Becoming a professional athlete is a lucrative enterprise. But becoming a superstar couple is the ultimate golden ticket to a lifetime of riding the celebrity gravy train. Whether it’s a gluttony of websites, tabloid newspapers, radio or 6 o’clock news segments, people cannot get enough of high profile men and women hooking up.
With Lewis Hamilton and Rory McIlroy’s dating status in constant limbo jumping from one model to R&B singer, the couples that make it work have the ability to build a brand together. Hamilton had that when he was seeing The Pussycat Dolls front woman Nicole Scherzinger, as was McIlroy with Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki. They dominated the gossip pages and red carpets to form a double package that the media obsess over.
The cynics often view these pairings as an opportunity to maximize their image. It opens up a whole new window for endorsement deals and combining the earnings give each individual more security and flexibility over their careers. When an athlete’s livelihood is dictated to by their ability to get on the field or court to perform that can be obliterated by a single injury. Tying the knot to an actress, singer, media personality or fellow sportswoman changes the dynamic completely.
Sports stars have dated the rich and famous before, but not like they do in 2016. It’s clear the industry has taken note from Hollywood and the example of couples like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Brangelina). Both parties continue to explore their own endeavors and when the opportunity comes to exploit their profiles as a couple, the fame, adulation and revenue become two-fold.
A majority of rich sports couples revolve around one celebrity athlete and a single breadwinner. But this isn’t always the case with some taking note of the Brangelina model. Let’s look at those top 15 richest couples in sports.
15 Russell Wilson & Ciara - $29 million
14 Tony Romo & Candice Crawford - $55 million
13 Neymar Jr. & Jhenny Andrade - $75.07 million
12 Carmelo & La La Anthony - $89 million
11 Mike Fisher & Carrie Underwood - $100 million
10 Dwyane Wade & Gabrielle Union - $107 million
9 Novak & Jelena Djokovic - $122 million
8 Jeff Gordon & Ingrid Vandebosch - $150 million
7 Pete Sampras & Bridgette Wilson Sampras - $158 million
6 Derek Jeter & Hannah Davis - $188 million
5 Wayne Gretzky & Janet Jones - $230 million
4 Gerard Pique & Shakira - $260 million
3 Michael Jordan & Yvette Prieto - $501.5 million
2 Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen - $544 million
1 David and Victoria Beckham - $600 million
The Brad and Angelina of England – David and Victoria Beckham go together in the celebrity world like peanut butter and jelly. The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy dead ball specialist was the poster boy of English football throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, taking his unique brand of set piece delivery to a new level. At the peak of his powers he met a lovely young brunette who formed part of a group called The Spice Girls. Thrown in together they were an unstoppable force of nature, so much so Sir Alex Ferguson had to get rid of his ego from the Old Trafford dressing room. The couple now market academies, clothing lines, cologne, shoes, sporting apparel and anything that has space to put the word “Beckham” on it. $600 million net and counting.
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