Two Nigerians Make Forbes World’s 50 Highest-Paid Athletes 2023 List

The cutoff for the top 50 this year is $45.2 million, up an astonishing 20% from the previous record of $37.6 million, set just last year. In all, the 50 athletes hauled in an estimated $3.44 billion over the last 12 months before taxes and agents’ fees, up 16% from last year’s record of $2.97 billion.

Of that new total, $2.36 billion came on the field in the form of salaries, bonuses and prize money—an all-time high, of course, smashing 2022’s $1.91 billion thanks in part to the Middle Eastern money pouring into sports. The off-field figure of $1.08 billion—from athletes’ endorsements, appearances, licensing and memorabilia income, and other business endeavors—is also a new high, edging 2022’s $1.06 billion.

#11 Giannis Antetokounmpo $87.6M

Athlete, NBA

- In December 2020, Antetokounmpo signed a five-year, $228 million supermax extension with the Bucks, with an opt-out after the fourth year.

- Antetokounmpo was named the NBA's MVP for 2018-19 and 2019-20 and was also defensive player of the year for the latter season.

- The first MVP nod triggered huge bonuses from sponsors like Nike, which extended its deal with the Greek Freak in 2017.

- Nike released the Zoom Freak 1 in 2019; it was the largest initial signature shoe launch in Nike basketball history.

- Disney secured a deal in 2020 to develop a movie around Antetokounmpo's life, along the lines of "The Blind Side." The film, titled "Rise," was released on Disney+ in June 2022.


Amazon, Breitling, Come Ready Foods LLC, Epic Games, Google, JBL, Meta, Nike, Unilever

#28 Anthony Joshua


Athlete, Boxing

- Joshua won his first 22 pro fights and was a world heavyweight champion from 2016 to 2019, until a stunning loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.

- The Brit avenged the loss later in 2019 with a unanimous decision. He lost twice to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022 but got back on track with a win over Jermaine Franklin in April 2023.

- He has a massive social media following, with 26 million followers across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Audemars Piguet, DAZN, Under Armour

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