The world’s best athletes have plenty of opportunities to bank on their popularity. Besides lucrative sports contracts, most of them earn even more significant profits from heavy endorsement deals.
Although the MMA fighter Conor McGregor grasps the top of this list, most of the world’s highest-paid athletes come from another sport.
According to data presented by SafeBettingSites.com, NFL players top the ranking of the highest-paid athletes with combined earnings of over $837 million.
18 NFL Players Among the Highest-Paid Athletes, Basketball Follows with 13 Players on the List
In 2021, Conor McGregor racked up on and off-field earnings of around $180 million. However, the fighter was the only athlete from his discipline to make it into the Forbes` Top 50 highest-paid athletes list.
Statistics show the National Football League convincingly leads in this ranking with 18 NFL stars who made it into the top 50. However, Dak Prescott, as the highest-paid NFL player and fourth highest-paid athlete globally, earned much more than other NFL stars. In 2021, the famous quarterback racked up $107.5 million, 40% more than Tom Brady as the next NFL name on the list.
Basketball ranked as the second-highest-paid sport globally, with 13 players on the Forbes list. As the highest-paid basketball player and fifth highest-paid athlete globally, LeBron James made $96.5 million in on and off-field earnings this year. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry followed with $75 million and $74.5 million, respectively.
Although soccer represents the third highest-paid sport with eight players who made it to the list, Lionel Messi ranked as the second-highest-paid athlete globally with $130 million in this year’s earnings.
Roger Federer, Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic were the only tennis players who made it to the top 50 list, with $90 million, $60 million, $41.5 million, and $34.5 million in earnings, respectively.
18 NFL Stars Earned Over $837 Million in 2021
As the highest-paid golf player and twelfth highest-paid athlete globally, Tiger Woods racked up $60 million in 2021, much more than Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson as the other two golf stars on this list.
The Formula 1 driver, Lewis Hamilton, made $82 million in on and off-field earnings in 2021, ranking eight among the highest-paid athletes. Max Verstappen, who arrived in Formula 1 at the age of 17 as the youngest driver ever to have competed in the series, was the second name from the auto racing world to enter the Forbes list with $42.5 million in this year’s earnings.
Statistics show the combined earnings of the 18 NFL stars from the Forbes list hit more than $837 million this year. Basketball players who made it to the list racked up $683.5 million in 2021. Soccer players followed with $527 million in combined earnings.
New research from PlayUSA finds the players who give more bang for their buck.
Salary to performance ratio finds Dallas Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott to be the most cost-effective QB, with a cost of $28,902 per touchdown.
Survey finds Tom Brady to be the most ‘overvalued’ player in the league, according to fans.
The astronomical salaries of sports stars across the world is constantly under the scrutiny of fans and the media, and none more so than the National Football League (NFL). The income that sports like these gather means that their players are inevitably paid huge sums for their service, but is this reflected by their performance?
PlayUSA have compared the key stats for every NFL player with their wages to find the most cost-effective players. From the amount Eli Manning is paid per touchdown pass to the price of every sack DeMarcus Lawrence makes for the Cowboys, this interactive tool shows it all. Our research has also compiled each teams statistics to determine how well the most and least frugal teams perform.
In our survey, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning were top when asked who the ‘unsung’ heroes of the league were, but who were last season’s most cost-efficient QBs?
Cost-Effective Cowboys – Dak Prescott threw for an impressive 22 touchdowns in an otherwise unimpressive season for the Cowboys. His low salary gave him a score of $28,902 per touchdown.
Unsung Rodgers? With a salary exceeding $20 million, Packers’ Aaron Rodgers isn’t as undervalued as fans think, costing over $1.2 million per touchdown.
This season, Odell Beckham has become the highest paid wide-receiver, but in an injury-plagued season for Beckham, which receiver gave teams the most value?
Runaway Robby – New York Jets receiver Robby Anderson’s 7 touchdowns at a cost of $77,619 per score makes him the most cost-effective wide-receiver in the league.
High score Hopkins – No player got close to the Texans’ scorecard in 2017, but with a salary of $18 million, his cost-to-performance ranks worse than his peers.
Frivolous Falcons – Often considered as the best wide-receiver in the league, Julio Jones made more yards than any player, but made a mere 3 touchdowns at a cost of $4.6 million per score.
Fans often regard the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Greg Olsen as the league’s best tight-ends, but who offers the best return on investment?
Cash-cow Kroft – Bengals tight-end Tyler Kroft made 7 touchdowns from 42 of his receptions last season, and with a modest salary he ranks as the most cost-effective TE.
Million Dollar Man – Jimmy Graham’s 10 touchdowns last year for the Seahawks gave him a cost-per-score ratio of $1 million.
For the league’s running backs, we’ve compared salary to both touchdowns and yards per game to find the most economical throughout the league.
The Saint of New Orleans – With an impressive 13 touchdowns and 45.5 yards on average per game, Alvin Kamara comes out as the most cost efficient RB in the league.
The Price of Ivory – With only 2 touchdowns all year, Jaguars’ Chris Ivory ranks as the least cost-effective with a value of nearly $3 million.
Defense will almost always be considered as the true unsung heroes of the sport, but who’s cheap salary and high performance has gone under the radar?
Big Tackling Burgess – Cleveland Browns Linebackers James Burgess cost his team less than any other, with a cost-per-tackle score of $10,568 for the season.
Tackling Teammates – Fellow Browns’ star Chris Kirksey made a mammoth 86 tackles last season, but his $5 million salary means he’s not as cost-effective as his colleague.
Defensive Backs (Safety/Cornerbacks)
Much of the work of the defensive backs goes unseen, but without them many teams would be at a loss. These are the players that do their utmost to earn their keep:
Top scorer across the board – Kevin Byard of the Tennessee Titans outperforms everyone in the strong safety rankings, with the most interceptions (8) and the lowest cost per action score. $105,354.
Leading the Charge – Los Angeles Chargers free-safety Tre Boston made 56 tackles and 5 interceptions last year, making him one of the most cost-effective defensive players in the ranks.
Defensive ends and tackles are typically some of the biggest and strongest men in the sport, but who among them pulls their weight in terms of performance.
Sack City – Jaguars defensive-end Yannick Ngakoue made 12 sacks and 24 tackles putting him in one of the top spots for return on investment in the defensive line.
Defensive Dallas – Cowboy’s defensive tackle David Irving brings home a comparatively low salary of $470,000, completing 7 sacks, 13 tackles and 1 forced fumble in the regular season.
If any aspect of the game is truly overlooked, it’s the special teams. These positions can often win games, but at what cost?
Bolting in Baltimore – Ravens Kick-return Alex Collins averages 27.4 yards on every return which, when compared against his salary, comes at the price of $18,549 per average yard.
The Kansas Kicker – Harrison Butker boasts a strong field goal % with 38 made out of 42 and ranks as the most cost-effective kicker in our ranks.
The study found that 81% of fans believe that better performance warrants better pay, and while some teams seem to be stepping up to the mark, others are lagging behind. You can find how your favourite team or player score in the interactive tool here.
Learfield Licensing Partners, a trademark management company specializing in collegiate licensing and branding, announces that National Tailgate Weekend has appointed Josh Capon, the world-renowned, New York City based Executive Chef behind critically acclaimed eateries including Lure Fishbar, B&B Winepub and El Toro Blanco, as official Chef Partner and Brand Ambassador of the holiday.
National Tailgate Weekend returns for another year on October 7-8, 2017. The annual holiday, which made its debut in Fall 2016, was created to give college football fans a proper platform to celebrate a favorite pastime: tailgating. In only its second year, more than 600 schools across the country are set to participate in the annual holiday. Leading up to the weekend, Chef Capon will be providing tailgating tips, sharing his favorite recipes and will host the official National Tailgate Weekend party at Purdue University as they take on conference rival, University of Minnesota.
“Tailgating is truly one of my favorite things, there’s nothing better than grilling and hanging out in a parking lot before the big game or even a concert,” says Josh Capon. “Several years ago, my friends and I formed a tailgate themed fundraiser called ‘The Tailgate with a Cause,’ and we’re pleased to share that, moving forward, the charity will become the official charity of National Tailgate Weekend and we thank Learfield for their generous donation.” adds Capon.
Chef Capon will share tips, recipes and demonstrations via National Tailgate Weekend’s website and social media channels. The website will constantly evolve with new content and will provide visitors with links to retailers, products, tailgate tips and more. All social media will be anchored with #nationaltailgate.
“Simply put, Josh is the king of the tailgate. We couldn’t be happier to have him on board with National Tailgate Weekend,” says Eric Johnson, COO of Learfield Licensing. “Josh is an expert behind the grill and has a true passion for all things tailgating. We look forward to kicking this relationship off and sharing his tailgating tricks of the trade and recipes leading into the official weekend.”
For 2017, in addition to confirming more than 600 schools to participate and a celebrity chef, a number of retailers (including Amazon, Follett, Barnes & Noble, Rally House, Scheels, and LIDS, etc.) and several licensees (including Wincraft, LogoBrands, Victory Tailgate, Tervis, Boelter Brands, Top of the World, etc.) will partake in the holiday. This year, the focus has been on creating content and extending the reach of the holiday via curating a group of leading licensees and retailers.
ABOUT NATIONAL TAILGATE WEEKEND
Before the seats are filled, the coin is flipped or the ball is kicked off, the real gameday experience begins when thousands congregate to pay respect to their beloved team through the timeless tradition of tailgating. Founded and created by Learfield Licensing Partners in 2016, National Tailgate Weekend is an annual holiday that celebrates tailgating. For fans across the country, tailgating is just as important as gameday as the actual game. It provides fans opportunities to showcase their school spirit in some of the most fun and creative ways. Looking to celebrate the rabid fanbases of college football’s love of tailgating, Learfield Licensing Partners developed the holiday and will be celebrated annually during the first weekend in October.
Josh Capon is the seasoned executive chef and partner behind Lure Fishbar, B&B Winepub, El Toro Blanco, and Bowery Meat Co, in New York City’s stylish Soho and Bowery neighborhoods. He became executive chef of Lure Fishbar in 2004 and in 2010, owners John McDonald and Joshua Pickard asked Capon to partner with them in their newest restaurant, B&B Winepub. Capon is the five-time winner of the People’s Choice award at the New York City Wine Festival’s Burger Bash event for his “Bash-Style” burger, a juicy patty topped with American cheese, pickles, caramelized onions and bacon jam. He has appeared on numerous television shows including The Chew, Rachel Ray Show, Live with Kelly and Michael, CBS Early Show, TODAY and Food Network and has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out New York and other media outlets.
ABOUT LEARFIELD LICENSING
Learfield Licensing Partners is a world-class licensing firm whose services and success align perfectly with Learfield’s history, strength and reputation within the industry. We strive to provide the best practices and strategies in the industry to properly protect and promote our clients’ brands, and couple that with new resources and strategies for growth with help from Learfield, which has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape. Learfield manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for more than 125 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas, and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the Learfield Directors’ Cup. For more than four decades, Learfield has connected brands to the excitement, passion, tradition, fun and fans of college sports and now leverages multiple platforms and partnerships through distinct offerings through its affiliated companies
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