Tiger Woods has been through a lot of trouble for the last two years. Since his 2009 sex scandal, he has lost contracts with Gillette, PepsiCo AT&T, and Accenture. His golf course design company was wounded by the economic crisis. The former No. 1 golfer is suffering the longest winless streak of his career and dropped to 13th in the world rankings.
However, the golfer still tops the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes with $75 million earned last year. Woods owes his first position to two old partners – Nike and Electronic Arts. The companies did not jump ship when Tiger’s other sponsors were dropping him in the time of trouble. Tiger is still the face of Nike’s golf division that the sportswear supplier built around him while Electronic Arts launched its 14th Tiger Woods videogame. The golfer can thank these two companies for the most part of $75 million in income.
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant with $53 million was ranked second. He is the highest-paid basketball player thanks to his $24.8 million annual paycheck and contracts with Mercedes-Benz and Turkish Airlines. LeBron James from the Los Angeles Lakers’ arch rivals Miami Heat with $48 million ranked one spot lower.
Just as last year, women barely made top 50. World No. 7 Maria Sharapova is the only female athlete on the list with $24.2 million earned mostly thanks to her endorsement with Nike.