This year, MMA fighter Conor McGregor, who performs in the ring under the nickname ‘Notorious’, has landed the winning punch, taking the first place on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid athletes for the first time. During the year after the previous publication of the Forbes list, he managed to enlarge his capital by $180 million. Most of that came from the recent sale of the majority stake in his own whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve to Proximo Spirits for $150 million. McGregor also multiplied his earnings by selling sportswear Roots of Fight and thanks to the video game Dystopia: Contest of Heroes. McGregor is the face of the game. As for his sports career, he earned more than $20 million.
Soccer star from Argentina, Lionel Messi, who plays as a forward and captain of the Spanish club Barcelona since May 2020, earned $130 million. After such a jump in income, he rose in the Forbes rating from the third line to the second. Unlike the leader of the list, Lionel Messi received most of the profit largely from the football club. His salary and bonuses for the year amounted to $97 million. On advertising, Messi earned $33 million. In addition, he signed a lifetime contract with Adidas. He also actively promotes Pepsi, Lay's, and other products. Apart from that, 2 years ago, he launched his own namesake premium clothing brand.
The Portuguese footballer, who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus, managed to increase his capital by $120 million. Just like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo got most of his income from his main job. His annual salary and bonuses totaled $70 million, while various commercial agreements made the 36-year-old scorer richer by $50 million. Ronaldo signed a lifetime contract with Nike. What is more, he owns a chain of gyms and hotels. On top of that, he is building his own CR7 business empire with a focus on clothing and shoes.
Dak Prescott, who plays American football, is the youngest participant in the ranking. For 12 months, the talented defender of the Dallas Cowboys managed to earn $107.5 million. His salary and bonuses amounted to $97.5 million. Currently, Prescott does have a contract with Dallas beyond the 2020 season as he is recovering from a compound right ankle fracture. After his return to the team, he will be paid an additional $66 million. The extension of his contract with the club is estimated at this amount. Thanks to commerce, the football player received only $10 million for the year, but in the future, he intends to pay more attention to advertising. Prescott invested in a chain of Texas restaurants.
NBA star James LeBron closes the ranking of the top five richest athletes in the world. During the year, the American basketball player's fortune grew by more than $96 million. Being a talented basketball player, he earned $31.5 million, while advertising and other commercial agreements brought him $65 million. The most important event for the current period for LeBron was his film debut. He played the main role in the film "Space Jam: A New Generation". LeBron also signed a contract with PepsiCo and became one of the co-owners of Fenway Sports Group, which invests in sports clubs.