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June 4, 2021

The Methodology Behind The 2021 List Of The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes


Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo ranks 19th among the world’s highest-paid athletes.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

For this year’s list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, Forbes tracked income collected between May 1, 2020, and May 1, 2021, based on conversations with dozens of industry insiders. The earnings figures are rounded to the nearest half-million (with exceptions made for Roger Federer’s and Tiger Woods’ prize-money figures, which were both well below $500,000). Off-the-field earnings numbers below $1 million are listed as $0.5 million (or “$500K” in the table).

The on-the-field earnings figures include prize money, salaries and bonuses. In cases where players continue to receive paychecks beyond May for a regular season that is typically concluded by then, as in the NBA and European soccer, we assign the full season of salary. Salary figures for the current NBA season reflect a 20% cut to players’ base salaries to account for the league’s pandemic escrow adjustment for the season. Salary and bonuses for the NBA’s 2020 bubble are not included.

The off-the-field earnings figures are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income for the 12 months leading to May 1, plus cash returns from any businesses operated by the athlete. Forbes does not include investment income like interest payments or dividends but does account for payouts from equity stakes athletes have sold. Forbes does not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees. The list includes athletes active at any point during the time frame.

Forbes – SportsMoney June 4, 2021 at 03:37PM Brett Knight, Forbes Staff

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