Forbes' World's Highest-Paid-Athletes: Kohli ranks 83; no women in top-100
India cricket captain Virat Kohli is among the world's highest-paid athletes, according to Forbes. The only sportsperson from India to be featured in the list, Kohli, ranked 83 with earnings of $24mn. Surprisingly, "World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2018" compilation is an all-male affair with no women being featured in the list. American boxing champion Floyd Mayweather topped the list with $285mn earnings. Here's more.
Large amount of Kohli's earnings comes from endorsements
This year the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named Kohli as one of just five players to receive the newly-created A+ contracts, which guarantee an annual retainer of more than $1mn, Forbes said. Also, Kohli's big payday comes from endorsements of top brands such as Puma, Pepsi, Audi, and Oakley, Forbes said. 29-year-old Kohli has over 25 million Twitter followers.
No women in top 100
Forbes said female tennis sportspersons Li Na, Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams were list regulars but Li retired in 2014 and Sharapova is suspended for 15 months for using a banned substance. Williams was the only woman to feature in the top 100 last year, but her prize money dropped from $8mn to $62,000 this year after she gave birth to her daughter.
40 NBA players made it to the Forbes list
This year, 40 National Basketball Association (NBA) players made the cut in the Forbes list, breaking the record of last year's 32 by hoopsters. NBA's top earner LeBron James banked $85.5mn, including endorsements, over the last 12 months to rank sixth among the highest-paid athletes.
Lionel Messi ranked 2nd on the list
Mayweather heads the world's highest-paid athletes for the fourth time in 7 years, thanks to a $275mn payday for his August boxing match against UFC star Conor McGregor. Meanwhile, Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi has been ranked second with $111mn earnings (including $27mn through endorsement deals with Adidas, Gatorade, Pepsi, and Huawei). The footballer's annual salary and bonus exceeded $80mn.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the world's third highest paid athlete
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo came in at third place with $108mn earnings. Brazilian soccer player Neymar ranked fifth on the list with an income of $90mn, including $19mn from endorsement partners. Others on the list are American basketball player LeBron James (6), Tennis star Roger Federer (7), golfer Tiger Woods (16), tennis player Rafael Nadal (20), and golfer Rory McIlroy (26).
Top 100 athletes earned $3.8bn, a 23% jump over 2017
Forbes said it was harder than ever to qualify for the 100 highest-paid athletes, with the cutoff up $1.5mn to $22.9mn this year. The top 100 earned $3.8bn, a 23% jump over last year. Salaries and prize money are up significantly, but endorsement earnings fell for the second straight year to $877mn as companies watch their sports marketing budgets.
Americans dominate the list with 66 making the cut
The top 100 has an international flavor with athletes from 22 countries, but Americans dominate the action with 66 making the cut, thanks to sky-high salaries in baseball, basketball, and football. Those three sports had a combined 72 entries, Forbes added.