The sports industry is a multibillion-dollar business annually attracting huge TV contracts, as well as, sponsorships, partnerships and endorsement deals from brands looking to sell their products or services to the billions of fans.
Cashing in from this very lucrative venture are the superstar athletes. Athletes from 21 countries and 10 sports make the final cut this year, as do two women – Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams – the first time more than one woman has made the ranks since 2016 when Williams appeared with Maria Sharapova.
However, paydays for the world’s top-earning athletes dropped for the first time in four years, according to the 2020 Forbes ranking due to the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time since World War II, sporting activities were cancelled or postponed, as well as, many marquee events.
The 100 highest-paid athletes earned a combined $3.6 billion this year, which is 9% below 2019 and the first decline since 2016, when boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao skewed the results with a $400 million payout from their May 2015 “Fight of the Century” pay-per-view bout.
Breaking even on the top 20 list are five black athletes. Scroll through to take a look at their impressive earnings: