The usual suspects are on Forbes’ Most Powerful Celebrities list – Beyonce (#1), LeBron James (#2), Jay Z, Oprah Winfrey, you know them all. But it’s #7 – Floyd Mayweather – who stands out. The professional boxer is the highest paid athlete in the world — a five-division world champion, and as of today undefeated – but he doesn’t make a dime from endorsements, a rarity in sports celebrity management. His annual take comes solely from his winnings in the ring ($105 million in the last 12 months for 72 minutes between the ropes).
Imagine a world where Beyonce doesn’t sip a Pepsi or LeBron doesn’t down a Sprite. (James just signed a two-year $42 million deal with the Cavs, but he makes $53 million in endorsements.) So what gives with “Pretty Boy” Mayweather? Like fellow Forbes’ lister Robert Downey Jr. (#10), Mayweather has spent time in jail. Not a deal breaker, but could the nature of his crime make advertisers wary? Mayweather wasn’t caught, like Downey, merely trying to destroy himself with drugs, the boxer was convicted of domestic abuse, and pled “no contest to two counts of harassment stemming from a physical attack on his ex-girlfriend and verbal threats against two of his children with Harris.”