Elite 8: NBA's Top Endorsed Players
It is no surprise that the NBA's top endorsed players are branded by some of the world's biggest sports apparel companies. The NBA is the 4th highest revenue-generating sports league worldwide, and it follows that its players can demand huge quantities of money through endorsements. Below, we've compiled a list of the NBA's top 8 endorsed players.
1. Lebron JamesIt is no surprise that the best player in the world demands the most money from endorsements. Lebron earned an estimated $55 million in the past year off-court alone. This is extraordinary considering he already tops $30 million in earning for his on-court exploits.
2. Kevin DurantDespite his controversial move to the Golden State Warriors in the 2015-16 off season, Kevin Durant is still one of the most popular players in the NBA. This is reflected in his enormous off-court value. An elite scorer and a versatile defender, Durant demands around $36 million a year in endorsements. That is enough to put him at second on the list of NBA's top endorsed players.
3. Steph CurrySteph Curry is a huge bolter in this list. His prolific rise to prominence in recent years has been recognised by sponsors, as he has earned roughly $35 million USD through endorsements in the past year. A large part of this rise can be attributed to his deal with UnderArmour, a brand growing almost as fast as Curry's reputation.
4. James HardenAs one of the front runners for the 2016-17 MVP award, it is no surprise that James Harden is able to demand a lot of money on and off the court. $20 million USD is his estimated off-court worth, a just reward for the league's assist leader.
5. Russell WestbrookWestbrook has gone neck-and-neck with Harden for MVP favouritism throughout the 2016-17 season. His abnormally high usage rate has drawn criticism from some, but the man is worth every penny he gets. On court this translates to $26.5 million USD in the past year, while off court he has earned a casual $15 mil. This is enough to bring him in at number 5 on the list of NBA's top endorsed players.
6. Derrick RoseThough Derrick Rose's best playing days are past him, the former MVP winner remains a popular force in the league. The New York Knick commanded about $14 million USD in the past year from endorsements. His shoe sponsor is a large part of this, as Adidas are one of the biggest sports apparel brands in the world.
7. Kyrie IrvingWith arguably the best handles in the game, it is not hard to understand why Kyrie Irving is so popular. Supremely talented and beautiful to watch, his popularity allows him to demand significant amounts in off-court endorsements. This amount is estimated to total around $13 million per annum.
8. Dwyane Wade3x NBA champion Dwyane Wade may be past his peak, but he is still getting it done in Chicago. Though he does not perform at a consistently high level as much as in the past, the 35-year-old still has more than his fair share of fans. The strength of this supporter base translates into big endorsement deals, earning him around $13 million USD per year to go with his $23.2 million USD on-court salary.
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