Tiger Woods only plays 7 tournaments, still highest paid athlete by 2.5x

tiger woods

Michael Jordan used to say that he had become a brand, not a person. Michael Jordan played basketball. Air Jordan made him the greatest ever.

Well, it seems like Tiger Woods was listening.

Despite an 8 month layoff and only competing in 7 events in the last year, Tiger Woods still topped Forbes.com list of highest paid athletes. Not only does he top the list, but he blasts the competition out of the sand, earning 2.5 times the next highest earner.

Tiger missed a number of tournaments after his one-legged win last year at Torrey Pines for the U.S. Open. Knee surgery also eliminated his overseas appearance fees. Oh yeah, and Buick pulled out of their contract with Tiger a year early because of the Chrysler debacle. But because of Nike, Tiger Gatorade, and AT&T — whose logo now resides on Tiger’s bag where the Buick logo used to be — Tiger still pulled in a staggering $110 million. Oh yeah, and now he has his own golf course design business.

Tied for 2nd on the list with a paltry $45 million in income are Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Kimi Raikkonen (highest paid Formula 1 driver). Rounding out the top 10 are Beckham ($42 million), Lebron, Phil Mickelson, Manny Pacquaio ($40 million each), motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi ($35 million), and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ($34 million). A-Rod ranked 13th.

I think it’s safe to say Tiger has made himself into a brand.

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