Highest-Paid Retired Athletes of 2015
They say it is far easier to fall from the top than it is to get there. Many elites didn’t start at the top of the socio-economic food chain. They worked hard and climbed the ranks of wealth and celebrity. (And yes, some just got lucky!) For these retired athletes, the journey was a mix of raw talent and hard work. It’s no surprise they continue to bring in the big bucks after their reigns in sports ended.
1. Michael Jordan
He is one of the most beloved athletes of all time and certainly one of the most famous. Even though he retired more than a decade ago, Michael Jordan still pulls in about $100 million a year. The bulk of his income comes from the highly-coveted and profitable Jordan Nike line. It pulls in over $2 billion for Nike. Additionally, he still has some sponsors and a stake in the Hornet’s basketball team.
2. David Beckham
On average, soccer players make significantly less than basketball players. However, that hasn’t stopped Beckham from following Jordan in the ranks of highest-paid retired athletes. In fact, David Beckham made more his first year of retirement than he ever had while playing soccer. He earns about $75 million per year. He owes his high income to business partnerships with Global Brands Groups and Diageo.
3. Arnold Palmer
“I’ll have an Arnold Palmer, please.” Even for those non-golf lovers out there, Arnold Palmer has become a household name in part because of the half iced tea, half lemonade refreshment in his name. Funnily, the 85 year old gets part of his $42 million per year income from a line of Arizona Beverage drinks. However, the bulk of his earnings still comes from his fame in the world of golf, namely hundreds of retail stores thorough Asia.