The Los Angeles Lakers may be in the middle of difficult two-year stretch, in which Kobe Bryant has ruptured his Achilles and suffered a knee fracture, but that hasn’t had an affect on the superstar’s popularity and endorsements. Not only did Bryant receive an NBA-high $27.8 million in salary from the Lakers in 2012-2013, he was also among the league leaders in endorsement deals last year, according to Forbes:
The top of the NBA endorsement food chain is led by LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Both are global superstars who made $42 million and $34 million, respectively, last year from endorsement partners.
While most may be aware of Bryant’s shoe contract with Nike, he also has endorsement deals with Hublot, Lenovo, Panini and Turkish Air. Bryant’s “King Power Black Mamba” Hublot watch is considered a limited edition and retails for $25,200, according to A Blog To Watch.
Forbes reports the NBA’s top-10 endorsement earners received a combined $155 million last year, which is far superior to the MLB and NFL.
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.
Bryant has over 18 million likes on Facebook, which Forbes states is the most among all U.S. athletes.
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