Bankable: 5 Mindblowing Athlete Endorsement Deals


As if athletes didn’t make enough on the court or the field, now players are making tens, if not hundreds, of million dollars from sponsors. In some cases, athletes are making more money from sponsors than in salary for their sport. In the wake of LeBron’s recent endorsement deal with Nike, the time has come to really examine the other incredible endorsement deals that have been signed in recent years. Here are the top 5 endorsement deals that are in effect today.


  1. LeBron James and Nike

Within the last couple months, LeBron James and Nike agreed to terms on a deal that would keep the Cleveland Cavalier star with Nike forever. The lifetime deal is projected to be worth over $500 million. As it stands, this is the largest endorsement deal in history, but the way things are going, how long will it stand?


  1. Michael Jordan and Nike

Although Jordan did not sign a lifetime deal in the way LeBron did, Jordan benefits from his Jordan shoe brand, under the Nike name. Jordan shoes remain as one of the most popular and bring Jordan an estimated $60-$100 million each year.


  1. Kevin Durant and Nike

10 years, $300 million. Those are the specifics on the deal signed between Durant and Nike in 2014. That puts Durant’s annual earnings from Nike at around $30 million per year, which is $12 million more than he makes on the court playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.


  1. James Harden and Adidas

Harden is the lone member on this list not attached to the Nike brand. Though he was signed with Nike, he was pulled away by rival Adidas’ 13 year, $200 million offer. Nike declined to match Adidas deal and allowed Harden to make the switch.


  1. Cristiano Ronaldo and Nike

Cristiano is the best soccer player on the planet, so it’s fitting that he is the only one on the list. The international superstar is not only one of the highest paid athletes for his time on the field, he also pulls in $9 million from Nike alone. This pairs with his other major endorsement deal for around $30 million in total annual endorsements.

–Michael Hersey