While the annual salaries of the biggest sports stars in the world are high enough to buy small tropical islands, these stars actually make the majority of their money from endorsements and sponsorships. Celebrity sponsorships are some of the best ways to promote a brand and many of the biggest athletes sign multimillion dollar deals with large companies.
Working with celebrities is a marketing gamble that does not always pay off. Those gamblers who like to bet on games rather than marketing strategies are now evaluating their NFL odds for the 2022/2023 season. Online sports betting is now legal in more states than ever before, and many gamblers are starting to make theirs bets on digital platforms as an easier and more efficient way to place the exact bets they want.
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It should be no surprise that Tom Brady is at the top of this list for highest paid NFL sponsorships. Brady recently ended his 19 year long career with the New England Patriots after winning seven Super Bowls and five Super Bowl MVP awards. He, of course, was also at the center of the “deflategate” scandal, but that has done little to change his popularity among his fans.
Brady is famous for breaking records on the field, and it is impressive that he is still an active player at the age of 45. His salary certainly reflects his talents as do his endorsement deals. His 10-year deal with Fox is reportedly worth around $37.5m annually. He also has massive deals with Under Armour and FTX, among other companies.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes is only 26 years old, but he is already one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history in terms of both athletic performance and salary. He recently signed a 10-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs worth $450m. However, the full contract including raises and bonuses will be $503m over a period of 12 years.
This mammoth contract is second only to Lionel Messi’s contract in terms of gross money. However, Mahomes also makes money from his endorsements. Mahomes has a number of different endorsement deals with major companies, including Adidas, Oakley, Head & Shoulders, State Farm, Bose, DirecTV, Essentia Water and Electronic Arts. It has been estimated that he makes about $22m annually in sponsorships, but this number could be much higher.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott is a top quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, the only NFL team he has ever played with. His contract was renewed in 2021 and he got to take home a giant $66m signing bonus, which is currently the highest ever signing bonus paid to an NFL player.
In addition to his salary, Prescott is a favorite with advertisers. He was endorsed by Adidas, but he has since transitioned to Jordan Brand for shoes and apparel. Prescott is also very tech focused and aware of future trends and innovations, so it is not surprising he also has a deal with Ethernity, which is a major NFT platform.
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
Russell Wilson became a true NFL star while playing as a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks when they won the XLVIII Super bowl. He is considered one of the greatest dual-threat quarterbacks of all time. In 2020, he became the third quarterback to ever throw for 30 touchdowns in four consecutive seasons.
Wilson has just recently made the move to the Denver Broncos and it remains unclear how he will perform with this new team. Wilson still enjoys an extremely generous annual salary in addition to a number of different endorsements from major companies such as Nike and Pepsi. He has his own fashion brand, 3BRAND which has licensing deals with Lids.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
During the 2022 NFL offseason, Aaron Rodgers signed a contract extension with the Green Bay Packers that broke all previous records. The deal between Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers made Rodgers the first person in NFL history to sign a contract worth more than $50m.
However, that contract is not Rodger’s only iron in the fire. He also makes over $10m every year from endorsements with Adidas, Fanatics and State Farm, who are some of his biggest and most generous supporters.