The Forbes Magazine has just released its annual list of ten most powerful athletes in 2011 based on their earning and measured fame between May 2010 and May 2011. The athletes ranking on this list not only perform well on the court or field but also earn a lot of money by attracting rich sponsors, lending their names to sneakers and doing their own business.
Surprisingly, Tiger Wood still tops the list of ten powerful athletes this year and is the world’s best-paid athlete though he has struggled to win tournaments and sign new sponsorship deals since his 2010 car crash and infidelity.
Getting $3 million overseas appearance fees and having two big sponsors including Nike and Electronic Arts are the two major factors helping Wood continue to be the world’s best-paid athlete. He is also top the list of ten powerful athletes in 2011
LeBron James is still a hot ticket when he has the No. 1 basketball shoe on the market and his jersey was the NBA’s best seller this season. In April, he teamed with Fenway Sports Group to manage his business interests
Kobe Bryant is considered as the NBA’s biggest star in China, where he recently signed on as pitchman for Mercedes-Benz’s local Smart Car brand. He gets $24.8 million salary this year, $4 million more than any other player
Though Roger Federer has been surpassed by both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in terms of the rankings, he still has ten major deals and sponsors including Nike, Credit Suisse, Rolex and Wilson
David Beckham is not on the top of professional soccer career at the age of 36 but he still a big endorser, who signed a deal with Samsung in May to become the company's global brand ambassador for the 2012 Olympic Games in London
Though Phil Mickelson’s world ranking has dropped the past two years, he is still a hot commodity with sponsor, only after Tiger Wood. The famous golfer also signed a deal as a spokesman for Amgen and Pfizer
The Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has up to nearly 3 million Twitter followers and 25 million Facebook fans, still attracts more advertising contracts from some famous brands like Nike, Castrol, Clear Shampoo and Banco Espirito
Rafael Nadal, the youngest player in the Open Era to capture the career Grand Slam, received $10.5 million in prize money over the last 12 months. This year, he inked big deals with Giorgio Armani, Nike, Babolat and Kia Motor, etc thanks to his on-court success
Nicknamed as A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez is now among the best all-around baseball players of all time
Tom Brady signed a four-year, $72 million contract extension with the Patriots, the NFL’s richest deal on an annual basis, in September 2010 and became the brand’s highest-profile player