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The Athletes That Became Super Brands

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The modern world of professional sports has meant athletes can become very wealthy whilst playing in their favourite competition.

Players can earn very respectable sums right from the moment they join a major league, with the players entering the NFL in 2022 receiving a minimum of $705,000 for one year. 

But while all professional athletes can make a decent wedge of cash, others can go on to become some of the wealthiest people on the planet as they transcend from a sports player to a super brand. 

Here are some of the athletes that have managed to do this. 

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher was a transformative figure in Formula 1. He was the first driver to prioritise fitness and became a galvanising figure within his team. 

This allowed him to become the most successful F1 driver of all time, at least until he was beaten by Lewis Hamilton in the last couple of seasons. 

Schumacher developed one of the biggest followings among fans, which helped him to bag endorsement deals and develop his own lines of merchandise. 

This allowed him to generate career earnings of over $1 billion. 

The Williams Sisters

Serena and Venus Williams, who are often simply referred to as the Williams sisters are two of the most successful tennis players in history.

They’ve both been very active away from the courts too. For example, Venus Williams has signed several major endorsement deals, earning up tens of millions of dollars a year. 

On top of that, she started an interior design business that works on major high-value projects. It is now run by Venus and a team of other female designers. 

But by writing books and creating her own line of clothing, Venus has been able to cement her position as a super brand. 

David Beckham

David Beckham may have fallen away from the spotlight today, but he is still instantly recognisable and one of the most influential figures in football. 

The former England international made a name for himself at Manchester United where he was part of the club’s most successful teams under Sir Alex Ferguson. 

He then made shrewd moves to attract the attention of the press on a regular basis, such as wearing daring outfits and regularly changing his hairstyles. 

With a lot of skill on the pitch and celebrity status away from it, the Beckham brand became a valuable asset for any club that could afford to sign him.