Tiger Woods has 14 career victories in majors leaving him four behind Jack Nicklaus’ total of 18. People will be able to debate which player was the greatest, but there’s one category where not only Jack, but no athlete will be able to match Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods will be the first professional athlete billionaire. He’s on track to pass $1 billion in earnings in the next couple of years, although the knee injury could slow him down. His net worth will break the billion barrier a little later.
Woods is on track to pass $1 billion in career earnings by 2010. Becoming a billionaire–that is, having a net worth above $1 billion–will take slightly longer, since a sizable chunk of Woods’ prize and endorsement money is eaten up by taxes and management fees–we estimated 45%. We also credited Woods with annualized investment returns of 8%.
Based on those criteria, we project Tiger Woods should join our list of the world’s billionaires in 2011.
Tiger Woods only needed 15 years to become a billionaire. That’s sick. Michael Jordan, arguably the world’s most famous athlete, didn’t have the financial success that Tiger is enjoying.
There are plenty of billionaires who have excelled at sports, like Switzerland’s richest man and champion sailor Ernesto Bertarelli. But there are no billionaires who accumulated their fortune by playing sports.
A billionaire Tiger would also be unique for earning his money through paychecks. If a billionaire didn’t inherit his or her money, he or she typically made it by holding a stake in a company with a soaring valuation: Think Bill Gates. He didn’t make his billions from his Microsoft salary, but from all the stock he owned.
The majority of Tiger’s money, approximately $750 million, has come from endorsement deals, and those opportunities trickle down to his caddy Steve Williams. Tiger should get another serious bump in income when Tiger Woods Dubai is completed. The only way Woods can lose money is if he starts paying off his buddy Charles Barkley’s gambling debts.