Apparently, Serena Williams doesn’t have to be dominating on the tennis court to be the highest-earning female athlete. According to Forbes, Serena only won $62,000 in prize money during the last 12 months but still managed to top the list of the highest-paid female athletes of 2018. How did she manage to do that? She has “an endorsement portfolio unmatched among women in sports”, which earned her a cool $18.1 million.
Serena’s endorsement deals with brands like Nike and Intel have made her the top-earning female athlete in the world for three years in a row.
According to a research done by Marketing Arm in regards to marketability, among more than 4,500 celebrities, Serena ranks in the top 1% “because of a 91% awareness rate and high scores for aspiration and trust.”
Matt Fleming, who runs the Marketing Arm’s practice of securing celebrities on behalf of brands, explains the power of Serena by saying: “She has a lethal combination as the best to play the sport and the story she has with Venus, breaking through as African-American tennis players. Now, as a mother, it adds another layer of attractiveness from a marketers’ standpoint.”
The other black athletes that made the top 10 list of highest-earners include Sloane Stephens (at #3 with total earnings of $11.2 million) and Venus Williams (at #6 with a total earnings of $10.2 million).