By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
January 20, 2012
For the second straight year, the most powerful athlete in sports is a quarterback. Only this year, that quarterback is Drew Brees, not Peyton Manning. Boosted by a record-setting season, Brees finished first overall in the 2012 Bloomberg BusinessWeek Horrow Sports Ventures Power 100. He ranked first in the on-field component and 13th in the off-field segment. Brees made $16 million last year thanks to endorsement deals with Nike, Verizon, Vicks and Advocare. Rounding out the top five were Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, LeBron James and Rafa Nadal.
There’s over $1.55 billion in total earnings from the Power 100 group this year. Of that, the top 10 Power 100 members earned over $222 million. This compares to $254 million from last year’s top 10, which included bug money earners Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The NFL led all sports with 26 players on the list, followed by the NBA with 20 and MLB with 16. Finishing No. 100 as Mr. Irrelevant is golfer Steve Stricker.