So what is the “Fortunate 50″? If you’re aware of the “Fortune 500″, Fortune Magazine’s annual listing of the top 500 companies in the US, this is Sports Illustrated’s play on that feature. SI lists its 9th annual list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes. And since the began, it was always Tiger Woods on top of the earnings even with his marital troubles, he managed to stay ahead of all US athletes until this year.
Sports Illustrated has unveiled the list in this week’s issue and Woods has been supplanted at the top spot by boxer Floyd Mayweather. And fellow golfer Phil Mickelson has passed Woods for the second spot. Woods has fallen two notches to number three. But there’s no need to feel bad for Tiger as he still earned over $56 million in winnings and endorsements combined.
Here’s a look at the issue and the Top Ten US athletes in the SI “Fortunate 50″.
Woods Drops to Third, First Time He Hasn’t Been No.1 Since List Was Started in 2004
Rodger Federer Posts Highest Earnings Among International Athletes;
David Beckham Comes in at No.2 on International 20 List;
Maria Sharapova Only Female to Make Either List
New York, NY (July 16, 2012) – The ninth annual SI.com (www.si.com) Fortunate 50 list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes was announced today and for the first time since this began, Tiger Woods is not No.1. He’s not even No.2. That honor goes once again to Phil Mickelson. The new No.1 (for now) is boxing great Floyd Mayweather, whose $85 million is based entirely on his salary/winnings, no endorsement dollars. This is completely different from Mickelson and Woods, who received roughly 95% of their yearly intake from endorsements.
Mayweather is followed by Mickelson who raked in a whopping $60.7 million. The rest of the top 10 is rounded out by Woods ($56.4MM), Kobe Bryant ($48.2MM), LeBron James ($45.8MM), Alex Rodriguez ($33.5MM), Peyton Manning ($31MM), Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($28.1MM), Derek Jeter ($27.7MM) and Larry Fitzgerald ($26.7MM). The average earnings for the top 50 American athletes is $25.85MM.
Woods total earnings is lowest it has been since the Fortunate 50 list began in 2004 and his endorsement dollars were down $5 million from 2011.
The SI.com Fortunate 50 Top Ten:
Name Sport Total Salary/Winning Endorsements 2010
Floyd Mayweather Pro Boxing
Phil Mickelson Pro Golf
Tiger Woods Pro Golf
Kobe Bryant NBA
LeBron James NBA
Alex Rodriguez MLB
Peyton Manning NFL
Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR
Derek Jeter MLB
Larry Fitzgerald NFL
The 2011 Fortunate 50 list features 19 baseball players, 13 basketball players, 11 football players, four NASCAR drivers, two golfers and one boxer. There are 15 athletes on the 2012 list that were absent in 2011; four newcomers from the NFL cracked the top 20: Mayweather, Fitzgerald, Mario Williams (No. 13, $25.5MM) and Derrick Rose (No. 19, $23.8MM).
For the fourth year in a row, no female athletes were ranked in the top 50. For the 3rd straight year, the New York Yankees featured at least four players among the top 50 including Rodriquez, Jeter, CC Sabathia (No. 20, $23.8MM) and Mark Teixeira (No. 21, $23.3MM).
Tennis champ Roger Federer tops SI.com’s International 20 list of the 20 highest-earning international athletes. Making more than $51.4 million, Federer’s earnings kept him at the top spot for the 3rd year in a row. Soccer star David Beckham finished in 2nd with total earnings of $46 million.
Maria Sharapova (No.10, $26.5MM) was the only female to crack either list.
The average earnings among the International 20 reached a new high at $29.4MM. Barcelona FC star Lionel Messi made the top 5 again, coming in at No.3, earning $41.2 million this year. Cristiano Ronaldo came in at No.4 with a total earning of $40.2MM and Fernando Alonso completes the top five, earning $40MM. The list features eighth soccer players, three motor sports racers, three MLB stars, three tennis players, one NBA star, one golfer and one boxer.
This marks the ninth consecutive year that SI.com has compiled the list of Fortunate 50 athletes. The findings consisted solely of salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees. We consulted players’ associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Our endorsement estimates for 2012 came from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salary figures were based on current or most recently completed seasons (July 1 for the NFL, which is why Drew Brees, who just signed a $100 million deal last Friday, isn’t on the list). For winnings-based sports (auto racing, golf, tennis), we used the 2011 calendar year. Boxing purses are from June 2011 through May 2012. Candidates for the U.S. 50 had to be American citizens and currently active in their sports
The full list is available at SI.com/Fortunate50.
Another announcement coming up.