Brand endorsements are one of the most lucrative ways athletes can earn incredible amounts of money. So, if you’ve ever wondered what some of the biggest brand deals are, look no further.
Read on below to learn about some of the biggest sponsorship deals out there!
Top 10 Sponsorship Deals
One of the best footballers of this generation, Cristiano Ronaldo, has represented some of the biggest global brands. Throughout his 20-year career, the Portuguese record holder has collaborated with Armani, Tag Heuer, Egyptian Steel, and Herbalife.
Still, his biggest endorsement deal is with Nike. Signed back in 2003, the amount the Swoosh brand pays Ronaldo is not disclosed, although experts put it close to $1 billion. In 2016, Ronaldo became the third athlete to get a lifetime deal with Nike.
A football legend and the face of Adidas – David Beckham, with an estimated net worth of approximately £330 million, has been at the forefront among the wealthiest, most recognized celebrities and athletes.
In 2003 the Manchester United superstar signed the biggest sports contract, an Adidas deal worth £115 million. However, the Brit’s career is still far from over. Beckham will be the face of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. He has signed a £150 million deal to become an ambassador for Qatar over the next decade.
Named the highest-paid athlete of 2020 by Forbes, his most recent endorsement deal was with pasta company Barilla, with an estimated worth of around £35 million. Moreover, his highest-paid endorsement deal was with the Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo, worth £220 million. So, some of the brands he represents are Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Gillette, and more.
Despite his rocky career, the globally acclaimed golfer has also had his fair share of big endorsement deals. During his career, he ranked second in men’s major championships and has won 82 official PGA Tour events and 15 majors.
Woods’ current most expensive endorsement deal is Nike, valued at approximately $200 million, making him the richest golfer in the world. The American and the company have had a long-standing relationship spanning almost the entirety of his career.
Some of his less notable deals include Monster Energy, Golf TV, Tag Heuer, and many more.
At the beginning of his career, the NBA superstar LeBron James set the stage for his attitude towards endorsement deals by declining a $115 million Reebok deal when he was 18.
Today, LeBron’s biggest endorsement deal is considered a lifetime contract with Nike, which is estimated to net him $1 billion by turning 64.
His other notable brand deals are PepsiCo, Beats by Dre, AT&T, and Samsung.
While Derrick Rose doesn’t have the most notable NBA career, he has still netted unique sponsorships.
So far, Rose’s most important sponsorship deal was a 14-year Adidas contract valued at $185 million. It also included some perks, such as paying his brother Reggie $250,000, named as a consultant, and a $150,000 donation to a cause of Rose’s choosing.
Rose’s other brand deals include Wilson Sporting Goods, Skullcandy, Powerade, and more.
The fastest man on the planet with a net worth of about $100 million, Usain Bolt has garnered quite a few endorsements under his belt. His biggest one is the contract with Puma at $10 million.
His other sponsorship deals include Digicel, All Nippon Airways, Enertor, Optus, and more.
Wade has consistently landed in Forbes’ top 50 highest-paid athletes over the years. This was due to his amazing career in Miami Heat under one of the greatest NBA coaches Erik Spoelstra. Currently retired, Dwyane Wade was no stranger to endorsement deals during his career.
One of his biggest deals is a lifetime partnership with Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning. The deal’s specifics remain unknown, but Wade also scored an equity share as well. The athlete reportedly earns millions annually from the brand, even after retirement.
Other brand deals he is a part of include Gatorade, Hublot, Mission Athletecare, The Tie Bar, Stance, and more.
One of the greatest tennis players, the now-retired Sharapova, has become a household name among female tennis fans and was one of the sex symbols among athletes.
Her biggest sponsorship deal is with sportswear giant Nike, earning her a $70 million paycheck. This deal also brought Sharapova branded Nike clothing, and it was the most prominent brand deal for a female athlete in history.
On top of this already sizable deal with Nike, Sharapova was sponsored by Avon Fragrances, Porsche, Tag Heuer, Evian, and Tiffany.
Four-time major champion Rory Mcilroy spent more than 100 weeks in the number 1 position on the Official World Golf Rankings. Over the years, Rory Mcilroy has become one of the most marketable athletes globally, earning $30 million annually from brand deals.
Mcilroy’s most significant sponsorship deal is a 10-year contract with Nike, $200 million worth. On top of this, he has signed a $100 million deal with Taylormade.
His other sponsorship deals include lucrative partnerships with Omega, EA Sports, and more.
Sponsorships are undoubtedly some of the most profitable deals an athlete can make.
Hopefully, we’ve quenched your curiosity, and you’ve learned a little more about the biggest sponsorship deals ever.