Today's sports stars aren't just looked at as athletes—they're brands, moguls, and empires. You can't just be a top draft pick; you have to be a business, man. And when you truly flourish in both arenas—like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and LeBron James—you make the Forbes 100. It's a pretty prestigious honor.
In sports, we have metrics to track almost everything. When it comes to business, it's a less exact science. But Forbes, with its research teams and "conversations with dozens of industry insiders," is able to get pretty close every year. The publisher just dropped its full list of the world's highest-paid athletes of 2016—and the numbers are huge.
At the top (in descending order): Ronaldo, Messi, James, Roger Federer, and Kevin Durant. Ronaldo, the first soccer player to top the list, brought in $88 million in the past year. Federer, who earned $60 million from endorsements, is the highest-earning endorser. At No. 100 (the "worst of the best," if you can call it that), San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey made $20.8 million.
Floyd Mayweather and Tiger Woods, who have dominated this list in recent years, both dropped significantly (Woods has battled injuries this year and Mayweather has retired...for now). Still, Woods clocked in at No. 12, with Mayweather at No. 16 while he was retired! Ain't nothing to stunt. Manny Pacquiao, who was No. 2 last year, finished No. 63 this year.
Though soccer and basketball players appear to have the top earning potential, baseball players made this list more than anyone else. There are 10 sports represented on the 100-athlete list. Complex has compiled a graph of each sport's earning power in the graph above for comparison.
And because the internet's always got something to say, check out the best supplemental information and commentary from Twitter below.
@WORLDSTAR mayweather would have been topping if he hasn't retired— mordecai ackom (@mordecaiackom) June 10, 2016
@Forbes Where are the Ladies?? 🤔😒🤑— Obos Ekhaese (@Bos73red) June 8, 2016
Of the 100 highest-paid athletes in the world, Nike has a relationship w/ exactly 50, according to @Forbes.— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) June 9, 2016
@Forbes Jordan and Tiger?— Charles Tiggs (@ctiggs01) June 8, 2016
According to Forbes, Serena Williams has ended Maria Sharapova's run as the top earner in women's sports. ($28.9M) pic.twitter.com/JI4EUdlvgu— What'sTheTea (@servingteaa) June 7, 2016
Don't be surprised if more NBA players pop up on this list next year, with the league's salary cap increasing this offseason. We'll have to wait and see if anyone new makes a run at the top next year, as Ronaldo did this year, vaulting from No. 3 to No. 1. James and Durant, who will both sign new deals this offseason, are possible candidates.