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The 5 Top Sports Sponsorships of All Time

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We all know how lucrative it can be to become a professional athlete, but you might be surprised to learn just how much some of these stars make!

Sponsorship deals have been filling athlete’s pockets for quite some time now. While most of their earnings are generally driven by their performances, it’s through sponsorship deals that athletes make the biggest bucks.

Michael Jordan paved the way in 1984 when he sealed his deal with Nike for $7 million. Little did he know he would be setting the stage for elite athletes to earn mega sponsorship deals for years to come!

So how much do the top athletes make? We’ve created a list of 5 of the top sports sponsorships of all time. Learn all about some of the biggest endorsement deals in the modern era.

While we can’t offer any advice on how to land a mega sponsorship deal yourself there is an easy way that you can save on all your sporting good purchases! Did you know that Adidas offers free coupon codes that will allow you to save while shopping? Just head to BravoDeal, a coupons saving website, and grab your own Adidas coupon codes to start saving

  • Steph Curry & Under Armour 

Steph Curry is one of the world’s most famous professional athletes and his salary certainly reflects it. Few professional athletes have made as much as this basketball legend. In fact, in 2019 Steph Curry even made Forbes’ list of the most highly paid athletes. While his salary certainly brings in the big bucks, it was his endorsement deal with Under Armour that earned him a whopping $42 million. 

  • Christian Ronaldo & Nike 

Portuguese soccer player Christian Ronaldo is one of the world’s most recognizable faces. All that fame earns him a ridiculously high salary. In fact, in 2021 Ronaldo reclaimed the top spot from Lionel Messi as the world’s highest earning soccer player.

Where did Ronaldo earn much of that income? His lifetime endorsement deal with Nike. That deal alone is set to earn Ronaldo an amazing $1 billion making him the richest Nike sponsored athlete in the world.

  1. Tiger Woods & Nike

Before his 2009 scandal, Tiger Woods was one of the world’s top earning athletes. During this time, he earned an endorsement deal from Nike for $40 million that would turn him into one of the most highly endorsed athletes in the world. During this scandal, many sponsors left him but Nike stood by the pro golf star. To this day Woods is one of the richest athletes of all time.

  1. Roger Federer & Uniqlo 

Star tennis player Roger Federer earns the spot as the most highly endorsed athlete. His latest sponsorship deal is with the pasta brand Barilla and will net him a juicy $40 million. In 2018, Federer signed the deal of a lifetime with Japanese brand Uniqlo. This 10-year deal will net Federer an amazing $300 million!

Believe it or not, Federer might even surpass his Uniqlo sponsorship. In 2020, Federer signed a unique equity deal with the Swiss brand On Cloud. In exchange for becoming their global ambassador, Federer received 4% equity in the company. That equity is now worth $300 million and counting! 

  1. Lebron James & Nike

Nike features heavily on our list and it’s because they love to dish out big sponsorship deals to athletes. Lebron James is another famous basketball star that signed a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike. The price tag? James could earn an insane $1 billion by the time he’s ready to retire. That’s not all! James also has endorsements with Intel, Verizon and Coca-Cola.



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