Basketball star Kobe Bryant earned 400.000 per hour

04 December 2015

Kobe Bryant recently retired from his professional basketball career with a poem, and will be remembered as one of its most loved players of all time. During his twenty seasons, the player netted $300 million in salary, some $9,000 for each of his 32,683 points scored. The most well paid performer this year however, comes from boxing, with Floyd Mayweather taking home more than $300 million in fees for his matches.

Kobe Bryant started his career as a professional basketball player in the 1996/97 season, when he was signed for a salary of $1 million a year. As his fame grew, so did his bank balance. In his fifth season in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Bryant earned $10.1 million a year, while two sessions ago, at his highest point in terms of earnings, the Los Angeles Lakers paid him an annual salary of $30.5 million. Bryant was, for seven years in a row, the best paid NBA player. In total, during his twenty year career, the star player netted $300.4 million in salary.

Annual salary of Kobe Bryant per season

Throughout his career, Bryant scored 32,683 points, which means that for every point he made around $9,191. Bryant played 1,293 NBA-games, which translates to average earnings of $232,328 per game played. In terms of money in units of time, Bryant spent 47,178 minutes on the court, which amounts to $6,367 per minute, or an hourly rate of $382.000, a fee of which many management consultants would be jealous.

Besides being paid well for his on court performance, Bryant also received hundreds of millions – around $200 million over the past seven years alone – in commercial contracts with large companies. The largest part of that income flow comes from royalties from the sale of sports shoes that bear his name. On his seventeenth birthday he closed a million dollar deal with Adidas, which was swapped for a deal with Nike in the 2003-2004 season. According to Forbes, Nike sold around $105 million worth of Kobe Bryant-shoes in 2014. The Kobe 9 – the latest model – sells for $200 per pair. Other contracts involving the 1.98 meter Bryant include the promotion campaign, ‘Big, in the city’ for the Mercedes-Benz street car Smart.

It is not merely finances and score that made Bryant a sporting phenomenon, he was also voted the most loved player in the game seventeen times for the yearly all-star team of the All-Star Games.

Top 10 sports earners in 2015

Top 10 professional sports players
Bryant is not the highest earning sports player in the world for the 2015 season. The top spot goes to boxer Floyd Mayweather who met Manny Pacquiao (the number 2 best earning player) in the ring on the 2nd of May 2015. The match, which is purported to have brought in $600 million, was the most lucrative fight ever. The money was split 60% for Mayweather and 40% for Pacquiao. Other sports players that have seen big pay checks this year include Roger Federer – who so far took in $97.3 million in prize money over his career – with $67 million and football stars Cristiano Ronaldo ($80 million) and Lionel Messi ($74 million).

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Champions League glory hard to buy for football’s economic elite

15 March 2019

The thrills and spills of knock-out football can still be one of the sport’s great levelling forces, with the Champions League’s second round having shown that the biggest spenders aren’t always able to buy their way to glory. While a league format broadly favours the squad depth of the beautiful game’s richest teams, half of the tournament’s wealthier teams exited in the first one-on-one elimination round.

As the Champions League burst back into life in February, following an agonising winter break, only two of the 16 teams re-launching their Champions League last-16 bid were from outside the so-called Big Five football leagues. With the exceptions of Portuguese champions FC Porto and Dutch footballing powerhouse AFC Ajax, teams from the world’s biggest spending leagues monopolised the second round. As outlined by analysis from KPMG’s Football Benchmark, the Premier League was represented by four teams, with three clubs come from La Liga and the Bundesliga respectively, while Serie A and Ligue 1 both retained two clubs.

This followed a grimly predictable group phase, which had seen the two most expensive squads progress in all but one of the eight collections of four teams. The one team to buck that trend, Ajax, had last won Europe’s premier club competition in 1995, but those halcyon days have long since faded into memory, and Ajax had failed to progress beyond the group stage in 13 years. With the second youngest squad in the tournament, what now seems to be an awakening football giant had some shocks in store for the second round too.

Group Stage values

Despite an impressive Europa League run which saw the team reach the final two years ago, Ajax had not progressed in a Champions League knockout stage tie since the 1996-97 campaign. That all changed this time, as Erik ten Hag’s men overturned a first leg deficit to trounce Real Madrid 5-3 on aggregate. Having felt hard done by in a 2-1 defeat at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, the Amsterdam club cruised to a 4-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabéu, a result which saw the tournament’s fourth most expensive squad crash out to the third cheapest remaining team.

The supremely expensive team, which had won three Champions Leagues on the trot, had crashed out in spectacular style. For many footballing purists, the end of the seemingly invincible Galacticos would have been enough to restore some of their faith in the sport – but there would soon be more schadenfreude to revel in, as a succession of Europe’s most bank-breakingly costly teams would soon join Los Blancos in their exit.

The pick of the bunch was unquestionably Paris Saint-Germain, who forfeited a 2-0 first leg advantage to somehow crash out of the Champions League. The team, who are fast becoming known as the foremost bottlers in Europe, faced a grim dissection in the French press following a 3-1 defeat by Manchester United at Le Parc de Princes. While it would be over-egging it to paint United as ‘giant killers’, the Red Devils squad is worth markedly less than the club bankrolled by Qatari oil money. PSG hold two of the most expensive players of all time in French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and Brazilian playboy Neymar.

Second Round values

Elsewhere, the round’s cheapest squad proved further that money is not everything, as Porto overcame Roma (the Italian club has since parted ways with manager Eusebio Di Francesco in the wake of this humbling) – while Juventus battled back to beat Atlético Madrid. The most ‘balanced’ tie of the round, there was a squad value difference of only €22 million between the two squads, in favour of the Spanish giant. With that being said, €113 million of Juve’s price-tag came from the summer acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s tie-settling hat-trick went to show that money spent in the right place ultimately makes the difference.

Spending wisely

At the same time, there were also four teams which lived up to their large price-tags. Manchester City pummelled Schalke over the course of two legs, hammering the German team 7-0 in the second game. With the largest squad market value in the tournament, the Citizens showed that their spending had not merely been a frenzy provoked by having large amounts of money to throw about – a la PSG – and that every penny had in fact been used to craft one of the continent’s most well-balanced and dangerous teams, to ultimately contend for the title.

Tottenham Hotspur similarly brushed off Borussia Dortmund, while Liverpool eventually overcame Bayern Munich, to leave no German teams in the tournament. Meanwhile, Barcelona similarly did for the French contingent of the Champions League, bundling out Olympique Lyonnais 5-1.

Operating Revenues

Going forward, the humbled economic superpowers of European football will take solace from the fact that their huge operating revenues will allow them to buy up talent which has emerged in this year’s Champions League. With Real Madrid having re-installed Zinidine Zidane as Head Coach, the club has already committed itself to spending big in the summer, cashing in some €50 million of its €743 billion revenue stream from last year to sign Éder Militão from Porto – who has impressed in this year's Champions League – in the summer.

Whether the PSG project is financially sustainable in the long-term remains to be seen, meanwhile, but with a huge portion of commercial revenues including shirt-sales from the club’s array of superstars, it will likely also seek to bring in more big names in the summer. The club was reportedly in the running to sign Ajax star Frenkie de Jong, before Barcelona finally secured his services from the end of the season.

The likes of Ajax will meanwhile face an uncomfortable wait, as a range of its new crop of outstanding players inevitably attract the attentions of Europe’s top spenders. With the lowest operating revenues of any team left in Europe, the club will face an uphill struggle to hang on to the likes of teenage captain Matthijs de Ligt. However, it would not be the first time that the club has been plundered for its top talent, and what Ajax and clubs of its size can take forward is that with the right eye for lower-key recruitment, they can rebuild, and still challenge Europe’s elite.