The highest paid athletes in sport in 2020

Although in the sports world it is men who make the most money, these are the athletes who managed to position themselves in the Forbes ranking .

Naomi Osaka wearing a mask

These are the highest paid women in sport. / Photo: IG / naomiosaka

LatinamericanPost| Juan Manuel Bacallado

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Leer en español: ¿Y las mujeres? Las atletas mejor pagadas del deporte en 2020

Every year Forbes, a magazine specialized in finance issues, publishes the ranking of the 100 highest paid athletes of the year, in the month of May 2020 the last update was released in which it was evidenced that the sports stoppage due to the pandemic had consequences on the income of athletes, which in general had a fall of 9%. Although the percentage does not seem like too much, it is the first time that this has happened since 2016. In spite of everything, it has been the sponsorships that have “saved” many athletes, such as Roger Federer, who despite not playing a tennis game since the beginning of the year,  became the only tennis player to place in  the top spot in the ranking, with $ 106 million in revenue, of which $ 100 million came from sponsorships, according to Forbes.

As for women, they are barely present on the list and according to Mundo Deportivo, since the creation of the ranking in 1990, a tennis player is always the one who occupies the first place among women, also since 2004 the first place has been shared only between the hands of the American tennis player Serena Williams and the former Russian tennis player María Sharápova, however for 2020 this has changed and we must go to position 29 on the list to find the first woman, which in this case is Naomi Osaka, a Japanese tennis player who currently ranks 10th in the WTA Women's Tennis Ranking.

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However, the main issue about the highest paid women in sport is their almost non-existent presence in the ranking, since this 2020 there are only two women among the 100 highest paid athletes, and beyond being a very low participation, Forbes reviews that it is the first time since 2016 that there are two women present in the ranking, since in the last four years only Serena Williams had represented women's sport while before Sharapova had been accompanying her.

It should be noted that according to As, women's sport has reported growth in recent years, in fact a survey conducted by Nielsen Sports revealed that at least 88% of people interested in sports in general are also interested in some female sport , and of that 88% the majority are male, although these results come from a market that Nielsen considers key for sports (United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand). However, in financial terms, women's sport has not yet been promoted, since for example only 1% of the investment in sponsorships is directed to this segment

2. Serena Williams

The 38-year-old women's tennis legend with 23 Grand Slam wins ranks 33rd among the highest-earning athletes, with a total of $ 36 million earned before taxes, in a year so paralyzed for tennis, Serena has won 4 million dollars through prizes and 32 million dollars from endorsements.

The image of Serena Williams outside the world of sport is also recognized, mainly for supporting women's sport and confronting certain tennis rules that affected women, such as when she wore a “postpartum” suit when she rejoined tennis after having her first daughter, and was vetoed by Roland Garros for "not complying with female dress codes", which Serena continued to press until the Women's Tennis Association allowed the use of her suit, although Wimbledon and Roland Garros they will continue not to accept it, according to the newspaper As.

Serena's sponsors include brands such as Nike (which has supported her in the manufacture of her postpartum suit), Beats Electronics, JP Morgan, Gatorade, among others.

1. Naomi Osaka

When Japan's Osaka was born, Serena Williams had already won her first Grand Slam, the 22-year-old tennis player became popular after winning two consecutive Grand Slam between 2018 and 2019, which boosted her contracts with sponsors. She is currently the highest paid athlete in the world and 29th in the general ranking, her income this last year was 37.4 million dollars, making her the female athlete who has accumulated the most money in the history of the ranking. According to Forbes review, Osaka's popularity is also due to the fact she is a “fresh” face in women's tennis as well as being bicultural, bringing together audiences from Asia and the United States (Japanese mother and Haitian-American father), which is ideal for sports marketing.

Osaka has important sponsors such as Nike, Nissan, MasterCard, P&G, among others, so its income from the sponsorship was 34 million dollars and 3.4 million in sports awards.



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