Usain Bolt Tops Athlete Sponsorship Table at London 2012

August 10, 2012

With London 2012 in the final lap new research has revealed athletes with the biggest sponsorship gains during the Olympics with Usain Bolt topping the table.

Sponsorship Today created the list which includes only those athletes whose endorsements are derived mainly from their activities as Olympians. It does not, therefore, include the big name basketball or tennis stars or even cyclist Bradley Wiggins, whose endorsements now come from his status as the winner of the Tour de France.

The list is, unsurprisingly, topped by Usain Bolt, who earns at least $20m per year, including a $9m deal from PUMA to be its global brand ambassador. Interesting Bolt is the only ‘Olympic’ athlete to make Forbes’ top 100 earners among sports stars – a list dominated by NFL, MBL, NBA and soccer stars with the odd tennis player and golfer included.

The other three ‘big earners’ on the Olympic list are Michael Phelps, whose record breaking feats put him over the $7m annual mark, Winter Olympian, Kim Yuna from South Korea and China’s Liu Xiang. The latter two demonstrate the growth of sponsorship in Asia in the past decade. Indeed Xiang was reported to earn $15m in 2008 when he was ‘poster boy’ for the Beijing Games.

Here’s the list:

1. Usain Bolt. Sprinter, Jamaica, $20m. Sponsors: Puma ($9m p.a), Visa, Gatorade, Nissan, Hublot, Virgin Media.

2. Kim Yuna. Ice skater, South Korea, $9m. Sponsors: Kookmin Bank, Nike, Korean Air, Hyundai.

3. Michael Phelps. Swimmer, USA, $7m. Sponsors: Speedo, Visa, Omega, and Under Armour.

4. Liu Xiang. Sprint hurdler, China, $4m (estimate). Sponsors: Nike, Visa, Chevrolet, Yili milk, China Mobile, Coca-Cola.

5. Yelena Isinbayeva. Pole vaulter, $2.7m (estimate) Russia. Sponsors: Li Ning ($1.5m), P&G, Visa.

6. Lolo Jones. Sprint hurdler, USA, $2.7m (estimate). Sponsors:  BP, Asics, Oakley, P&G, Red Bull.

7. Ryan Lochte. Swimmer, USA, $2.3m. Sponsors: Speedo, Mutual of Omaha, Gillette, Gatorade, P&G, Ralph Lauren, Nissan, AT&T.

8. Sanya Richards-Ross. Sprinter, USA, $2m. Sponsors: Nike, Inc, BP, BMW, Citibank, Amway.

9. Oscar Pistorius. Sprinter, South Africa, $2m. Sponsors: Nike, Thierry Mugler, Oakley, BT.

10. Jessica Ennis. Heptathlete, UK, $1.7m. Sponsors: Adidas BP, British Airways, Aviva, Powerade, Olay.

11. Sir Chris Hoy. Cyclist, UK, $1.5m. Sponsors: Kellogg’s, Harrods, Highland Spring water, Adidas, Scottish Power.