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Attention Sports Desks/Assignment Desks/Talk Show Producers:
Who are the world's 50 Most Valuable Athletes?
R.O.B. Magazine's second annual ranking of athletes' marquee value
factors in pay, performance, media impact and votes from panel of
TORONTO, July 26 /CNW/ - For many people, the world of sports is confined
to a soft recliner in front of the television or a lazy round at the local
golf course. But for the athletes that make their living on and off the field,
sports is big business. In addition to scoring points, today's superstar
athlete must be equally dazzling at endorsing products and speaking in sound
bytes, and in some cases, good looks are definitely an asset. Find out the
world's 50 Most Valuable Athletes in R.O.B. Magazine's second annual Sports
Issue, available in today's Globe and Mail.
Highlights of the Sports Issue include:
The World's 50 Most Valuable Athletes - R.O.B. Magazine's definitive list
of who's worth what in professional sports, based on money (salaries, winnings
and endorsements), performance (wins and achievements), media coverage
(overall mentions, plus cover stories) and the views of a panel of Canadian
sports experts. The top five:
1. Michael Schumacher (race car driver) - Up from second place last year.
Made $US 80 million last year; A+ for performance; appeared in 409
2. Tiger Woods (golfer) - Down from first place last year. Made
$US 69 million last year; C+ performance; 1,007 newspaper stories and
on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice.
3. Shaquille O'Neal (basketball player) - Unchanged from last year. Made
$US 29 million last year; A performance; on the cover of Sports
Illustrated three times.
4. Lennox Lewis (boxer) - Up from 22nd place last year. Made $36 million
last year; A+ performance; appeared in 425 newspaper stories.
5. Venus Williams (tennis player) - Up from 21st place last year. Made
$US 20 million; A- performance; appeared in 343 newspaper stories and
on the cover of Time Magazine.
The Panel Picks:
R.O.B. Magazine recruited a panel of sports experts to help with the
judging. Here are some of their selections and comments:
Most overpaid athletes:
- Alex Rodriguez (baseball player): "The $252-million contract shows that
Major League Baseball is anything but losing money," said Jody Vance,
host of Rogers Sportsnet.
- Anna Kournikova (tennis player): "Making megamillions because she's
beautiful, not because of her tennis," said Colleen Jones, curling
champion and CBC commentator.
- Michael Jordan (basketball player and owner): "Still the best athlete
of the 20th century, but his era is over," said Paul Godfrey, president
and CEO, Toronto Blue Jays.
- Mike Tyson (boxer): "Paid to be a freak," said Jones.
Most underpaid athletes:
- Annika Sorenstam (golfer): "The Tiger Woods of women's golf, but makes
4% of what Tiger makes," said Jim Nantz, sportcaster, CBS Sports.
- Ichiro Suzuki (baseball player): "The best in the game, but vastly
underpaid compared to peers," said Godfrey.
- Canadian amateur athletes: "they have no collective bargaining
agreement," said Nathalie Cook, director of corporate consulting, IMG.
- Ronaldo (soccer player): "A bargain compared to others on the list,"
said Brian Williams, anchor, CBC Sports.
- The Canadian Women's hockey team: "Their salaries add up to less than
one player on the men's team, if that," said Vance.
Published monthly in The Globe and Mail, R.O.B. Magazine is Canada's
pre-eminent business magazine, offering readers authority and insight with its
award-winning coverage of business and economics. The Globe and Mail is a
division of Bell Globemedia, Canada's premier multi-media company, which also
owns CTV, Canada's leading private broadcaster, and Bell Globemedia
Interactive, a leading Internet content provider. Headquartered in Toronto,
Bell Globemedia is owned by BCE Inc. (70.1%), The Thomson Corporation (20%)
and The Woodbridge Company Limited (9.9%).