Interesting article in the Herald Sun last week which announced the Top 10 highest-earning Australian athletes. No surprise to see that golfer Greg Norman remains number 1, earning $20 million for the year.
However, Greg doesn’t play much golf these days, and relies on his endorsements to amass his earnings. In fact, he made only $100,000 through prize money. This represents only 0.5% of his overall earnings for the year.
This further demonstrates a critical area for sports agents:
The increasing amount that is now earned off the field can now outweigh the amount made on the field.
Looking at some of the others on the list, golfer Adam Scott made about $4 million off the course, or around 38% of his earnings from lucrative endorsements. Tennis star Lleyton Hewitt, although injury plagued, still managed $9 million, yet about 91% of that figure was made off the court.
The odd guest spot has now be overtaken by extensive commitments to please sponsors. In golf especially, lucrative corporate outings are becoming increasingly popular. This usually occurs on the Monday before the tournament begins, and at up to US$100,000 per round, this could provide more money than they would earn later in the week!
In motor sport, the amount of time pleasing sponsors is staggering. V8 Supercar driver Mark Skaife says he spends around 200 days a year catering to their needs. Throw in the races, testing and travelling and it doesn’t leave him with much free time!
In conclusion, a good Sports Agent should be aware of the opportunites available to his client off field and take full advantage of them.
– Chris Lesley