Roger Federer has ousted Cristiano Ronaldo as the top-earner in sport after achieving a staggering record not seen since Tiger Woods.
Roger Federer has ousted Cristiano Ronaldo as the top-earner in sport after achieving a staggering record not seen since Tiger Woods.

Federer tops rich list

Roger Federer has become the first tennis player in history to top Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes.

The American lifestyle magazine revealed that the Swiss legend has leapfrogged football legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, The Sun reports.

As reveales last week, Naomi Osaka features on the list as the top-earning female athlete after jumping Serena Williams to become the highest earning female athlete in history.

Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo was the only Aussie to make the list, featuring as the No. 48 highest earner in sport with earnings of more than $44 million. Aussie NBA star Ben Simmons is expected to make the list next year when his new contract (worth a mind-blowing $US170 million over five years) kicks in.

Federer's ascent to top of the rich list for the first time in his career was partly made possible by the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has halted all major sports.

Both Ronaldo and Messi have seen massive salary cuts as the collective gross of wealth across Forbes' annual list is down nine per cent from 2019.

But not to diminish Federer's incredible haul that has lifted him from fifth last year to the top.

The 38-year-old world No. 4 has raked in over $9 million in prize money alongside more than $150 million from endorsements and appearance fees.

Federer was the only tennis ace to crack the list of the decade's highest earners revealed recently and has now been crowned king of 2020.

His estimated earnings for the financial stand at a whopping $159.5 million.

The Swiss legend's endorsement portfolio is unmatched among active athletes, with 13 brands paying to represent him.

He joins Tiger Woods as the only two active athletes to hit $US100 million in a single year from sponsorships alone.

Only last year, Federer, 38, secured a contract with Japanese clothing giants Uniqlo said to be worth around $400 million spread over 10 years.

The eight time Wimbledon champion is also sponsored by the likes of Rolex, Credit Suisse, Moet & Chandon and more.

Sports business expert David Carter said: "His brand is pristine which is why those that can afford to align with him, clamour to do so."

Here's how Roger went from tennis superstar to money-making machine.

 

 

Incredibly, Federer signed with sports brand giants Nike all the way back in 1996.

But in March last year a 10-year renewed contract expired, and he chose against renewing it after two decades wearing their clothing on court.

That mega deal was said to be worth around $14 million per-year, and all-together it's been reported that he earned around $220m from Nike since they first chose him to endorse them.

But he soon he moved on to bigger and better things.

In what was an insanely brave and shrewd move, Federer approached the Japanese mass market retailer to discuss working together.

Of course, they were keen, and soon enough they drafted up a 10-year contract worth more than $400m designed to entice him.

Not only do they supply him tennis apparel, he'll also have a hand in designing future lines for the brand.

"We know I'm at the back end of my career, not at the beginning," Federer admitted in a press conference last year when he was quizzed about joining Uniqlo, which shows he knew the offer was too good to turn down.

He added: "One day I will retire from tennis but I will not retire from life.

"Life will go on and Uniqlo and Mr Yanai believed in me very strongly as being very important to their brand, even though maybe my playing days are going to come to an end at some point."

FORBES' HIGHEST PAID ATHLETES 2020 (AUD)

Cristiano Ronaldo will be mortally wounded by his demotion.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be mortally wounded by his demotion.

1. Roger Federer (tennis) - $159.5 million

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (football) - $157.5 million

3. Lionel Messi (football) $156 million

4. Neymar (football) - $143 million

5. LeBron James (basketball) - $132 million

6. Stephen Curry (basketball) - $112 million

7. Kevin Durant (basketball) - $96 million

8. Tiger Woods (golf) - $93 million

9. Kirk Cousins (NFL) - $91 million

10. Carson Wentz (NFL) - $89 million

OTHER NOTABLE ATHLETES ON THE LIST

11. Tyson Fury (boxing) - $87 million

14. Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1) - $84 million

16. Conor McGregor (UFC) - $72 million

21. Tom Brady (NFL) - $68 million

29. Naomi Osaka (tennis) - $56 million

48. Daniel Ricciardo (Formula 1) - $44 million

66. Virat Kohli (cricket) - $39 million

- This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk and has been republished with permission

Originally published as History as Federer tops rich list


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