7 "Athletes" Who Made More Money Endorsing Products Than Playing Sports In The Past Year

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Professional athletes make more money in a year’s salary than most people make in a lifetime.

And when you add in the money made from endorsement deals, some athletes’ total earnings near the billion dollar mark.

In fact, a few of these sports figures make more money filming a commercial than playing in a giant stadium.

Especially golfers and race car drivers who make most of their money hawking products.

We’ve compiled a list of athletes who made more money on endorsements than they did playing their respective sports using Sports Illustrated’s The Fortunate 50.

Jimmie Johnson – 62% spokesman, 38% athlete

Endorsements: $12,000,000

Salary/Winnings: $7,264,780

Jimmie Johnson has endorsement deals with Lowe's Hardware, Quaker State, and Chevrolet.

Source: Sports Illustrated

LeBron James – 67% spokesman, 33% athlete

Endorsements: $30,000,000

Salary/Earnings: $14,500,000

LeBron James has endorsement deals with Nike, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and State Farm Insurance.

Source: Sports Illustrated

Kevin Durant – 70% spokesman, 30% athlete

Endorsements: $14,000,000

Salary/Earnings: $6,053,663

Kevin Durant has endorsements from Nike, Gatorade, and EA Sports.

Source: Sports Illustrated

Jeff Gordon – 76% spokesman, 24% athlete

Endorsements: $18,000,000

Salary/Earnings: $5,703,710

Jeff Gordon has endorsements from Pepsi, DuPont, Chevrolet, Quaker State, and Goodyear

Source: Sports Illustrated

Dale Earnhart, Jr. – 83% spokesman, 17% athlete

Endorsements: $22,000,000

Salary/Earnings: $4,572,930

Dale Earnhart, Jr. has endorsement deals with Wrangler jeans, Chevrolet, AMP Energy, and Adidas.

Source: Sports Illustrated

Phil Mickelson – 93% spokesman, 7% athlete

Endorsements: $57,000,000

Salary/Earnings: $4,185,933

Phil Mickelson has endorsement deals with Callaway, KPMG, Rolex, and Barclays.

Source: Sports Illustrated

Tiger Woods – 96% spokesman, 4% athlete

Endorsements: $60,000,000

Salary/Earnings: $2,294,116

Tiger Woods has endorsement deals with Nike, EA Sports, and Kowa.

Source: Sports Illustrated

BONUS: Kevin Garnett – 43% pitchman, 57% athlete

Endorsements: $14,000,000

Salary/Earnings: $18,832,044

Kevin Garnett has endorsement deals with Zico and ANTA (his long deal with Adidas recently expired).

Source: Sports Illustrated

BONUS: Peyton Manning – 39% spokesman, 61% athlete

Endorsements: $15,000,000

Salary/Earnings: $23,070,000

Peyton Manning has endorsements with MasterCard, Nabisco, and Gatorade.

Source: Sports Illustrated

BONUS: Dwyane Wade – 49.7% spokesman, 50.3% athlete

Endorsements: $14,000,000

Salary/Earnings: $14,20,000

Dwyane Wade has endorsement deals with T-Mobile, Gatorade, and Team Jordan.

Source: Sports Illustrated

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