Tiger Woods Image credit: ShutterStock

Tiger Woods Joins Michael Jordan, LeBron James As Billionaire Athletes

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Today, Tiger Woods joined Michael Jordan and LeBron James on the list of billionaire athletes.

These three are, arguably, the three greatest to ever play their respective sports and are the only three known athletes to reach billionaire status.

And they’re Black.

Tiger’s journey to billionaire was marred by injury and personal strife, moments that robbed him of success and fortune.

But Woods persevered and has now joined his Nike brethren on this elite list that all other athletes are looking up to.

According to Forbes, Tiger has earned over $1.7 billion in salary, endorsements and other income over the course of his 27-career.

That’s “more than anyone else Forbes has tracked.”

But if you understand how Tiger’s dominance on the golf course translated to media success, this shouldn’t be surprising.

In the early 2000s, if Woods was not in contention at a tournament, ratings would drop by double digits according to former CBS president Neal Pilson.

Full disclosure: I worked in the television planning department for ESPN during this time and can attest to Woods’ impact on our pricing strategy.

Many advertisers wanted to cherry-pick the tournaments he was playing in and only buy commercials in only those events. We refused and made them buy other events along with the events Tiger was competing in.

And we charged a large premium for the events Tiger played in.

In 1996, Tiger Woods won his first two PGA events.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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