Kobe, LeBron, Rose Lead NBA Endorsement Earners


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — You’ve seen the commercials and the advertisements. Now it’s time to check the scoreboard.

Forbes magazine has released their annual list of sport’s endorsement leaders, and to be fair, the names on the list aren’t all that surprising. What may be surprising, though, is the accumulated earning power of NBA players. According to Kurt Badenhauser of Forbes, “The NBA’s top 10 endorsers pulled down $155 million last year by our count. It dwarfs the totals in baseball and football. MLB’ s 10 biggest endorsers earned less than $30 million off the field last year with only Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki (all in Japan) making more than $3 million from sponsors and merchandise. The NFL’s top 10 made $55 million from endorsements, led by Peyton Manning at $12 million in 2013. The NHL lags even further behind with the 10 biggest stars making $15 million cumulatively.”

As for the NBA’s top ten endorsement earners, as estimated by Forbes, here’s the list, with the player’s shoe company (which is usually a significant, though not complete, part of their endorsement income) listed in parenthesis…

1. LeBron James: $42 million (Nike)
2. Kobe Bryant: $34 million (Nike)
3. Derrick Rose: $21 million (Adidas)
4. Kevin Durant: $14 million (Nike)
5. Dwyane Wade: $12 million (Li Ning)
6. Carmelo Anthony: $9 million (Jordan/Nike)
7. Amar’e Stoudemire: $6.5 million (Nike)
8. Dwight Howard: $6 million (Adidas)
9. Blake Griffin: $6 million (Jordan/Nike)
10. Chris Paul: $4 million (Jordan/Nike)


  1. kristofer logan says:

    why is amar’e on that list?…he needs to retire.

  2. Jorge says:

    And this is the reason why Miami is a viable option. Without external sponsorship it would be less palatable for 3 super stars to play together, but by playing together their appeal to sponsors is increased (more exposure, championships = more media appearances, etc) and thus leads to better sponsorship deals that balance any loss of income from their team contracts.

    I am actually surprised that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin make so little comparatively, seeing the overload of ads including them.

    • Mitch says:

      I am surprised that Blake and Chris not making more money as well, they are always in advertisements plus they are in LA