Tiger Woods Tops Forbes’ 2013 World’s Highest-Paid Athletes List

By Staff  |  06/06/2013

Tiger Woods

Forbes released their 2013 "World's Highest-Paid Athletes" this week, and it's Tiger Woods returning to #1, less than a month after Sports Illustrated named boxing Floyd Mayweather the top-earner in their list last month.

Although the golf superstar tumbled down the list last year -- after losing five major sponsors, and $50 million in annual income -- he's returns to the top spot. He previously occupied the spot every year from 2001 until 2012.

According to Forbes, Woods climbs back to the top after pulling in $78.1 million over the last year from prize money, endorsements, appearance fees and golf course design work.

In the last 12 months, he had six major golf victories and boosted his prize money to $13.1 million, double his total from the prior year. He now has 78 career PGA Tour wins, only four short of the all-time record held by Sam Snead.

Off-course income comes from sponsor bonuses tied to his strong play -- including earnings from his Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game franchise with EA, which has generated $754 million in the U.S. since its initial launch in 1998. Other endorsers include Nike, Rolex, Upper Deck,and more.

Tennis pro Roger Federer lands at #2 on the list with earnings of $71.5 million -- some of which comes from 10 sponsors that collectively pay him more than $40 million annually, such as Nike, Rolex, Wilson and Credit Suisse. He added Moet & Chandon to the mix in November. He also earned $14 million from six events.

Kobe Bryant lands at #3 with $61.9 million; LeBron James ranked #4 with $59.8 million; and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees rounds out the top five with $51 million.

Other familiar names on the list include NFL stars Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning; NBA stars Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony; soccer stars David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo; and Nascar superstar Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Later in the list, boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao tied for #14, both earning a reported $34 million.

Check out the full list over at Forbes.com.