Being a celebrity sounds pretty cool. Whether we're talking about the acting, music, or sports industry, there's no denying that, if you make it to the top, you'll be living large thanks to all those millions in the bank. But surprisingly enough, many celebrities don't own their earnings to their crafts, but rather to their personal brands.
Celebrity endorsement deals have been around for ages. In many ways, before social media came along, this was the ultimate influencer experience brands could hope to gain. Smaller names partnering with smaller companies might now make our eyes pop when we see the numbers. But if we're talking about the big leagues, then it's a completely different story. Let's take a look at the 10 highest-paid celebrity endorsement deals!
10 Beyoncé & Pepsi - $50 Million
When you're pretty much the Queen of the world, you'll be making deals only royalty could expect. And in Beyoncé's case, not even the Queen of England could expect to make a $50 million deal with a brand. Who wouldn't want B representing their brand?
With one of the most loyal fan bases in the world, and influencer power Instagram models could only dream of, the singer is the perfect choice for an endorsement deal. And that's exactly what Pepsi thought when they signed Beyoncé in 2013. Even though it didn't really work and sales dropped quite a bit, Queen B still took home $50 million.
9 George Clooney & Nespresso - $70 Million
"Nespresso...what else?". Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade and a half, you definitely know Nespresso's slogan by now. And this is probably due to George Clooney's sensual voice than to the quality of the Nespresso products (it's Clooney, everyone will buy anything he endorses!).
Much like fellow actress Charlize Theron, Clooney signed a $5 Million a year contract with the brand back in 2005. Considering he's been the face of Nespresso consistently since then, that means the Hollywood powerhouse has already made $70 million.
8 Charlize Theron & Dior - $75 Million
Considered to be one of the most beautiful and elegant women in the world, actress Charlize Theron seemed like an obvious choice when the time came for Dior to chose a celebrity to endorse their products. Dior is synonymous with class and almost unattainable beauty, making this a match made in heaven.
Theron signed a $5 million a year contract in 2004, and she's been featured in all sorts of ads for the brand ever since. If you do the math, you'll quickly realize Charlize has already taken home an estimated $75 million from the endorsement deal alone.
7 50 Cent & Reebok - $80 Million
Rapper 50 Cent has made quite the career for himself when it comes to music. But just like any smart businessman, he made sure to bank on his popularity while he could. And one of the super-smart ways he did it was by accepting a sweet endorsement deal with Reebok, the famous sneaker company.
The brand asked 50 Cent to be the face of their new model of sneakers, the G Unit. This included a commercial that became the highest-earning one of all time at that moment in time. Thanks to this brilliant partnership, the rapper added $80 million to his account.
6 LeBron James & Nike - $90 Million
As you'll definitely notice while making your way through the rest of this list, the most profitable endorsements in the celebrity world tend to be those between athletes and sports brands. And one of the most successful of all time has been the one between LeBron James and Nike.
In 2015, a lifetime deal was signed, which was supposed to be worth $1 Billion. So far, the NBA player has taken home $90 Million. Now we'll have to wait and see if Nike will do good on the promise of delivering the $1 Billion, which would make it the highest-paid endorsement of all time.
5 50 Cent & Vitamin Water - $100 Million
With two features on the list of highest-paid celebrity endorsements, we need to start considering whether 50 Cent is as good of a businessman as he is a rapper. If it weren't for him filing for bankruptcy, we'd actually believe so. However, a $100 Million deal with Vitamin Water is something to be proud of.
His contract with the company made him the face of one of their products, and it also granted him a share of the company. When it was sold to Pepsi in 2007, this meant the rapper was able to make serious bank on the basis of his endorsement deal.
4 Tiger Woods & Nike - $100 Million
Nike sure knows exactly what names to bring into the company when it comes to celebrity endorsement deals. Yet another multi-million dollar contract was made with golf superstar Tiger Woods, who is always seen sporting gear from the brand, including hats, t-shirts, and, of course, clubs.
The deal consisted of five years, and made Woods an insane $100 million, officially making him one of the most successful celebrity endorsement of all time. One that continued even after the scandals involving the golfer.
3 George Foreman & Grill - $150 Million
This might not be a combination one would expect to see at first, but when you think about it, it makes sense. Being a successful over depends very much on muscle mass and overall physique, so eating quality meat in copious amounts is often part of the job description.
George Foreman got a pretty sweet deal here, by having the product named after himself, and making a total of $150 million, both from profits and shares from the company. Not too shabby for a deal that came after retirement!
2 David Beckham & Adidas - $160 Million
Nike isn't the only sports brand who know how to spot a good opportunity, and making sure they harness it for profit. Adidas, Nike's biggest competitor, focused on soccer instead of basketball in an effort to increase sales and keep the sales rising. For the company, David Beckham was the best choice.
Considered one of the best players of all time, Beckham is no stranger to brand and product endorsements. But this one in particular was the best one yet, which involves a lifetime deal that has already made him $160 million richer.
1 Michael Jordan & Nike - $145 Million (This Year)
And topping the list go highest-paid celebrity endorsement deals of all time is, of course, Michael Jordan and Nike. The former NBA player might be retired, but thanks to his deal with Nike, going strong since 1984, he keeps bringing in the big bucks.
For a while, it was estimated that he made $100 million a year from the deal alone, and Forbes estimated that he'll make $190 in 2019. There's no telling exactly how much he's made in total, but it's probably close to the $1 billion mark, making it the most lucrative deal in the history of celebrity endorsements.