Golf icon Tiger Woods lost more than just his nearly perfect image after reports leaked of his infidelity late last year. According to Sports Illustrated’s annual analysis of the highest-earning professional athletes in the U.S, Woods’ estimated earnings has taken a huge hit so far in 2010.
Woods is still No. 1 on SI’s total earnings list, as he has been for the past seven years, but his total earnings are estimated at about $90 million, $22 million less than he accounted for in 2009, and $38 million less than he made in 2008.
According to the report, Woods made $70 million from endorsements, while earning more than $20 million in golf winnings. He would have made far more in endorsements, but he lost deals with Gatorade, AT&T and Accenture in the wake of publicity connected to his marital infidelities.
Woods’ top rival, Phil Mickelson ranked No. 2 on the list, earning about $9 million in winnings, while receiving $52 million from endorsements. Other star athletes, including LeBron James, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant filled out the rest of the top 10.
While Woods’ earnings decreased, so did his popularity. ESPN reports that, according to the market research firm Harris Interactive, Woods no longer stands alone as the most popular sports star in America. After holding the top spot for four years, he’s now tied with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant for first place, who moved up four slots from last year's rankings.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James dropped from third place to sixth place, according to a Harris Interactive survey of more than 2,000 adults conducted online from June 14-21. This survey occurred weeks before James stunned many fans in Cleveland by dramatically announcing he would play for the Miami Heat next season.
Another notable drop was NBA legend Michael Jordan, who fell from second place to seventh.