As tennis star Roger Federer officially retires this week, fans and supporters look back on a long career and a history of building wealth.
- Roger Federer is one of the most financially successful athletes in any category.
- Endorsements, along with appearance fees and other business ventures, have earned him nearly $1 billion.
- His wealth puts him above other billionaire athletes LeBron James and Tiger Woods.
- During that career, Federer has risen to become the highest paid athlete in tennis, even ranking near the top of Forbes lists of highest paid athletes.
- The 41-year-old tennis player will complete his final game today in a doubles match with teammate Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup in London, completing a 24 year career.
Why it’s news
Before modern day professional sports, athletes would sometimes have to work part time jobs during the season to stay afloat. Now, with multimillion dollar deals and endorsement and advertising contracts, professional athletes often top the world’s richest.
Creating wealth, and holding onto it, as an athlete means more than winning on the court, it means establishing revenue outside of the sport.
Federer has achieved his wealth in a large part through endorsements with high-end businesses like Rolex, clothing retailer Uniqulo, and Swiss companies like Lindt. He also works alongside equipment manufacturers like Wilson, car makers like Mercedes-Benz and shaving company Gillette.
At his peak, Federer could expect to be paid between $2 and $3 million to play in smaller tournaments or exhibitions, sometimes more depending on the event.
For the last 16 years, Federer has consistently ranked as the highest paid athlete in tennis. Last year, the player made $90 million before expenses, Brett Knight reports in Forbes.
Federer ranks seventh on Forbes’ list of highest paid athletes in the world. Of the $90.7 million he has earned from May 2021 to May 2022, $700,000 came from tennis match winnings. His earnings place him ahead of LeBron James and Tiger Woods.
The tennis player’s earning’s peaked at $106.3 million in 2020, placing him at the top of Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes. While this was the only time that Federer made the top of the list, he has been in the top ten every year since 2009.
In 2020, $100 million of his earnings came from endorsement deals and appearance fees.
Since starting his professional career in 1998, Forbes estimates that Federer has earned $130.6 million in prize winnings. Despite the impressive number, the prize winnings are only 12% of his total career earnings. Federer’s real earnings come from $1 billion in endorsements, appearance fees, and other business ventures.