Reuters

Tiger Woods still No. 1 earning athlete

Wed, 21 Jul 23:03:00 2010

* Tiger still tops SI.com's US list despite 10 pct decline

* US athletes' avg up 11 pct to $26.2 mln, intl up 1.7 pct

* Tiger Woods also tops Forbes' global rankings (Adds Forbes figures throughout)

Professional golfer Tiger Woods has been off his game since his extramarital affairs were exposed last year, but he is still the world's highest earning athlete, according to two lists released on Wednesday.

Woods claimed the top spot on a 2010 U.S. list of 50 athletes for the seventh consecutive year compiled by Sports Illustrated's SI.com, though his total earnings fell 10 percent to $90.5 million. His total is also down 40 percent from $127.9 million in 2008.

Woods also topped Forbes magazine's 2010 list of the top 50 earning athletes in the world at $105 million, down 4.5 percent from last year as the star golfer has lost such sponsors as Accenture Plc and AT&T Inc . It was the ninth consecutive year he topped the Forbes list.

Overall, the average earnings for the entire U.S. list at SI.com rose 11 percent to a record $26.2 million, and were up 1.7 percent to $30 million for 20 international stars.

Tennis star Roger Federer, at $61.8 million, bumped soccer player David Beckham from the top spot he had held the last two years on the international list, SI.com said.

Woods' earnings for the 2010 list are comprised of $20.5 million in earnings and $70 million in endorsements from such sponsors as Nike Inc and Electronic Arts Inc , SI.com said. Woods' endorsement earnings fell $22 million from last year's list.

Woods' personal life took center stage for fans after a car accident outside his Florida home last November brought to light extramarital affairs and led him to make a public apology. He has played several tournaments since his April return from a self-imposed, five-month exile but has yet to win.

Rival golfer Phil Mickelson came in second on the 2010 U.S. list at $61.7 million, and the top 10 included four players from the National Basketball Association, led by LeBron James at No. 4 ($45.8 million), SI.com said.

The top 10 also included boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr (No. 3 at $60.3 million), two Major League Baseball stars, including Alex Rodriguez at No. 5 ($37 million), and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning of the National Football League (No. 9 at $30.8 million), SI.com said.

On the international list, Federer jumped from No. 9 last year as his earnings doubled, while Beckham slipped to No. 3 at $40.5 million behind FIFA world soccer player of the year Lionel Messi at $44 million, according to SI.com.

Rounding out the international top five were soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo ($40 million) and boxer Manny Pacquiao ($38 million), SI.com said.

Basketball player Allen Iverson, No. 8 on last year's U.S. list, dropped entirely out of the top 50, SI.com said. Tennis player Maria Sharapova was the only female athlete to make either list, ranking No. 20 on the international list at $19.9 million.

Rounding out Forbes' top five were boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr ($65 million), NBA star Kobe Bryant ($48 million), Mickelson ($46 million) and Beckham ($43.7 million). Federer ($43 million), James ($42.8 million) and Pacquiao ($42 million) were next on the list, which previously ranked the top 20.

The full SI.com lists are available at http://www.si.com/fortunate50. The Forbes list can be viewed at http://www.forbes.com/sportsmoney. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

 

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