Top 10 Richest Athletes In The World 2024

Top 10 Richest Athletes In The World 2024

The sports world in 2024 has seen an extraordinary display of wealth and success, with athletes reaching new heights in their respective games and financial standings. This year, the wealthiest, retired, or still active athletes have set themselves apart through remarkable sporting achievements, savvy business decisions, lucrative endorsements, and strategic investments.

As we delve into the lives of these top-earning sports stars, we uncover the secrets behind their journey to becoming billionaires and multimillionaires, revealing a fascinating blend of talent, business acumen, and personal branding.

Current top ten wealthiest athletes in the world and their net worth at the beginning of 2024:

  1. Michael Jordan: $3 billion
  2. Ion Tiriac: $2.1 billion
  3. Anna Kasprzak: $1.46 billion
  4. Magic Johnson: $1.2 billion [2]
  5. Tiger Woods: $1.1 billion
  6. Lebron James: $1 billion
  7. Michael Schumacher: $780 million [3]
  8. Lionel Messi: $650 million [4]
  9. Eddie Jordan: $600 million [5]
  10. Junior Bridgeman: $600 million [6]
  11. Roger Staubach: $600 million [7]

(Forbes is the source unless otherwise noted)

Michael Jordan: The Billionaire Basketball Legend

Michael Jordan, synonymous with basketball greatness, has transcended the sport to become a billionaire business icon. Jordan’s journey from the basketball court to the boardroom is legendary. His career with the NBA, marked by six championships with the Chicago Bulls, laid the foundation for a brand that has grown exponentially.

Key endorsements with companies like Nike, through the Air Jordan brand, have been pivotal in his financial ascent. His savvy investments, including ownership stakes in the Charlotte Hornets, have significantly boosted his net worth to $3 billion. Jordan’s story is not just about sports; it’s a narrative of how a basketball legend can evolve into a global business phenomenon.

Ion Tiriac: From Tennis Pro to Business Mogul

Ion Tiriac’s journey from the tennis courts to billionaire is a tale of diversification and strategic investments. The Romanian former professional tennis player has successfully transitioned into a business mogul, with interests spanning various sectors.

His conglomerate, the Tiriac Group, has made significant strides in the insurance, real estate, and automotive industries. Tiriac’s net worth of $2.1 billion reflects his ability to leverage his sports fame into a thriving business empire, making him a standout figure in the world of athlete-turned-businessman.

Anna Kasprzak: Equestrian Excellence and Financial Success

An Olympic dressage rider, Anna Kasprzak, has galloped her way to financial success, amassing a fortune of $1.46 billion. Her journey is a blend of athletic prowess and entrepreneurial spirit. Kasprzak’s success in dressage, including appearances at the Olympics, has been complemented by lucrative endorsements and business ventures within the equestrian industry. Her wealth is a testament to her sporting achievements and business acumen, making her one of the wealthiest female athletes in the world.

Magic Johnson: A Story of Success On and Off the Court

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, once a star on the basketball court, has successfully transitioned to a business leader with a net worth of $1.2 billion. His NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers was just the beginning. Post-retirement, Johnson turned his attention to business, founding Magic Johnson Enterprises.

His ventures span various sectors, including movie theaters, restaurants, and fitness clubs. Johnson’s success story is a powerful example of how athletic fame can be the foundation for a diverse and successful business career.

Tiger Woods: Teeing Up a Billion-Dollar Legacy

Tiger Woods, a name that resonates with golfing excellence, has built a financial empire worth $1.1 billion. His journey is marked by record-breaking performances on the golf course and lucrative endorsements with major brands like Nike and Bridgestone.

Beyond his earnings from golf and endorsements, Woods has smartly invested in golf courses and other business ventures. His financial success is as remarkable as his sports career, making him one of the wealthiest athletes in the world.

LeBron James: The Billionaire Playmaker

LeBron James, an 18-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA champion, has achieved a milestone that sets him apart in sports and finance. As the first active NBA player to reach billionaire status, James’ financial journey is as remarkable as his athletic career. With a net worth estimated at $1 billion by Forbes, he has demonstrated an unparalleled knack for maximizing business opportunities alongside his basketball prowess.

James’ journey to billionaire status combines high earnings from his NBA career and astute investments and endorsements. He has earned over $479 million in salary from teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers, making him the NBA’s highest-paid active player. According to Forbes, his business acumen shines through off the court, with over $900 million accumulated from endorsements and other ventures.

A significant part of James’ wealth comes from his strategic approach to partnerships, where he often opts for brand equity rather than quick paychecks. This approach is evident in his investments in companies like Blaze Pizza and smart gym-maker Tonal. Additionally, his involvement in SpringHill, a TV and movie production company, further bolsters his financial portfolio. SpringHill, valued at $725 million, counts James as its largest shareholder.

James’ real estate investments are equally impressive, with properties worth around $80 million, including a mansion in Beverly Hills. His stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns teams like the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C., adds another dimension to his diverse investment portfolio.

LeBron James’ status as a billionaire athlete is a testament to his on-court success and his savvy investment choices, business partnerships, and endorsement deals. His journey from a challenging childhood in Akron, Ohio, to becoming a global sports icon and a business mogul is a story of determination, strategic planning, and the ability to capitalize on opportunities on and off the basketball court. [8]

Michael Schumacher: Racing to Riches

Michael Schumacher, the legendary Formula One driver, has made a mark not only on the racetrack but in the world of finance, with a net worth of $780 million. His illustrious racing career, marked by numerous championships, was just the starting line. Schumacher’s endorsements, sponsorships, and wise investments have continued to fuel his financial growth post-retirement. His journey is a testament to how sporting fame can accelerate financial success.

Lionel Messi: Scoring Goals and Earning Millions

Lionel Messi, arguably one of the greatest soccer players of all time, has a net worth of $650 million. Record-breaking performances mark his journey from a football prodigy to a global sports icon for Barcelona and the Argentine national team.

Lionel Messi’s move to play for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer (MLS) is a significant step in his career, both on and off the field, particularly regarding his wealth and net worth growth. According to the MLS Players Association, Messi’s annual compensation from his contract with Inter Miami is just over $20.4 million. This figure includes a $12 million base salary and a total guaranteed payment of $20,446,667, covering his MLS deal through the 2025 season, including any marketing bonus and agent’s fees. However, it does not account for any additional agreements with the team or its affiliates or for any performance bonuses.

Messi’s financial benefits from playing in Miami extend beyond his substantial salary. The move to MLS, a growing league with increasing global visibility, offers Messi new brand endorsements and sponsorship opportunities. Playing in a major U.S. city like Miami, known for its vibrant culture and large international audience, enhances his marketability and appeal to a broader range of global brands. This increased visibility in the American market can lead to lucrative deals, potentially surpassing his earnings from playing soccer alone.

Messi’s presence in Miami and MLS can attract more attention to the league, potentially leading to increased revenue from merchandise sales, ticket sales, and broadcasting rights. As one of the most recognized and celebrated athletes globally, Messi’s influence can significantly impact the league’s financial growth, indirectly benefiting his financial standing through enhanced league contracts and sponsorships.

Additionally, Miami offers a favorable environment for personal investments, particularly in real estate and business ventures. The city’s thriving economy and status as a hub for international business provide ample opportunities for Messi to invest and grow his wealth outside soccer. His move to Miami could be a strategic decision for his soccer career, long-term financial planning, and wealth accumulation.

Lionel Messi’s move to Inter Miami in MLS is a new chapter in his illustrious soccer career and a strategic step towards enhancing his wealth and net worth. His substantial salary and the potential for increased endorsements, sponsorships, and personal investments in a thriving city like Miami positions him for significant financial growth in the coming years.[7]

Significant salary earnings, endorsements with major brands like Adidas, and lucrative sponsorship deals bolster Messi’s financial success. His wealth reflects not just his skills on the field but also his marketability off it.

Eddie Jordan: Speeding Towards Success

Eddie Jordan’s transition from a racing driver and team owner to a business magnate has been seamless, resulting in a net worth of $600 million. His involvement in Formula One as a driver and the Jordan Grand Prix team owner set the stage for his later business ventures.

Eddie Jordan’s investments in sectors like hospitality and his role as a television commentator for motorsports events have diversified his income streams, showcasing his ability to navigate the fast-paced business world with the same skill he had on the race track.

Junior Bridgeman: From the Court to the Boardroom

Ulysses Lee “Junior” Bridgeman, a former NBA player, has successfully transitioned to a business tycoon with a net worth of $600 million. His journey is a remarkable story of leveraging a sports career into a thriving business empire. Bridgeman’s investments in fast-food franchises and wine distribution have been particularly lucrative. As the CEO of Bridgeman Foods, he oversees a vast network of restaurant franchises, demonstrating how skills from the sports world can translate into business success.[8]

Key Takeaways

  • Wealth Beyond the Field: The financial achievements of these athletes demonstrate that success extends beyond sports into realms like business and endorsements.
  • Diversification is Key: Many athletes have diversified their income sources, venturing into businesses, real estate, and lucrative endorsement deals.
  • Strategic Branding: Endorsements and personal branding are crucial in elevating an athlete’s wealth, especially when aligned with their public persona.
  • Investment Acumen: Smart investments in various sectors have significantly boosted the net worth of these athletes, showing the importance of financial wisdom.
  • Global Marketability: Athletes like Lionel Messi leverage their international appeal to secure high-value contracts and sponsorships, especially when moving to new markets.
  • Legacy Building: Beyond immediate earnings, these athletes create lasting legacies, extending their influence and financial stability long after their sports careers end.


This exploration into the financial success of the world’s wealthiest athletes in 2024 illuminates a profound truth: the intersection of athletic prowess and astute business strategies can forge unparalleled paths to prosperity. These sports icons have mastered their respective games and navigated the complex terrain of global business with remarkable insight.

These top 10 richest athletes of 2024 are not just masters of their respective sports but also wizards of the business world. Their stories are a blend of athletic brilliance and shrewd business tactics, serving as an inspiration for aspiring athletes and entrepreneurs alike. Their journeys from sports arenas to the summits of financial success are a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and the ability to seize opportunities beyond the playing field.