Forbes' highest-paid retired athletes of 2016

Forbes estimated income from salaries, endorsements, licensing, speaking and appearances, golf course design etc


In this list which is their third, Forbes look at the highest-paid retired athletes estimating income from salaries, endorsements, licensing, speaking and appearances, golf course design, book deals and partner distributions during 2015.


These are the athletes; all the facts found in the listicle are according to Forbes.

1. Michael Jordan

Since retiring in 2003 the Jordan net worth has increased mainly due to the success of his brand of sneakers.

Sales of Nike’s Jordan brand rose 14% in the U.S. last year, pushing MJ’s royalty check to an estimated $100 million. Michael Jordan is worth an estimated $1.1 billion.

2. David Beckham

The former England international retired in 2013 and made $65M in 2015 which makes him second on this list.

A 5-year pact with British fashion brand Kent & Curwen worth $8 million annually, plus royalties for the collection being launched in the second half of 2016, a deal with Chinese real estate firm Luneng worth more than $5 million a year are some of the business that paid off for the former Manchester United forward.

3. Arnold Palmer

Regarded as one of the greatest golfers, Palmer earned $40M in 2015.

He remains a big deal in Asia, where there are 500 Arnold Palmer-branded stores. His eponymous line of drinks represents roughly one-quarter of revenue for AriZona Beverage Co. Palmer has owned the Bay Hill golf resort for more than 40 years.

4. Junior Bridgeman

62-year-old retired basketballer earned $32M in 2015 from his restaurant franchise business, Bridgeman Foods.

Brigeman Foods have more than 450 franchises, including Wendy’s, Chili’s and Fazoli’s locations.

5. Jerry Richardson

Although he retired in 1960, after playing two seasons in the NFL. He made a fortune in the restaurant business before bringing football to Charlotte in 1993 when he was awarded an expansion team. Richardson’s estimated earnings are a result of distributions from the Panthers and the Bojangles franchises he still owns.

He earned $30M in 2015.

6. Jack Nicklaus

He retired in 2005 and made $26 in 2015 from his golf course design company with 398 courses open for play in 41 countries and 39 states.

7. Shaquille O’Neal

Having retired in 2011, O’Neal made $22M ibn 2015 alone from selling O’Neal sold a stake in the business of Shaq in December to Authentic Brands Group.

8. Roger Penske

The former race car driver who retired in 1965 is making a lot of money from Penske Corp. which now generates north of $26 billion in revenue.

He made $20M in 2015 and remains the richest former athlete at $1.5 billion.

9. Gary Player

With earnings of $19M in 2015, the 80-year-old has his golf course design business and endorsement commitments to thank.

He has designed nearly 400 golf courses in 38 countries across 5 continents.

10. Ervin “Magic” Johnson

The former basketball player invested heavily in real estate and theater businesses. He ventured into on television (Aspire), insurance (EquiTrust) and staffing services (Magic Workforce Solutions). Magic keeps his hand in sports through his ownership stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Sparks and new L.A. MLS franchise.

He retired in 1996 and made $18M in 2015.


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