equipment, or it could be mountains of cash. This is ever since Honus Wagner first signed on with Hillerich & Bradsby in 1905, putting his replicated signature on their own personal baseball bat, the Louisville Slugger. But sponsorship beyond ‘active’ career earnings – the paycheck earned from showing up to the game or from winning the tournament – is a wildly variable thing. It’s an open secret that the real money in sports isn’t in the team contract or the winnings, but in the endorsement deals. Money’s money, regardless of your kicks.


We’re interested in the mountaineers, to sustain the analogy. Mountains you could rappel downward at a rapid pace. All endorsement info courtesy of opendorse. Rafael Nadal, $21 millionGetty Images We took a look into the biggest endorsees of the last year, across the globe, and with no sport unturned. Unfortunately, we had to quantify our list with money, rather than ‘awesomenitude,’ because science has not yet found an accurate metric for that.

The infographic below shows the average earnings for each surveyed specialty. Medscape, a subsidiary of the medical information website WebMD, has released its 2014 Physician Compensation Report. Orthopedists were the highest earners: The data in the report come from more than 24,000 doctors in 25 specialties, who responded to Medscape’s annual survey with information on their compensation for 2013.

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