Giannis Antetokounmpo in Forbes’s list of the athletes with the highest earnings for 2018. The “Greek Freak” turned 23 in December and is the youngest by more than a year. Giannis’s earnings of $35.5 million are up nearly 500% this year, thanks to the start of a new $100 million deal with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, as well as a Nike contract extension. His previous Nike deal paid roughly $20,000 annually, while his new pact will pay an estimated $9 million in the first year. Golfer Jordan Spieth, 24, is the only non-basketball player among the six youngest athletes.
Floyd Mayweather tops Forbes’ annual look at the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes for the fourth time in seven years, thanks to a $275 million payday for his August boxing match against UFC star Conor McGregor. Mayweather unseats Cristiano Ronaldo, who held the crown the previous two years. Ronaldo ($108 million) drops to third this year, with longtime rival Lionel Messi ($111 million) edging him out, after signing a new contract.
Mayweather, Ronaldo and Tiger Woods are the only three athletes to top the best-paid list over the past 18 years. Woods ranks 16th this year with $43.3 million.
The 100 highest-paid athletes earned a collective $3.8 billion during the past 12 months, up 23% from last year. Credit the huge paydays for the Mayweather-McGregor bout and exploding salaries in the NBA. The cutoff rose $1.5 million, with Charlotte Hornets wing player Nicholas Batum ranked No. 100 at $22.9 million.
Here is a breakdown of the sports, nationalities, sponsors and more for the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes.
The NFL was the next most-represented sport with 18 athletes, led by Matt Ryan ($67.3 million) at ninth overall. Baseball (14 athletes), Soccer (9), Golf (5), boxing, tennis (4 each) and racing (3) also landed multiple stars in the top 100.