Tiger Woods Joins Michael Jordan, LeBron James as Only Athletes to Be Billionaires

Adam WellsJune 10, 2022

TULSA, OKLAHOMA - MAY 21: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the tenth tee during the third round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 21, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Michael Jordan and LeBron James have company in the billionaire athletes club.

Per Matt Craig of Forbes, Tiger Woods' net worth is estimated to be $1 billion, thanks in large part to his sponsorship deals with Gatorade, Monster Energy, TaylorMade, Rolex and Nike.

Craig noted that less than 10 percent of Woods' career earnings and net worth came from prize money on the golf course.

Forbes' estimation of Woods' net worth comes at a controversial moment for the sport of golf.

The PGA Tour announced Thursday it has suspended 17 members who are playing in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event in London this weekend.

LIV Golf is being funded by the Saudi Arabian government. The league is considered the latest attempt by the Saudi government to sportswash—the practice of using positive coverage from its involvement in sports to improve its overall reputation amid accusations of numerous human rights violations.

Two-time major winner Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf Investments, told Kent Babb of the Washington Post that Woods turned down a "mind-blowingly enormous" deal in the "high nine digits" to play for the organization.

Forbes inducted James into the billionaire club last week. Jordan hit the mark six years ago, and his net worth has increased to an estimated $1.7 billion in 2022.

James and Woods are the only active athletes to have an estimated net worth of at least $1 billion.

Joe Favorito, a veteran sports business consultant and Columbia lecturer, told Craig that Woods "hit the right time in the right sport, being an athlete with a diverse background who was approachable."

Per Emmanuel Ocbazghi and Tony Manfred of Business Insider, Woods signed a $200 million contract with Nike in 2013. He has been a partner with the iconic sports brand since 1996.

According to Sam Dunn of Boardroom.TV, Woods' business portfolio includes middle-market company investments via his TGR Ventures firm. He also owns and operates a golf course design firm and an upscale sports restaurant in Jupiter, Florida.

Woods' 82 career wins are tied with Sam Snead for the most in PGA Tour history. The 46-year-old also has 15 victories in major tournaments, second only to Jack Nicklaus (18).