As a result of the mix of economics and sport, Tiger Woods is the top golfer for 2012 and 2nd on the list overall behind LeBron James. While Rory McElroy is ranked number 1 “on the course”, his performance off the golf course means he is only ranked 14th overall for 2012. Given his current dip in his golf ranking he will probably drop down the list in 2013.
Because of the way the list is constructed it is dominated by US sports stars and, in particular, by those from American football. Fifty-five per cent of the list is made up of individuals from American football (24%), basketball (17%) and baseball (14%). The US nature of the list can also be seen in soccer. The only three soccer players that make the list are David Becham (No. 13), Thierry Henry (No. 85) and Landon Donovan (No. 94). Donovan made the list for all four of the years 2009-2012. He reached his highest position of 40th in the World Cup year of 2010. World Cups and other championships have a big influence on the list.
The Olympics also propelled Usain Bolt to 15th on the list. Bolt is clearly one of the highest earners in sport. In the book Sportsonomic$ the journalist Gavin Newsham says Bolt commands appearance fees of $350,000 for approximately 10 seconds of work. Newsham goes on to show how many other Olympians earn very little. For example, US discus thrower Lance Brooks is listed as having an annual salary of $45,521 (and this is from his day job).
One other feature of the Power 100 is worth noting. The list is headed by the four sports people who have topped the list in its first four years. The top four are LeBron James, Tiger Woods (No. 1 in 2009), Peyton Manning (No. 1 in 2010) and Drew Brees (No.1 in 2011). This shows real star qualities and staying power.