Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy earnings pitch him up the sporting rich list

By Claire Williamson

Rory McIlroy has been named as the 12th highest paid sportsman on Earth by Forbes magazine.

The world number one golfer banked $48.3m (£31.07m) including $32m (£20.59m) in sponsorship.

Forbes' earnings figures include salaries, bonuses, prize money and appearance fees - as well as estimates on licensing and endorsement income for the past 12 months.

McIlroy's big wins will have earned him bonuses from chief sponsor Nike, with whom he has a reported $150m 10-year deal.

The 26-year-old, who has won two Majors in the last 12 months, missed the cut at the Irish Open at Royal County Down last month, which was hosted by his charitable foundation.

And despite not faring well in the treacherous conditions in Newcastle, the Holywood man donated his winnings to the Rory Foundation.

Despite a year of injuries, rival Tiger Woods retained his place in the top 10 thanks to his $50m (£32.17m) endorsements - compared to winnings of just $600,000 (£386,000).

McIlroy recently replaced Woods as the face of the PGA Golf video game.

Topping the list as the highest-paid sportsman for the second year running is boxer Floyd Mayweather who took home $300m (£193m).

According to the Forbes' figures, endorsements accounted for just $15m (£9.65m) of his income, with the majority of the American's earnings coming from last month's super-fight with Manny Pacquiao.

The bout in Las Vegas was one of the most highly anticipated fights in boxing history - and accounted for most of the $460m (£295.94m) increase in earnings of the world's top 100 athletes in 2015. Pacquiao's takings of $160m (£102.93m) comfortably made him the second-highest earner.

Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods, Mayweather and now Pacquiao are the only athletes to earn eye-watering nine-figure incomes in a single year.

In third place in the list was Real Madrid's Ronaldo, who may have lost out to Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on the field but his earnings of $79.6m (£51.21m) were nearly six million more than the Argentine's.

Messi took fourth place with $73.8m (£47.59m), of which $51.8m (£33.41m) came from wages and $22m (£14.19m) from endorsements.

American Phil Mickelson was the top-performing golfer in eighth with earnings of $50.38m (£32.81m) - $48m (£31m) from endorsements.

The highest-earning British footballer was Gareth Bale, whose $25.5m (£14.48m) salary at Real Madrid put him 18th on the list with $35m (£22.52m).


1. Floyd Mayweather$300m

2. Manny Pacquiao $160m

3. Cristiano Ronaldo $79.6m

4. Lionel Messi $73.8m

5. Roger Federer $67m

6. LeBron James $64.8m

7. Kevin Durant $54.1m

8. Phil Mickelson $50.8m

9. Tiger Woods $50.6m

10. Kobe Bryant $49.5m

Belfast Telegraph


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