WTA’s Maria Sharapova and Li Na The Only Women On Forbes List Of 100 Top Paid Athletes

Maria Sharapova

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but only 2 women made Forbes list of highest paid athletes over the last year. Those two women were both tennis players, Maria Sharapova and Li Na. What kind of surprises me is Serena Williams not making the list. The cut-off was pretty high though, at $16.6 million. Also, for many of the same reasons Li Na is on the list makes me think one day the LPGA’s Yani Tseng will make the list. Taiwan is a different country (in my eyes) than China, but I think Yani will ride the appeal of being a global superstar of Chinese heritage to one day be on the list. Especially as golf expands in Asian markets. As it is, here are the capsules from Forbes:

Maria Sharapova: $27.9 million ($22 million endorsements/$5.9 million prizemoney)

The world’s highest-paid female athlete earns much more off the court than on it, thanks to deals with Evian, Head, Nike, Samsung and Tag Heuer. Sales for the Maria Sharapova Collection, her line of products at Nike subsidiary Cole Haan, doubled last year. Her ballet flat is the best selling female shoe for Cole Haan. Next up: her own candy company called Sugarpova. – Forbes

Li Na

Li Na: $18.4 million ($17 million endorsements/$1.4 million prizemoney)

Li was a 28-year-old journeyman tennis player with three career WTA victories before 2011 when she reached two Grand Slam finals and won the French Open title. The win in Paris made her the first Chinese tennis player ever to win a Grand Slam event. Despite the sluggish overall sponsorship market, she signed seven multimillion-dollar endorsement deals after the historic win. Li shills for Babolat, Haagan-Daaz, Nike, Samsung and Mercedes, as well as multiple Chinese companies. – Forbes

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6 thoughts on “WTA’s Maria Sharapova and Li Na The Only Women On Forbes List Of 100 Top Paid Athletes

  1. Pingback: Only 2 Women On Forbes List Of 100 Top Paid Female Athletes - LPGA Tour Forum

  2. I wish the top women golfers made much more than they do (comparing them to their male counterparts.) I mean I know Yani, Creamer, Choi, Lincicome, Miyazato, Pressel, etc do quite well, but it would be nice to see them much closer to the men. Then again, in pure business terms, the money reflects the ratings, etc. The players I feel the most for are the ones who don’t make many cuts or play on the Symetra Tour. It is tough to make ends meet.

    • I don’t know how the Futures Tour players do it…I give them a lot of credit for their dedication and drive…

  3. The Symetra players do it with the hope of getting to the LPGA. Of course, it’s not feasible to do that for a decade for almost all of them. If they don’t seem to improve that much, they hopefully can network and find a job in the golf industry.

    • Yes…and also the Mad Anthony charity event with Amanda Blumenherst, Nancy Lopez, Angela Stanford and a host of others…but I only have so much time some days and the lead up to Wimbledon comes first for me 🙂

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