IFWT_Serena Williams Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams has dominated her sport for a decade and a half and finally passed Maria Sharapova as the highest paid female athlete; Sharapova held the title for the past 11 years.

Serena earned $28.9 million over the past 12 months and her career prize money of $77.6 million is more than twice as much as any other female athlete.

Her 2015 tennis season included a trio of Grand Slam titles and only three losses in 56 matches.

Williams added a new deal with JPMorgan Chase last year to be one of the faces of the Chase’s Mastery campaign, which highlights the bank’s digital products.  Her wins triggered lucrative bonuses from sponsors like Nike and Wilson.  Gatorade has a long-time relationship with Serena and the brand’s parent company, PepsiCo expanded their deal last year by using Williams to bring back the Pepsi Challenge. Williams counts more than a dozen brands in her endorsement portfolio including Audemars Piguet, Beats Electronics, Burlei, Delta Air Lines, IBM, Kinder Joy, Mini and Wheels Up.  Williams also has equity deals with the Home Shopping Network and Mission Athletecare, as well as a small stake in the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.  She also banked several million dollars through appearance fees from the Indian Premier Tennis League and events in New York, Puerto Rico and Belgium.  Her off-court income is an estimated $20 million, including bonuses and appearance fees.

Sharapova on the other hand had a bad year.  She was just suspended for two-years for testing positive for the banned substance meldonium, which she says she uses for her health.   She plans to appeal the suspension.  Tag Heuer ended discussions on a renewal for a deal that expired in December.  American Express did not pick up the option year on her deal signed in 2015.  Nike and Porsche both suspended promotional plans, but neither terminated their contracts with the Russian-born player.  Other partners, including Avon, Evian and Head, stuck by Sharapova.

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source: Forbes