These women superstars are collecting sizable checks from endorsement deals. There was Venus Williams‘s astronomical shoe deal that stunned the sports world in 2006. And, now athletes like Brittney Griner, Misty Copeland, Skylar Diggins and others are signing headline-grabbing contracts. Check out the list.
The greatest-tennis-player-ever has contracts with Nike, Wilson Sporting Goods, Gatorade and the nail polish brand OPI. The 33-year-old is also co-owner of Sleep Sheets, a sleep aid and the Miami Dolphins. She made an estimated $11 million in endorsements, this year. Her successful tennis record has also ballooned her income with Williams earning over $56 million in prize money.
The first woman athlete signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has expanded her basketball brand. Besides playing on the court, Diggins attended the Grammys, Super Bowl and Fashion Week, this year. Her appearance wasn’t just for show, but to earn extra cash. In fact, some celebrities earned between $10,000 to $15,000 for appearing at various venues.
Back in 2013, Griner broke down in tears after she was selected as the No. 1 pick in the WNBA. She was drafted to Phoenix Mercury. That same year, she signed a one-year deal to play basketball in China, where high-profiled woman athletes earn about $1 million a season. Griner made history as the first openly gay athlete to sign with Nike, a company where sponsorship deals start at $5,000 to $15,000 a year, according to ESPN magazine.
The real black swam has performed in ads for Dr. Pepper and BlackBerry. She penned a memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. The memoir landed on the New York Times bestseller list. Copeland is also writing a children’s book and working on a documentary. Most recently, she shattered any speculation on whether ballerinas are real athletes by signing an endorsement deal with Under Armour. While Copeland is tight-lipped on the deal, the contract is more than her ballerina income. Solists like Copeland generally earn between $50,000 and $100,000.
The Minnesota Lynx forward signed a shoe deal with Nike’s Jordan Brand in 2011. The contract was reportedly worth between $3 million and $4 million. She also has sponsorship deals with United Airlines, United Way and Pepsi Max Zero Calories.
Back in 2006, the older sister to Serena made headlines for her massive deal with Reebok International worldwide. The agreement was reportedly worth $40 million over a five year period. Williams, actually, made history with her deal. It was the biggest for any female athlete. Besides, her hefty endorsements she also created her own sports clothing line, EleVen.