The 50 highest-earning American athletes
For the first time since SI.com began publishing the Fortunate 50 in 2004, Tiger Woods is not No. 1. He's not even No. 2. That honor goes once again to Phil Mickelson. The new No. 1 (for now) is Floyd Mayweather, who was unranked a year ago but scored two huge pay-per-view paydays to earn $85 million without a single endorsement.
This year's list is unique for a couple more reasons. NBA players, who have historically claimed more spots in the Fortunate 50 than any other group, had their salaries slashed by nearly 20 percent this season because of the 66-game schedule brought on by the lockout of 2011.
Our findings consisted solely of salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees. We consulted players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Our endorsement estimates for 2012 came from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salary figures were based on current or most recently completed seasons (July 1 for the NFL, which is why Drew Brees, who just signed a $100 million deal last Friday, isn't on the list). For winnings-based sports (auto racing, golf, tennis), we used the 2011 calendar year. Boxing purses are from June 2011 through May 2012. Candidates for the U.S. 50 had to be American citizens and currently active in their sports.
For the 20 highest earning international athletes, go here.
Sources: Salaries, winnings and bonus figures from players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Endorsement estimates from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Formula One estimates are from Formula Money. Salaries based on current or most recently completed seasons (exception: 2012 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (golf, auto racing, tennis), 2011 calendar year amounts used. Boxing purses are from June 2011 to May 2012.