Successful athletes have always served as inspirations to many people. From Kobe Bryant to Serena Williams to Muhammed Ali, they have worked hard to reach the top of their fields. However, it is also true that athletes do not have the best longevity in terms of career. Despite this, a sports career can be lucrative if you land endorsements and sponsorships with Nike, Adidas, and more. But what happens when they finally retire from the sport of their choice? We are here to talk about this, especially what happens to their bank accounts!
Shaq has earned a reputation as one of the greatest basketball players to ever appear in the NBA. He had always been a formidable player the moment Orlando Magic drafted him out of Louisiana State University in 1992. He has raked in a total of $700 million in career earnings, but he has not always been the best at managing his fortune. After signing his first contract, he blew nearly a million bucks in a single day! He purchased a new car for himself, as well as one for his dad. Now retired, wisdom came with age as he is now very careful with his money. He currently has a net worth of $400 million.
This boxer has become a household name for several reasons. In 1985, he shot to stardom after turning into a pro boxer. In 2005, he hung up his gloves. While he has earned nearly $300 million over the course of his career, he blew it all. It is not a secret that he is reckless with his money. Among others, he shelled out money for a white tiger and several Ferrari NV supercars. There was a time when he was among the richest people in the sports world, but he only has a net worth of $3 million at the moment.
One of the most famous quarterbacks in history, Peyton Manning played 18 seasons for the Colts and the Broncos. He comes from a talented lineage because his father is none other than former QB Archie Manning. Eli Manning is also his brother! Even though he went into retirement in 2016, he has managed his career earnings of $248 million very well. In fact, he now has a net worth of $250 million. He managed to bring in more money with sponsorship deals with Papa John’s. Not long after he entered the NFL, he started the Peyback Foundation. The charity focuses on helping kids in need and developed a show called Peyton’s Places.
At the age of 27, Sloane Stephens remains a formidable tennis player. She is one of the best players from the United States at the moment. She was No. 3 in the world after winning the US Open and then Wimbledon. It goes without saying that this is still the early days of her career, which makes her even more impressive. She currently has a net worth of $15 million even though she has only made $8 million from her sports career. This has to do with her sponsorships with Under Armour. Her parents are both athletic, so it was a given that she would pick up their love of sports. She was already making waves in the Australian Open by the time that she was 19 years old!
This Romanian tennis player has definitely come a long way since the beginning of her career. Simona Halep has been named No. 1 in the world two times, but she has not stopped there. She has not slipped lower than the fourth spot since 2014. Not many people can claim the same thing. Apart from her achievements in sports, she signed a contract with Under Armour in February 2018. The deal is worth $1.7 million! In the past, she has worked with Lacoste, Adidas, and Mercedes-Benz Romania. Her career earnings have a total of $33 million, but she is currently worth $30 million.
Fans of Grant Hill were devastated when he finally retired from the paint in 2013. The baller has been a part of the Detroit Pistons, the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Orlando Magic in the role of small forward. His contracts helped him make more than $134 million, but he has been smart with his money. At the moment, he has a net worth of $250 million! He made more money as a co-host on Inside Stuff on NBA TV. Aside from earning money on the NBA, he also worked on deals with McDonald’s, Sprite, and AT&T.
Also known as A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez is a true sports legend no matter how you feel about him. The former baseball player was active in 22 seasons in the major league. He played for the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners, and the New York Yankees. His career earnings have brought in $480 million, but he currently has a net worth of $350 million. He has wised up and launched a company of his own. His Nike commercials have been a success. In 2017, he made headlines after coupling up with Jennifer Lopez. They got engaged two years later, although they have yet to walk down the aisle.
To a lot of basketball fans, LeBron James is the best player to have graced the NBA court. We can see why this is the case. After all, he has brought home many titles ever since he entered the league right out of high school. He brought home the AP Athlete of the Year award thrice, the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year twice, and the NBA Rookie of the Year. There is no one quite like him out there, so we can see why his contracts have been sky-high. His original earnings are worth $234 million, but his net worth now sits at $450 million. This figure is sure to go up some more since he is still active. In the past, he has taken on deals with companies such as Coca-Cola.
It does not matter whether you like tennis or not. We are sure that you know Venus Williams regardless. The California native became the No. 1 in the world in 2002. Even she is currently in No. 67, she has broken boundaries and amassed more than $40 million over the years. With her partnerships and sponsorships in the past, she has amassed a net worth of nearly $95 million. Over the years, she has lived through a car accident and overcome injuries to get to where she now is. She also has an interior design business known as V Starr Interiors, which is based in Jupiter, Florida. The company worked on the set of the Tavis Smiley Show and the Olympic apartments for the 2012 bid of NYC.
For twenty seasons, Tom Brady played for the New England Patriots. He even led the team to victory at the Super Bowl six times out of nine. He has brought home four Super Bowl MVP awards, as well as a bunch of other accolades. He is famous both on the field and off it. He earned his big break after college. During the 2000 NFL Draft, he was a six-round pick. We are glad that they did not overlook him even though he was not the overall top pick. While he is not official retired, people believe that he is planning on it. Thanks to this football career, he has earned $212 million. He is currently only worth $200 million.
Also called Pretty Boy, Floyd Mayweather was not scared of ruining his attractive face inside the ring. The boxing legend has an amazing boxing record to his name. He has won 50 games out of 50, and 27 of those were Kos. Even though he officially hung up his gloves in 2015, he came out of retirement in 2017 for one last game. Boxing aside, he has also made an appearance in WWE and Dancing with the Stars. Even though he is no longer a boxer, he remains active in the scene as a promoter. His boxing career has helped him earn $800 million, although his current net worth is only $505 million.
This hockey player is not only popular among his fans, but also among his teammates and other players. Wayne Gretzky has been called one of the best players to grace the rink. Sometimes known as “The Great One,” he broke our hearts with his decision to retire in 1999. After that, he purchased a ten percent stake in the Phoenix Coyotes. Six years after that, he started working as the head coach of the team to prove that he knows the game better than anyone else. He has also worked as the Canadian men’s hockey team executive director a couple of times. You can probably see how he turned his career earnings of $82 million to a current net worth of $200 million!
It does not happen very often, but a true icon enters the field of sports every now and then. Muhammed Ali is one of those people who took the world by storm with his natural talents and charms. At the start of his career, he was called Cassius Clay. He made it big in the boxing scene in 1954 by bringing home the Light Heavyweight gold medal during the Summer Olympics of 1960. By the time he retired in 1981, he was focused on humanitarian work and politics. He even paid a visit to Israel with the goal of asking for the release of Muslim prisoners. Over the course of his career, he made $60 million. In 2016, he passed away at the age of 74. At the time of his death, he had a net worth of $50 million to his name.
Even when he was still a young man in high school, everyone could see that Magic Johnson was an amazing basketball player. He joined the basketball program of Michigan State and further cemented his status as a talented baller. The Lakers chose him during the first round of the NBA Draft in 1979. In 1991, he retired and shocked fans with his decision. He also publicly announced that he contracted HIV. After some time away from the court, he returned to the paint but retired for good in 2000. At the age of 61, he is one of the wealthiest basketball players in history. He has a net worth of $600 million, although his career earnings only totaled $125 million. His incredible fortune might have been the result of his previous project in which he boosted Best Buy locations in different urban areas across the nation.
We are glad that more people are now paying attention to the female soccer scene. Women’s teams are getting more love! Alex Morgan is a member of the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League, which is considered the greatest in the United States. Before she joined the league in 2011, she was on the California Golden Bears at the University of California Berkeley. A year after that, she became the youngest person to join the US team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup at the age of 22. She has made a million bucks or so as a soccer player, although her published works and partnerships with brands like Panasonic and Nike have helped her boost her fortune to $3.2 million.
As you might already know by now, Michael Jordan is more than just another basketball player. This legend has an incredible net worth of $2.1 billion! Of that, only $1.7 billion came from his time on the paint. Now retired, he has brought it up thanks to his business pursuits. He is now the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets and a co-owner of an automotive company. When he is not busy with those endeavors, he runs several restaurants. This includes a steakhouse in Grand Central. We are sure that you remember his Hanesbrands commercials as well! It feels like anything that he touches turns to gold.
Well, there is a good reason Charles Barkley is called “the Round Mound of Rebound.” He enjoyed a great career in the NBA until he retired in 2000. Best known for his skills as a power forward, he intimidated even the best players in the league. It is not surprising to learn that he was a part of the US basketball team. Many people consider him one of the best players to join the NBA. Mind you, he has two Olympic gold medals to his name! As a player, he brought in $43.6 million. However, he did not leave the industry for good as he went on to be an NBA analyst after that.
If Mia Hamm did not pave the way for her successors, the world of professional women’s soccer would be more difficult for the likes of Alex Morgan. Now nearing her fifties, she led the national team to victory at the FIFA Women’s World Cup twice. She played for the North Carolina Tar Heels during her time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fun fact: she started to play for the US women’s team at the age of 15. She retired in 2004 and now has two kids and runs the Mia Hamm Foundation. Her career earnings totaled $8 million, but her current net worth is $2 million higher than that.
Even though golf is a rather niche sport, it is hard not to be familiar with Tiger Woods. He has become a global celebrity thanks to his sports career. He entered the scene in 1996 and took the world by storm not long after that. The following year, he became the top player in the world. However, his personal life has negatively impacted his career. He ended up taking a brief hiatus after allegations of his indefinitely came out. His ranking suffered as he went down to the 58th spot. He has made $1.7 billion through the sport, although he only has a net worth of $800 million. That is not bad at all!
It is amazing to see what Simone Biles has achieved at her age. She is now the most decorated gymnast in the history of the United States! She has earned the title of the all-around champion five times over the years. At the age of six, she gave gymnastics a shot. Two years later, she started to train full-time. Even though she remains active in the sport, she said that her plan was to retire after the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. She has explained that competing has a huge “emotional drain” on her. Her current career earnings total $750,000, but she has $2 million to her name through various endorsement deals.
At the beginning of 2020, everyone was shocked by the sudden death of Kobe Bryant. Together with his daughter Gigi and a few other companions, he died in a chopper crash. The 41-year-old Lakers star has inspired millions across the globe. He played twenty seasons with the team from the mid-‘90s up to 2016. He earned $323 million on the paint, but he boosted his net worth a lot. This is partly due to Kobe Inc, his own company. He also shelled out $6 million for a ten percent stake in Bodyarmor SuperDrink. It was a good idea as he saw $200 million in returns. He was worth $500 million at the time of his death.
If you are a British soccer fan, we are sure that you admire David Beckham. He ruled the pitch in the ‘90s! He is easily one of the greatest players from the United Kingdom. During his heyday, he played for the national team and Manchester United. After moving across the pond, he continued to do well for himself until he retired in 2013. He now co-owns the Inter Miami CF and Salford City. Together with his wife Victoria, he has a net worth of $450 million. His career earnings, however, totaled $730 million.
This Russian-born tennis player has become no. 1 five different times. She has proved to us that she is the best of the best. Maria Sharapova picked up the racket for the first time when she was 4 years old. Under the guidance of her father and coach, she honed her talent through the years. Her father had to work multiple jobs to pay for her lessons, and his hard work has paid off. By 2000, she was already making it big in the world of tennis. Three years later, she broke into the top 50. In 2020, she announced that she was officially retiring after making $325 million. Her current net worth is $195 million.
You are wrong if you thought that swimming is an easy sport. Mind you, it takes a lot of discipline and strength to excel in it. Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympic athlete. He racked up 28 medals before he retired for good in 2016. Born in Baltimore, he has is now a mental health advocate. In 2019, he shared this with USA Today: “Helping people means so much more to me than winning any medal.” He made $100 million as a swimmer, and he currently has a net worth of $80 million.
Most tennis players retired once they hit their thirties, although others keep at it for as long as they can. We are glad that Serena Williams is still going strong! The sport would not be the same without her. Not only is she one of the most popular athletes at the moment, but she is one of the greatest as well. In the past, she has worked with IBM, Gatorade, Pepsi, and more. She currently works as the Chief Sporting Officer of Aston Martin. Aside from that, she is on the board of directors of SurveyMonkey as well. We can see why she has a net worth of $200 million even though her career earnings only total $92 million.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
If you are on the younger side, we are sure that you know The Rock better as an actor. However, the Moana star actually got his start as a pro wrestler in the WWE promotion. Back then, he wore a black pair of shorts and threw chairs around. Even though he is now a very successful Hollywood actor, Dwayne Johnson has never failed to look back. He has remained close with WWE and made sporadic appearances for quite some time. He made $65 million until he retired for good in 2019. That is an impressive amount, but it does not hold a candle to his total net worth of $320 million.
It goes without saying that Charles Barkley is called “the Round Mound of Rebound” for a good reason. He enjoyed a great stint in the NBA until he officially retired in 2000. The dominant power forward was capable of intimidating the best of the best. He also represented the US in the Olympics. One of the greatest basketball players in history, he has two Olympic gold medals to his name. He made $43.6 million as an athlete, but he keeps making more money as an NBA analyst even though he is retired.
There are several good reasons behind the fame of Jackie Robinson. He was not only an excellent player for the Dodgers, but he also made history as the first African-American player to enter Major League Baseball. He has such a great legacy that Spike Lee even made a Budweiser commercial that paid homage to him in 2019. He made $2.8 million over the course of his career, but he had a net worth of $6 million at the time of his death. It might look small compared to current salaries, but this was a lot of money in the ‘50s. Reports say that he made about $300,000, which is equivalent to $2.8 million now.
Also called “The Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat,” Babe Ruth earned a reputation that very people do. He played for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees over the course of his career. He had a huge fan base and worked with companies like British American Tobacco’s Old Gold. The athlete was a huge commercial star thanks to his star power. He was able to make $16.5 million as a baseball player. This already takes inflation into account! At the time of his death, he was worth $16 million. In 1948, he passed away after a battle with cancer. He had only been 53 years old back then.
Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth paved the way for their successors. The list includes Mickey Mantle, who is often called the best switch hitter in the history of the sport. He took on a number of positions during his time with the New York Yankees. The athlete received a handsome yearly salary of $800,000, but he continued to make bank for years after he retired in 1969. He teamed up with Unilever for a Brylcreem commercial in the early ‘70s. In 1995, he passed away after a liver transplant. He had been 63 years old.
During his time in the MLB, Roberto Clemente showed us that he has a lot of potential. For thirteen seasons, he was an All-Star pick. He earned a lot of awards over the course of the ‘60s. In 1955, he made his debut in the league and continued to play until he died in a shocking plane crash. At the time, he was on the way to deliver relief supplies to victims of an earthquake. He had raked in career earnings of $800,000 at the time of his death. John Hancock started the Roberto Clemente Award to honor players who are both dedicated to helping those in need and talented on the pitch. What a lovely tribute.
While he is one of the most famous people in the history of sports, there was more to Muhammad Ali than his athletic prowess. Mind you, “The Greatest” was also incredibly charming and charismatic. The Olympic gold medalist made more than $60 million thanks to his career, although he had a net worth of $80 million at the time of his death. Even after he retired in 1981, he continued to work with brands like Adidas. Together with his daughter, the talented boxer also worked with Wheaties and Toyota.
Cal Ripken, Jr.
In 1981, the Baltimore Orioles got lucky when they snapped up Cal “The Iron Man” Ripken, Jr. For two decades, he remained loyal to the team until he retired in 2001. By then, he had already made a lot of money. His career earnings totaled $60 million, although he made $15 million more through his endorsement deals. By 1996, the LA Times noted that he was making bank as a commercial star! He was not only appearing in ads for Chevrolet, but he also appeared in True Value hardware campaigns.
In general, ice hockey players do not get the same amount of love as athletes in other sports. However, Gordie Howe was an exception to the rule. He dominated the rink from 1946 to 1980, spending a total of 26 seasons in the NHL. The famous athlete was a hit endorser. Among other things, he worked with Amway, Anheuser Busch’s Natural Light Beer, and more. In 2016, he passed away at the age of 88. His career earnings totaled $9 million, while he was worth $10 million. Did you know that his hometown has been celebrating a day in his honor since 1966? This is only proof of his dazzling legacy.
Also called “The Say Hey Kid,” this baseball star is best known for his time with San Francisco and New York. In 1973, Willie Mays decided to finally call it quits after a short stint with the Mets. There are not many people who have the same talent that he did. He spent 22 seasons in the game and made $2 million for his efforts. In 2017, MLB honored his legacy by changing the name of the World Series Most Valuable Player after him! Toyota is the sponsor of the award. He was worth $3 million at the time of his death.
Even though Brett Favre is best known for the time he spent with the Green Bay Packers, he also played for the Atlanta Falcons, the Minnesota Vikings, and the New York Jets. Each team benefited from having the QB on its lineup. The famous football player received $137 million for his time on the green. However, he also received a lot of great endorsement deals. He has previously worked with Hyundai, Nike, Remington, Mastercard, and more. At the moment, however, he has a net worth of $100 million.
Also called “The Hick from French Lick,” Larry Bird earned his big break when the Boston Celtics took him in during the 1978 NBA Draft. He served as a power forward and small forward for thirteen seasons and ultimately retired in 1992. By then, he already made $11 million through his basketball career. His wealth kept growing after he retired and started coaching the Indiana Pacers. He has endorsed Converse sneakers, McDonald’s McChicken Sandwich, and more. This is why he now has a $55 million net worth.
It is not a secret that Brazil makes some of the best soccer players out there. Pele is one such athlete. In his heyday, he was truly a force to be reckoned with. He is not only famous for his talents but also his unique personality. Among other things, he likes to talk about himself in the third person. Pele has the star power that big brands like in their spokesmen. We are not surprised to see how many commercials he has starred in! His career earnings are worth $90 million, but he has a net worth of $100 million.
Without a doubt, Jerry Rice is one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers player earned a lot of money during his time on the green. He played in the league from 1985 to 2006, making more than $42 million in the process. He competed on Dancing with the Stars prior to his retirement. Fans could not believe just how well he could dance! Sadly, he ultimately lost to Cheryl Burke and Drew Lachey. At the moment, he has a net worth of $55 million.
Back in the day, Joe DiMaggio was known as the crown jewel of the New York Yankees. However, his personal life was also the talk of the town. He became even more popular after he tied the knot with Marilyn Monroe in 1954. It was short-lived, but it cemented his status as a pop culture icon even more. He made $60 million over the course of his career, but he had a net worth of $50 million at the time of his death. The athlete has since been portrayed by various actors over the years.
In 1974, this remarkable athlete got his start with the Chicago Bears. Walter Payton went on to win various awards, including the NFL Man of the Year, NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and the NFL Most Valuable Player awards. As a matter of fact, he was a true record-breaker. In 1983, he earned the most expensive NFL contract ever. He raked in $7 million when he retired in 1987. In the same year, he co-hosted Saturday Night Live with Joe Montana. He was worth $3 million when he died.
Is there anything that Derek Jeter can’t do? We doubt it. The baseball shortstop played for the New York Yankees. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as soon as he became eligible for it. In 2014, he decided that it was time to retire. We are glad that the team paid him $269 million for his tenure of two decades. A lot of companies were eager to score an endorsement deal with him. Among other things, he worked with Visa, Discover Card, Visa, Gillette, and Nike. He currently has a net worth of $185 million.
“Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth,” the New York Yankees star once said. In a way, he was correct. He made sure to give it his all when it comes to his career. Sadly, he had no choice but to retire in 1939 due to his neuromuscular illness. Thanks to his short career and short life, he did not get to explore his full potential. However, he did sign a contract with Camel Cigarettes. His career earnings and net worth are both $3 million. He passed away at the tender age of 37.
Back in the day, Lance Armstrong was thought to be among the greatest cyclists we have ever seen. Sadly, his titles were stripped from 1998 onward. Despite this, he remains a big name in the sports industry. He now has a net worth of $50 million, but he made more than $125 million as a cyclist before he officially retired in 2011. In 1992, he started to cycle with the Motorola team and went on to accumulate various awards and wins. He now has a podcast and talks about sports every now and then.
This boxing star is now considered one of the greatest boxers in history! Joe Louis had an incredible championship reign of 140 months. Standing at 6 feet 2 inches, the powerhouse kicked off his pro career in 1934. He lasted nearly two decades in the sport and made $4.6 million during that period of time. Sadly, he only saw around $800,000 of it thanks to the handler’s fee. In 2008, HBO Sports released a documentary on his life. Check it out! It is called Joe Louis: America’s Hero Betrayed.
The San Francisco 49ers made the right decision when they recruited Joe Montana in 1979. He stuck with them for the following twelve seasons. During that span of time, he was dubbed the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player thrice. He received $22.5 million for his efforts but left the green in 1994. Despite this, he did not stop working! Six years after his retirement, he starred in a lucrative TiVo ad. Thanks to his autograph signings, endorsement deals, and speaking events, he has a net worth of $80 million.
This Candian-American star started playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ‘80s. He had no idea that he would own the team decades after that! During his time on the ice, he made $82 million as a player. However, he poured some of it back into the pot when the team was facing bankruptcy. To save the Penguins, he bought the team after he retired in 2006. In the past, he also worked with brands such as Nike. This explains why he currently has a net worth of $150 million.
Another old school great, Stan Musial inspired the next generation of players. Together with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, he has the record for the highest number of All-Star Games. He made around $2 million as a player for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1941 to 1963. He also partnered with cigarette brands just like his fellow baseball players did. For some time, he served as the face of Chesterfield! He was also in a Nike commercial with Michael Jordan later in life. At the time of his death, he was worth $5 million.
There is a good reason people like the New York Yankees so much. For one, they have signed up a lot of great players like Yogi Berra. He played all of his nineteen seasons with the exception of one. In 1963, he finally retired with $3 million in career earnings to his name. While this is lower than other legends, the fact of the matter is that he remains an icon. His way of speaking and sense of humor further cemented his legacy! By working with Visa and other brands, he brought his net worth up to $5 million.
A lot of players fall so hard for the game that they become incapable of leaving it behind. This guy is a great example of that. After sixteen years with the Denver Broncos, John Elway retired from the sport in 1998. He ended up working as its General Manager after that! He did not only make $45 million as a player, but he also increased his net worth to $145 million after that. Under his guidance, the team secured a lucrative sponsorship deal with Ford.
The truth is that Pat Tillman has a story that is honorable, interesting, and tragic all at once. In 1998, the Arizona Cardinals snapped him up during the draft. He ended up catching the attention of the Cardinals, who offered him a $9 million contract. He stayed put. In 2002, he decided to serve in the US Army after the events of the previous year. Sadly, he died in active duty two years later. He did not make a lot of money through endorsements due to his short career. His career earnings totaled $5 million, but he only had a million bucks to his name at the time of his death. He might be gone, but he is not forgotten.
In 2010, the Denver Broncos picked Tim Tebow up during the draft. Coach Josh McDaniels said, “He has all the traits you look for. It’s a good pick.” In the end, the player tried his hardest to prove he was right. Sadly, things did not work out very well for him. He ended up leaving the game after spending some time with the Jets, the Patriots, and the Eagles. He made $10 million in career earnings but now has a net worth of $5 million. These days, he is busy playing for the Syracuse Mets in the MLB. Aside from that, he has also been a broadcaster for Disney’s ESPN since 2017.