For the world’s most marketable athletes, endorsement deals are the ultimate side hustles. Even some who pull in tens of millions per year earn more than half their income from corporate sponsorships. From sneakers to streaming subscriptions, several household-name sports stars doubled their income by inking deals with big brands in 2022.

In a couple of cases, salary alone barely would have made them rich — or even average.

Here’s a look at the athlete endorsement deals that added eight-figure cushions to the net worths of some major athletes.

Serena Williams

  • Sport: Tennis
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Court Earnings: $45,000,000
  • On-the-Court Earnings: $300,000
  • Total Earnings: $45,300,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 99.34%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 31

Inactive but not retired, Serena Williams earns more of her income from endorsements than any other athlete on this list. Her top deals are with AbbVie, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Audemars Piguet, Block Inc, DIRECTV, Inc., Ford Motor, Gatorade, Gucci, Hanesbrands, Nike, Subway, Tonal and Wilson Sporting Goods.

Stephen Curry

  • Sport/Team: Basketball/Golden State Warriors
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Court Earnings: $47,000,000
  • On-the-Court Earnings: $45,800,000
  • Total Earnings: $92,800,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 50.65%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 5

NBA sniper Steph Curry’s salary is high enough to account for nearly half his income. The rest comes from big-money deals with 2K Sports, Callaway Golf, CarMax, FTX, Google, Panini, Rakuten and Under Armour.

Kevin Durant

  • Sport/Team: Basketball/Brooklyn Nets
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Court Earnings: $50,000,000
  • On-the-Court Earnings: $42,100,000
  • Total Earnings: $92,100,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 54.29%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 6

The star power forward known as KD earns more than half his combined income — just shy of nine figures — from 2K Sports, Coinbase, Dapper Labs, Nike and Weedmaps.

Tom Brady

  • Sport/Team: Football/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Field Earnings: $52,000,000
  • On-the-Field Earnings: $31,900,000
  • Total Earnings: $83,900,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 61.98%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 9

Still in the pocket at age 45, the undisputed GOAT earns more than six out of every 10 dollars through deals with brands like Christopher Cloos, Electronic Arts, Fanatics, Hertz Global Holdings, IWC Schaffhausen, Subway, T-Mobile, Under Armour and Wheels Up.

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Sport: Soccer
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Field Earnings: $55,000,000
  • On-the-Field Earnings: $60,000,000
  • Total Earnings: $115,000,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 47.83%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 3

The most famous soccer player on Earth, Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the world and the World Cup by courting controversy in the twilight of his career, but his sponsors are still sticking with him. They include Delivery Hero, Herbalife, MTG, Nike and Unilever.

Lionel Messi

  • Sport/Team: Soccer/Paris Saint-Germain F.C.
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Field Earnings: $55,000,000
  • On-the-Field Earnings: $75,000,000
  • Total Earnings: $130,000,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 42.31%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 1

Lionel Messi earned more than any other athlete in the world across all sports this year, with more than 40% of his income coming from endorsement deals with Adidas, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cirque du Soleil, Gatorade, Hard Rock Cafe Inc., Konami, Mastercard, Ooredoo, Pepsi, PepsiCo, Socios.com and YPF.

Naomi Osaka

  • Sport: Tennis
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Court Earnings: $58,000,000
  • On-the-Court Earnings: $1,200,000
  • Total Earnings: $59,200,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 97.97%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 19

Former No. 1 ranked Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka earned all but a measly $1.2 million off the court. Her top deals include Airbnb, Beats Electronics, BodyArmor, GoDaddy, Hyperice, Levi Strauss & Co, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Mastercard, Morinaga & Company, Nike, Nissan Motor, Panasonic, Sweetgreen, Tag Heuer, Workday, Wowow Inc and Yonex.

Tiger Woods

  • Sport: Golf
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Course Earnings: $67,060,000
  • On-the-Course Earnings: $40,000
  • Total Earnings: $68,000,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 98.62%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 14

The biggest golfer in history, Tiger Woods pulled in less on the course in 2022 than the median earner in the United States. But he remains one of the 14 highest-paid athletes in the world thanks to contracts with 2K Sports, Bridgestone, Centinel Spine, Full Swing, Hero Motocorp, Kowa Company Ltd., Monster Energy, Nike, Rolex, TaylorMade and Upper Deck.

LeBron James

  • Sport/Team: Basketball/Los Angeles Lakers
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Court Earnings: $80,000,000
  • On-the-Court Earnings: $41,200,000
  • Total Earnings: $121,200,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 66%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 2

Only Lionel Messi earned more combined income than King James in 2022. LeBron pulls in two dollars out of three from deals with 2K Sports, AT&T, Beats Electronics, Blaze Pizza, Calm, Crypto.com, GMC, Nike, PepsiCo, RIMOWA and Walmart.

Roger Federer

  • Sport: Tennis
  • Endorsements/Off-the-Court Earnings: $90,000,000
  • On-the-Court Earnings: $700,000
  • Total Earnings: $90,700,000
  • % of Total Earnings Coming From Endorsements: 99.23%
  • Place on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List: 7

Although Roger Federer is now retired, he’s still at the top of the endorsement deal throne with $90 million worth of contracts with Barilla, Credit Suisse Group (ADS), JURA, Lindt & Sprungli, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Mercedes-Benz, NetJets, On, RIMOWA, Rolex, Sunrise Communications AG, Switzerland Tourism, Uniqlo and Wilson Sporting Goods. Only Serena Williams earned a greater percentage of her income from corporate contracts.

Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates looked at Forbes’ 2022 Highest Paid Athlete list to find all instances where an athlete made more than $15 million from endorsements. GOBankingRates found the following information for each: (1) athlete name; (2) ranking within the Forbes list; (3) sport played by the athlete; (4) the team the athlete played for (where applicable); (5) total earnings for 2022; (6) earnings from endorsements in 2022; (7) earnings from salary/winnings in 2022; and (8) percent of total earnings derived from endorsements. All data was collected on and up to date as of Nov. 30, 2022.

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street’s investment community in New York City.