Roger Federer is the highest-paid athlete in the world. And of the $106 million in pre-tax earnings the tennis star pulled in, $100 million came from sponsorship and endorsement deals.
Forbes’ 2020 list of the highest-paid athletes found the top 100 athletes earned a combined $1.1 billion from endorsements, memorabilia and appearance fees. That was up 11% from last year.
These athletes are at the very peak of the pay pyramid in professional sports. The vast majority of their fellow professionals, however, do not have the personal brand power to pull in multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals.
“The drop-off in price from the top 2% (of athletes) to the next 98% is huge,” Ishveen Anand, the founder and CEO of OpenSponsorship, told me in an interview. “And that’s really our sweet spot, the other 98%.”
Anand previously worked as a sports agent in India and the U.K. but found the process to secure sponsorship deals for clients “really archaic.” In early 2015, she set up OpenSponsorship, an online, two-way marketplace connecting brands to more than 7,000 athletes across 50 sports.
- 22 Jul, 2020
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