Wh0 was the world's first athlete to earn $1,000,000,000.00?
We all know just how talented
Tiger Woods is. And we’ve all seen him swinging away on the golf course dressed
in his Sunday reds, even if we only caught these glimpses by chance. It’s true
that Tiger Woods has talent that has not been seen in a very long time. But,
ever? According to his earnings, no, we have never seen a talent like this in
any athletic sport, not just in golf. The announcement came in July 2008 that by
the year 2010, Tiger Woods would be the first athlete to reach the $1 billion
mark in earnings. And this coincidentally, is also the largest earnings ever
garnered by an athlete.
In just one year in 2007, Tiger Woods earned $115
million, which isn’t even close to runner-up David Beckham, who earned $65
million in the same year. It’s true that much of Tiger’s earnings come from
sheer talent alone. When you win 50 tournaments in a very short period of time,
and surpass a leading athlete in your same sport, Jack Nicklaus, who had a
measly 18 championship wins in comparison, there’s no doubt that there’s talent
there. But many of Tiger’s earnings also came from his many, many endorsements.
Standing behind names such as Nike, Buick, and Gillette has earned Tiger over
$90 million in 2008 alone. And in total, Tiger’s endorsements have landed him
more than $750 million. And these endorsements aren’t for nothing for the
companies that provide him the opportunities either. Nike Golf made $600 million
in sales in 2007 where, before the golf giant started endorsing the company,
they didn’t even have a line dedicated to golf clothing and shoes. Combine this
with the fact that any time Tiger plays in a competition, that network’s ratings
When Forbes made their announcement that Tiger
Woods was to be the first athlete to earn $1 billion dollars by the year 2008,
they were very careful to give Tiger the distinction that he deserves. They were
sure to separate Tiger from the other billionaires in the world that just
happened to play sports as a hobby. And they also ensured that they separated
Tiger from business conglomerates such as Bill Gates, who made his fortune not
only by being a genius but by also buying shares in a company he believed in and
watching that company grow. Tiger, on the other hand, made every dime that he
made by either playing the sport he’s so passionate about, or by endorsing
companies, lending his name and his voice to their product.
It’s questionable whether the world of golf, or the
world of sports for that matter, will ever see another talent such as Tiger
Woods. But one thing is not in question. And that’s the fact that Tiger Woods is
the first athlete to make $1 billion in earnings.
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