The 10 highest earning U.S. athletes

This year, the Sports Illustrated Fortunate 50 list is a joint effort with Fortune. The 10th annual list is headlined by a boxer, but dominated by baseball players, who take up half of the spots. Here are the top 10.

football money

Each year since 2004, Sports Illustrated has produced its deeply researched, ranked list of the 50 highest earning active athletes. This year, for the first time, the list is a joint effort between SI and Fortune.

Compiling the Fortunate 50 is a complex and multifaceted operation. Estimating endorsement deal values is a risky game, and even player salaries from their sport, which are more easily attainable, are not always publicly known in their exact totals.

Last year, the sports world was surprised to see boxer Floyd Mayweather sitting atop the herd at No. 1. This year he's there again. Mayweather's new deal with Showtime -- he ditched HBO -- gets him some $45 million for a single fight, thanks to a high guaranteed purse and sizable cut of the pay-per-view returns. Apart from boxer Floyd, this year's 50 includes 25 baseball players, 12 basketball players, 9 football players, two golfers and a NASCAR driver.

Flip through to see the rest of this year's top 10. Then, head to SI.com for the full 50 and the international list as well.


The Fortunate 50 measures salary, winnings, bonuses and endorsements based on consulting players' associations, tour records, online databases, agents and media reports. The endorsement estimates come from a stable of marketing executives, agents, and other experts. Candidates for the Fortunate 50 must be U.S. citizens or play in a U.S.-based league. Endorsements reflect current deals, and salaries are based on current or most recently completed seasons (e.g., NFL salaries come from the season that ended in February). For auto racing and tennis, prize money came from the 2012 calendar year. Golf earnings are from July 1, 2012 through April 21, 2013. Boxing purses are from August 2012 through May 2013 (but projected money from bouts scheduled through September were included).
  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated May 15 2013 02:32 PM ET
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