Woods Still Ranks as World’s Most Influential Athlete

May 19, 2011

Despite the fact that he will drop out of the top 10 in golf’s world ranking next week, Tiger Woods is still the sporting world’s biggest superstar, remaining as the world’s most influential athlete, besides being its highest earning one, coming in sixth in Forbes‘ latest annual ‘Celebrity 100 List’, which ranks the most powerful people in the entertainment business.

‘The Celebrity 100’ is a measure of entertainment-related earnings and media visibility (exposure in print, television, radio and online). Forbes also measures social media power by looking at each celebrity’s presence on Facebook and Twitter. The earnings consist of pretax income between May 1, 2010, and May 1, 2011.

At US$75m, Woods is down $30m from last year’s $105m earnings which placed him 5th on Forbes’ list in 2010. Despite taking major endorsement hits following the scandal that ended his marriage, Woods still made $22m more than basketball all-star Kobe Bryant in the past year, Forbes said.

The second highest sports star, a long way behind Woods, is National Basketball Association (NBA) and Miami Heat’s LeBron James with $48m, up $5 million from last year and ahead of Bryant in the power stakes. 

Tennis star Roger Federer was 25th on the list, placing him fourth among athletes, while other sports figures on the list included David Beckham and Phil Mickelson (tied at No. 35), Cristiano Ronaldo (No. 43), Rafael Nadal (No. 46), Tom Brady (No. 55), Dwight Howard (No. 59), Lionel Messi (No. 62), Peyton Manning (No. 72), Maria Sharapova (No. 80) and Serena (No. 84) and Venus Williams (No. 86).

All told, Forbes said the 19 athletes on the list this year earned a combined $647m. Among those from the sports world who were ranked in 2010 but fell off the most recent Forbes celebrity list were Michael Jordan (20th in 2010), Floyd Mayweather (31st), Shaquille O’Neal (52nd), Manny Pacquiao (55th) and Lance Armstrong (65th).