Famed basket ball stars, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have topped this year’s NBA list of highest earners raking in $42 million and $34 million in endorsements in 2013 respectively. Forbes.com released the information yesterday.
According to Forbes, the NBA’s top 10 endorsers brought in $155 million last year with shoes declared the product with the most earned from sports stars. Sports brands Nike and Adidas alone fetched the NBA more than $10 million annually with almost half of James’ off-court money coming from Nike.
The Miami Heat all-star ended up as the NBA’s leading shoe salesman in 2013 with $300 million in retail sales in the U.S. of his Nike signature shoes, according to research firm SportsOneSource. His current endorsement partners include Nike, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Samsung Electronics, Upper Deck, Audemars Piguet and Dunkin’ Donuts. Last year, he began a new partnership with Chinese Internet services firm Tencent.
Meanwhile Kobe Bryant is no slump either. The most popular player in China counts Nike among his endorsement partners as well as Turkish Air, Lenovo, Hublot and Panini for merchandise.
For Bryant, the focus is international as he’s capitalized on dealing with companies based overseas. The LA Lakers star has made trips to China the past eight years for Nike. Since partnering Turkish Airlines in 2010, Bryant has been featured in commercials with global soccer star Lionel Messi.
Check out the full list of the top 10 NBA endorsers for 2014(Player/total endorsement income/shoe sponsor):
LeBron James: $42 million (Nike)
Kobe Bryant: $34 million (Nike)
Derrick Rose: $21 million (Adidas)
Kevin Durant: $14 million (Nike)
Dwyane Wade: $12 million (Li Ning)
Carmelo Anthony: $9 million (Jordan/Nike)
Amar’e Stoudemire: $6.5 million (Nike)
Dwight Howard: $6 million (Adidas)
Blake Griffin: $6 million (Jordan/Nike)
Chris Paul: $4 million (Jordan/Nike)