Swiss tennis legend, Roger Federer, has emerged the world’s highest-earning athlete according to a ranking released by Forbes magazine on Friday.
This makes Roger Federer the first tennis player to emerge tops on the list annually released by Forbes, rising above Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Tennis sensation, Roger Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam singles winner has become the first player from his sports category to top the list released by Forbes every year since its debut publication in 1990, moving up four places from the 2019 ranking.
In the past year, he has earned $106.3 million, about $99.9 million coming from endorsement deals.
Coming below Roger Federer on the top five athletes is Juventus star, Christiano Ronaldo, earning $105 million, $60 million in salary and signing endorsement deals worth $45 million.
Standing in third place, is Barcelona’s forward Lionel Messi, earning $104 million, with $32 million of the total earnings coming from sponsorship deals.
Brazil and Paris-Saint-German’s winger, Neymar, came fourth on the list with overall earnings of $95.5 million, with $25 million made from endorsement deals.
Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers was fifth with earnings worth $88.2 million, $60 million from that came in from endorsement deals.
As sports enthusiasts around the world wondered how a tennis player topped the list for the first time ever, Kurt Badenhausen, Senior Editor for Forbes magazine said: “The Coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars like Ronaldo and Messi, paving the way for a tennis player to emerge as the world’s highest-earning athlete.”
Roger Federer, viewed as the perfect pitchman for blue-chip companies boasts a line-up of the biggest endorsement deals among athletes with Moet & Chandon, and Barilla paying him between $3 million to $30 million to identify with their brands.
He also has running sponsorship deals for more than a decade with Rolex, Credit Suisse, Mercedes Benz, and Wilson.
In 2018, Roger Federer broke ties with Nike, and thereafter signed a 10year endorsement deal with Japanese apparel, Uniqlo worth $300 million.
Federer’s latest deal is with Swiss running shoe Company On, where he is also a shareholder.