Eight months on the shelf after knee surgery put a severe dent in his prize money, and killed his overseas appearance fees. One of his main sponsors walked away a year before their agreement was set to expire.
Yet Tiger Woods remains sports’ highest earner with an annual income two and a half times larger than his closest competitor. The world’s top golfer made $110 million during the past 12 months and is the best-paid sportsman for the eighth straight year.
Woods’ knee injury caused his prize money to drop to $5 million from $25 million, but his overall earnings only fell $5 million thanks to an expansion of Woods’ non-playing financial empire.
PepsiCo launched Gatorade Tiger last year in March with claims that it “helps focus your mind and your body.” Woods receives a cut of sales for the four flavors sold under his name. When General Motors’ problems caused Buick to terminate its $8 million a year deal with Woods one year early, the Woods camp moved quickly to sign a deal with AT&T to put the phone company’s brand on his golf bag in Buick’s place.