Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt are arguably the most recognizable Olympic athletes, and both have groundbreaking accomplishments, but how does it reflect on their net worth?
Michael Phelps has an estimated net worth of $55 million, while Usain Bolt has a net worth of $60 million. While it is close, Bolt edges Phelps when it comes to commercial value.
Having the honor of being an Olympian and winning a medal does not pay as much as you might think. The U.S. Olympic Committee awards $25,000 for gold medals, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. In the United States, athletes also have to pay taxes on their winnings, which makes the post-tax earnings fairly modest.
Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt make most of their money from endorsement deals that come from their success.
Usain Bolt has a lucrative endorsement deal with Hublot, and Phelps has a deal with Omega.
Michael Phelps has made money with deals from Louis Vuitton, Subway, Wheaties and Visa. The greatest Olympic swimmer has recently had endorsement deals with sporting apparel company Under Armour, Master Spas, Sol Republic headphones, and Aqua Sphere.
Despite announcing his retirement, being known as the most awarded Olympic athlete in history will make Phelps appealing to advertisers for many years after he hangs up the swimming goggles.
Usain Bolt has a lucrative eight-figure deal with sports apparel player Puma and has other sponsors such as Gatorade and an ad campaign with Virgin Media where he impersonates billionaire Richard Branson.
When it comes to Olympic gold medals, Phelps leads with 28 Olympic medals, while Bolt has seven. However, Bolt made history by becoming the first athlete to win three successive Olympic Gold Medals in the 100 M sprint.
Both Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt will see a big boost to their net worth after the Rio Olympics. According to Forbes, Usain Bolt makes $33 million a year, which is much more than any other track and field athlete:
“In addition to breaking barriers on the track, Bolt has made history off the track in recent years as the highest-paid athlete in the history of the sport. His $32.5 million in earnings over the last 12 months from appearances, prize money and sponsors is roughly 10 times what other track and field stars like Mo Farah and Ashton Eaton bank. Bolt is in a class by himself both on and off the track.”
The financial publication states that Bolt currently has 10 global deals that range in value of $1 million to $4 million annually.
Bolt also launched his own shaving company and signed deals with Japan’s All Nippon Airways and Australia’s Optus – a telecommunication business.
Seemingly nerves don't exist in the world of Usain Bolt... https://t.co/N3haDw6OjD— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 17, 2016
Michael Phelps has stated that he is retiring. However, he is not done with his career. Phelps has revealed that he wants to be active in helping the younger generation with coaching.
In an interview with E! News, Phelps says that he is happy with the way the Rio Olympics turned out. He talked about finding his passion again for swimming, and he talked about working hard to achieve his performance:
“With everything that I’ve done. This is how I wanted to go out. I wanted to go out on top, and on my terms. After seeing everything that went down here, hasn’t really sunk in fully yet, but I have a feeling over the next months, years, it will sink in and I might be able to believe.”
Michael Phelps explains what was really going on when his iconic game face photo was taken https://t.co/114GmWRsLT— TIME.com (@TIME) August 17, 2016
Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps have announced that they plan on retiring after the Rio Olympics. It is likely that their star status will keep their net worths increasing year after year. The Olympians will have offers for some time to come based on their accomplishments and reputation.
[Photo by Al Bello/Shaun Botterill/Getty Images]