NBA superstar LeBron James has been named the highest-paid athlete in the year 2022.
The 37-year-old Los Angeles Lakers baller topped Sportico’s list of the highest-paid sportsmen in the last year, collecting $127 million in pay and endorsements to beat out Lionel Messi ($122 million) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million).
In 2021-22, James made $41 million while leading the Lakers in scoring with 28.5 points per game, but it was his side hustle that took him to the top.
The contract of the 18-time NBA All-Nike Star remains one of the most recognizable in sports, but he’s also secured partnerships with Walmart, GMC, AT&T, and PepsiCo, which he can advertise to his 200 million social media followers.
Calm, Ladder/Openfit, and Lobos 1707 tequila are among the brands in which he has directly invested.
Finally, there are the companies that James and his partners control, such as The SpringHill Company, a seven-year-old media and consultancy organization that plans to make more than $100 million by 2022, according to Sportico.
James also owns the Boston Red Sox and their home network, NESN, as well as Liverpool, which plays in the English Premier League.
NBA stars dominated the top-100 list, with Stephen Curry ($86.2 million) and Kevin Durant ($85.9 million) respectively ranked sixth and seventh.
TOP-10 HIGHEST-PAID ATHLETES BELOW…
Earnings include salary, winnings, and endorsements
- LeBron James (basketball): $126.9million
- Lionel Messi (soccer): $122million
- Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer): $115million
- Neymar (soccer): $103 million
- Canelo Alvarez (boxing): $89 million
- Stephen Curry (basketball): $86.2 million
- Kevin Durant (basketball): $85.9million
- Roger Federer (tennis): $85.7million
- James Harden (basketball): $76million
- Tiger Woods (golf): $73.5million