Although Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo take the cap for the highest-paid athletes globally, there are a few players in the United States too who have earned over the decades and secured a place at the topmost rung. Therefore, here is a list of the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the United States in 2021.
Dak Prescott – Player Valuation $107.5 million
One of the most popular football players, Dak Prescott, is the highest-paid athlete in the United States with a total fortune of $107.5 million. Apart from this, the star football player has signed a four-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys, adding another $160 million to his current riches. His 2021 earnings set a new high for the NFL, and there is no stopping him with everything that he has achieved so far. With quality collaborations with brands, including Adidas, PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, and AT&T, this football prodigy has bumped up his earnings by $10 million annually.
LeBron James – Player Valuation $96.5 million
Even if you do not watch NBA games, you must have heard his name somewhere or watched his billboard to know who he is. LeBron James is the most famous NBA player currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. The star player is already into the third year of a four-year contract worth $153 million with the basketball club, with his endorsement campaigns widening his earnings capacity and asset portfolio. Apart from this, the player is also an avid businessman and co-owns 19 Blaze Pizza franchises spread across Chicago and South Florida.
Tom Brady – Player Valuation $76 million
Earlier, the star quarterback for New England Patriots, Tom Brady, decided to make a switch in 2020 to Tampa Bay Buccaneers making $45 million in the transfer deal. He has also signed an extension with the team and will continue to exhibit his exceptional skills for the club. However, most American footballers aren’t just into making money through playing on the field. He has also earned a whopping $31 million from his TB12 lifestyle brand, 199 Productions (Brady’s production company), and sponsorship deals with Under Armor and T-Mobile.
Kevin Durant – Player Valuation $75 million
This Brooklyn Nets star has established a lucrative side business and earns more off the basketball court than on. Although his four-year contract is valued at $164 million, Kevin earns way more through sponsorships with leading brands such as Nike, Master & Dynamic, Degree, and 2K Sports. The player is also an avid investor with stakes in Postmates and Philadelphia Union, a Major League Soccer team.
Stephen Curry – Player Valuation $74.5 million
Owner of a leading production company, Unanimous Media, Stephen Curry, has a well-charted out business course off the court and could even earn more than what he does at the Golden State Warriors. His sponsorships with companies such as Google, Callaway Golf, Under Armor, and beverage and drinks start-up Oxigen bring in $44 million in earnings every year, making him the fifth richest athlete in the United States.
Tiger Woods – Player Valuation $60 million
Until now, the list entailed players from NBA and NFL. However, here is one of the best players in golfing history who couldn’t even play this year owing to the injuries sustained in a car accident. Nonetheless, Tiger Woods still managed to amass a whopping amount of $60 million though only $200,000 came from actual golfing.
So, it is natural to wonder where he is getting all this money from. Recently, the golf-pro signed a deal with PGA Tour 2K Video, a gaming franchise, to use his personality in their subsequent game issues. Apart from this, the player has been making well off his signature club TaylorMade and is currently pursuing a slew of endorsements from companies such as Nike, Rolex, and Monster Energy.
Patrick Mahomes – Player Valuation $54.5 million
One of the youngest and most talented quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes, plays for the Kansas City Chief and has now secured a glowing ten-year contract with the team worth up to $503 million. His endorsement portfolio is diverse as he features for different brands, including Bose, Adidas, Nestle, Panini, State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance, and Electronic Arts. Patrick earns more than $22 million per annum in sponsorships and has a brilliant career ahead of him.
James Harden – Player Valuation $51 million
After transferring to the Brooklyn Nets, Harden is looking at a lucrative career with the team, considering his four-year contract will pay out upwards of $47 million in 2022-23. Moreover, the NBA player partnered with Adidas in 2015, and it is a 13-year deal worth $200 million. His brand partnership is not limited to Adidas as James endorses other brands as well, including State Farm Auto Insurance, Amazon, and Beats. The player also owns stakes in Houston Dynamo, an MLS team, further adding $18 million to his earnings this year.
Ronnie Stanley – Player Valuation $47.5 million
After signing a five-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens, Ronnie Stanley’s deal is worth $100 million and contributes to most of his earnings. The star offensive tackle doesn’t earn much in endorsements, with only $500,000 coming from sponsorships and brand partnerships.
Serena Williams – Player Valuation $41.5 million
The only female in this list, Serena Williams, has made her name in the world in addition to tennis for being one of the highest-paying athletes of all time. Serena’s majority of income comes from endorsements as she has partnered with over 20 corporate establishments and holds investment stakes in more than 50 start-ups. Williams is also a crypto enthusiast and has an investment in the NFT platform Bilski. She owns a 0.5 percent stake in the Miami Dolphins and is a living example for all the women who wish to make their name in this patriarchal world.
The Bottom Line
So here are the top 10 highest-paying American athletes in 2021. Go check out their portfolios to know more about their brand partnerships and investment earnings in different ventures.