Richest Female Athletes in the World
5. Caroline Wozniacki
How she makes her money: Former No. 1 in women’s singles Wozniacki can sleep well knowing she’s turned her ace tennis performance into brand awareness and major dollars. The 29-year-old Danish star has inked contracts with Adidas and Rolex and recently collaborated with Ovvo Optics to create her own sunglasses line.
4. Danica Patrick
How she makes her money: Patrick, one of only two non-tennis players on this list, comes behind only the Williams sisters in The Marketing Arm’s ranking of the most marketable female athletes, which notes her high trust level among the public. The 37-year-old queen of racing retired after last year’s Indianapolis 500, but she’s still cashing in on her legendary status with her own clothing line, Warrior by Danica Patrick, and her fitness book Pretty Intense. Her relationship with NFL star Aaron Rodgers ensures that she won’t be leaving the minds of sports fans anytime soon.
3. Venus Williams
How she makes her money: Sure, Serena takes a bit more of the spotlight in recent years, but make no mistake: Venus is a fearsome competitor on and off the court. While her women’s singles ranking has dipped (she’s currently No. 53), the elder Williams sister’s marketing power is nearly unmatched: She’s No. 2 behind Serena in The Marketing Arm’s ranking of brand-friendly female athletes, with high points for aspiration. The 39-year-old veteran superstar is sitting on money from massive deals she’s made over her career, including a $40 million partnership with Reebok and ties with Tide, Electronic Arts, and Ralph Lauren. She also reportedly commands as much as $100,000 for a speaking engagement.
2. Maria Sharapova
How she makes her money: If you don’t follow tennis, the female player whose name you might recall outside of the Williams sisters is almost surely Sharapova’s. The 32-year-old, Russian-born five-time Grand Slam winner can still dominate on the court, earning $1 million in prize money just last year. More importantly, she keeps building an already extensive brand endorsement portfolio, recently adding a UBS deal to partnerships with behemoths like Nike, Porsche, and Evian.
1. Serena Williams
How she makes her money: Serena Williams’ place at the top ranking of female athletes is undeniable. And with good reason: She’s known and admired around the world for her Grand Slam accomplishments, with a 91% awareness rate that puts her among the top 1% of all celebrities, according to The Marketing Arm. That marketability has also brought the 37-year-old an extraordinary amount of wealth, even after she took an extended break to have a baby. She’s secured more than a dozen sponsorships including with Nike, Intel, Audemars Piguet, JPMorgan Chase, Lincoln, Gatorade, and Beats. That largely explains her No. 63 place among Forbes’ 2019 richest athletes list, with $4.2 million in salary or winnings and $25 million in endorsements. Her off-the-court savvy for real estate investments and other opportunities — like, say, hanging out with Beyoncé — certainly doesn’t hurt her either.