STARNBERG, May 30, 2020
Roger Federer has become the world’s highest-paid athlete for 2020. The Swiss superstar is the first tennis player to top the annual Forbes list released on Friday, overtaking footballer Lionel Messi.
Twenty-time Grand Slam singles champion Federer earned $106.3m in the last 12 months, including $100m via endorsements.
— Forbes (@Forbes) May 29, 2020
“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.
“Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100m a year for the tennis great.”
Osaka highest-paid female athlete
Two-time major winner Naomi Osaka of Japan, who was ranked 29th on the list, earned $37.4 million the last 12 months from prize money and endorsements, and surpassed fellow tennis player Serena Williams ($36m) as the world’s highest-earning female athlete. Osaka and Williams were the only women on the list.
“To those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively fresh face with a great back story,” says David Carter, a sports business professor at University of South California’s Marshall School of Business, quoted by Forbes. “Combine that with being youthful and bicultural, two attributes that help her resonate with younger, global audiences, and the result is the emergence of a global sports marketing icon.”