Paydays for the world's top-earnings athletes dropped for the first time in four years, according to the 2020 Forbes ranking as the coronavirus wreaked havoc on sports and cancelled or postponed many marquee events for the first time since World War II.
According to Forbes, The 100 highest-paid athletes earned a combined $3.6 billion in 2020, which is 9% below 2019 and the first decline since 2016.
Roger Federer takes the top spot for the first time, with $106 million of pre-tax earningss, edging past Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have swapped the No. 1 spot in three of the past four years.
Here's the list of world's top 10 highest-paid athletes in 2020, according to Forbes.
10. Carson Wentz (NFL)
The 28-year old American football quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League has a robust endorsement portfolio with Nike, NRG, Bobcat, Amazon, Sanford Health, Bose, Scheels and BlackRidge Bank. The Philadelphia Eagles signed Carson Wentz to a contract extension in June 2019 worth $128 million over four years. The deal included a $16.4 million signing bonus, as well as a $30 million option bonus paid in March 2020.
According to Forbes, his earnings, as of May 2020, is $59.1M.
9. Kirk Cousins (NFL)
Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million contract extension with the Vikings in March 2020 that included a $30 million signing bonus. His new contract made him the NFL's highest-paid player between June 2019 and June 2020. The QB originally joined Minnesota in 2018 after six seasons in Washington; the $84 million deal was fully guaranteed, a rarity in the NFL.
According to Forbes, his earnings, as of May 2020, is $60.5M.
He is also ranked 27th in Forbes Top-paid 100 Celebrities list.
8. Tiger Woods (Golf)
Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers, and one of the most famous athletes of all time. Since he turned pro in 1996, Woods has earned $1.5 billion from endorsements, appearances and course design fees. His sponsors include the likes of Bridgestone, Discovery Communications, Inc, Hero Motocorp, Monster Energy, Nike, Rolex, TaylorMade, Upper Deck etc.
According to Forbes, he currently earns up to $60M from endorsements alone. His total earnings go up to $62.3M including salary and other deals.
7. Kevin Durant (NBA)
Mostly known by his initials KD, Kevin Wayne Durant, is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets. After three years with the Golden State Warriors, Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets in 2019 under a four-year, $164 million contract.
The ten-time All-Star banks $35 million from sponsors, but he's also invested in more than 40 companies, including Postmates and investing app Acorns. Durant's YouTube channel has 800,000 subscribers, while his media company has deals with ESPN, Apple, Showtime and Fox.
The 32-year old earns $28.9M from salary and $35M from endorsements which make him the 7th top-paid athlete of 2020.
6. Stephen Curry (NBA)
The two-time MVP signed the NBA's first $200 million contract in 2017; he's had the league's top salary the past three seasons. In 2017, Curry formed a new company, SC30, which manages his investments, brand partnerships and philanthropic ventures. His company's first movie, "Breakthrough," was released in 2019; it's based on a book by Joyce Smith titled "The Impossible."
He earns a whopping $74.4M, according to Forbes. He is also ranked 16th in Forbes Top-paid 100 Celebrities list.
5. LeBron James (NBA)
The highest-paid NBA player right now. Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 under a four-year, $153 million contract.
He has the NBA's top endorsement portfolio, as well as his own production company, SpringHill Entertainment.
The LeBron James Family Foundation opened its first elementary school in 2018 and plans to spend $41 million to send kids to college.
His sponsors include Nike, AT&T, Beats Electronics, Coca-Cola, GMC, KIA Motors, RIMOWA, Walmart, 2K Sports etc.
LeBron James earns $88.2M per year, according to Forbes. Nearly $60M come from endorsements. He is ranked 9th in Forbes Top-paid 100 Celebrities list.
4. Neymar (Football)
The Brazilian football superstar, Neymar is on a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain through June 2022 worth $350 million in salary. His transfer from Barcelona to PSG stands as the most expensive in the world at $263 million, which the French club paid in full ahead of his signing.
The Brazilian is the second most popular athlete on social media with a combined 244 million followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
His total earnings go up to $95.5M., most of which comes from his salary.
His sponsors include Beats Electronics, DAZN, Electronic Arts, Gillette, Mastercard, Nike, Red Bull, TCL.
3. Lionel Messi (Football)
Argentine football sensation, Lionel Messi is third on this list. His current Barcelona contract is through 2020-21 and pays him over $80 million annually. He also has a lifelong deal with Adidas.
Messi earns $104M per year, according to Forbes. $72M comes from his salary and $32M from endorsements.
The Argentinian superstar launched his own clothing line and opened his first retail outlet, The Messi Store, in September 2019 in Barcelona.
Adidas, Gatorade, Huawei, Mastercard, Pepsi - are some of his sponsors.
He is ranked 5th in Forbes Top-paid 100 Celebrities list.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Football)
The Portuguese star joined Juventus in 2018 after nine years with Real Madrid. He took a pay cut with his four-year deal worth $64 million annually. Within 24 hours of release, Juventus sold 520,000 Ronaldo jerseys worth over $60 million.
Ronaldo is the most followed athlete on social media. His Instagram followers hit 200 million in 2020.
Altice, DAZN, Herbalife, MTG, Nike, Unilever are some of his sponsors from which he earns up to $45M per year. His salary goes up to $60M. His total earnings go up to $105M.
Ronaldo is ranked 4th in Forbes Top-paid 100 Celebrities list.
1. Roger Federer (Tennis)
Roger Federer is the world's highest-paid athlete for the first time, thanks to an unmatched portfolio of lucrative endorsement deals. He currently earns up to $106.3M, according to Forbes.
The biggest prize in his stable is Japanese apparel brand Uniqlo, which locked him up in 2018 under a 10-year, $300 million deal.
Federer has won $130 million in prize money in his career, but the total is dwarfed by his off-court earnings from appearances and endorsements. His eponymous foundation has raised more than $50 million and educated 1.5 million children in Africa since its launch.
Most of his earnings, nearly $100M, come from his endorsements.