Athletes on Forbes Celebrity 100 List – Where Does LeBron Rank?

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Each year, Forbes Celebrity 100 List is released, looking at the earnings of celebrities, which includes top sports stars from around the world. And, as you might expect, some big names sit alongside the likes of Kendall Jenner (No. 1 on the 2020 list).

Forbes has always been the go-to source of information if you want to find out about the richest people, businesses and brands on the planet. Elite sportsmen and women fill all those criteria. They are people (of course), but also businesses and brands.

Which Athletes Make the Most Money?

But where do they rank and which sports star has earned the most? Here’s a look at the highlights from 2020:

Roger Federer Is the Top Earner

If you want evidence that endorsement deals make all the difference, then look no further than Roger Federer. The Swiss tennis star spent much of 2020 injured – he barely played at all, in fact – so he earned almost nothing in prize money from the ATP Tour. Almost all of his $106.3 million in earnings in 2020 came from sponsorship deals. Federer was the third-highest earning celebrity overall behind Jenner and Kanye West, and the top-earning sports star.

Soccer Players Rake It In

A trio of soccer stars take the 4th, 5th and 7th spots overall. You can probably guess who they are – Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million), Lionel Messi ($104 million) and Neymar ($95.5 million). Ronaldo and Messi have, of course, been rivals for well over a decade, setting and breaking all kinds of records in soccer. Neymar, who has a massive contract with Paris Saint Germain is not far behind.

Lebron Takes the No. 9 spot

Lebron James ($88.2 million) is the highest-paid American sports star on the list, squeezing in between Howard Stern and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson on the list. He is a ‘brand’ all on his own, but you can’t deny that he works hard and brings success wherever he goes. His LA Lakers won the NBA Championship in 2020, and they are the favourites in the NBA betting odds with MBet to do the same in 2021. LeBron’s stock isn’t going down any time soon. He’s definitely not new to the list of richest athletes.

Curry Comes Next

Like Roger Federer, Stephen Curry spent most of last year on the injured list. But, unlike Federer, Curry still has a paycheck to pick up every week whether he plays or not. Curry’s deal with the Golden State Warriors sees him with a wage in the region of $40 million per year. He earned $74.4 million in 2020 (16th overall), with much of the surplus being taken up by his deals with Under Armour ($20 million a year) and Callaway Golf Supplies. Curry’s former GSW team-mate, Kevin Durant, is the next highest-paid sports star on Forbes’ list with $63.3 million.

Tiger Woods Still Earning Huge Amounts

While he won the Masters in 2019, Tiger Woods hasn’t been at the top of world golf for the best part of a decade (he is currently ranked no.44 in the world). Nonetheless, his earning potential is still through the roof, and he took in $62.3 million in 2020. He has also been earning huge figures for a lot longer than anyone else on this list. We’d expect Woods, as with other figures like Michael Jordan, to continue earning massive amounts even when he retires from golf. He remains the richest golfer in the world.

And, the Top-Earning NFL player Is…..

Kirk Cousins comes just behind Tiger Woods in the list as the 27th highest-earning celebrity. The Vikings’ quarterback signed a two-year extension in March 2020 worth a total of $66 million. Forbes also points out that his contract included a signing bonus – worth a cool $30 million.

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Michael has been in sports media for more than a decade. He founded Last Word On Sports INC and Highbury Lane Media INC, which is part owner of and He is most invested in football -- both kinds -- and enjoys writing and editing content. He also is said to love Oxford commas and coffee.