It’s hard to know when you’ve made it big as a professional athlete. How do you measure success? Some say it’s sustained brilliance and being at the top of your game for year after year. But that’s a mightily hard feat, one that very few have managed to achieve. That’s how you distinguish the true greats from the best of the rest. But you don’t just have to become a great to enjoy a decent, successful sporting career. Some show flashes of brilliance here and there, and that ends up being enough, enough to gain a ton of popularity and rake in the cash. There are a couple of other things that people use as a benchmark when it comes to measuring success. Who fairs highly in the popularity stakes is always something that equates to success. Cash earned is another thing. Earning cash through professional sporting contracts and prize money is one thing. But you certainly know you’ve made it big when you’re earning millions through sponsorships deals.
Having companies eager to sign you and willing to put together a lucrative contract to do so – that’s when you know you’ve made it, you’re more than just the run-of-the-mill athlete. One company that’s dished out a ton of these contract over the years is Rolex. The watch company has a strong association with the sporting world and some of the top athletes in it. It sponsors many sporting events and many top athletes from around the world of sport. A lot of the top athletes can be spotted with luxury timepieces around their wrists. They’re inclined to do so, seeing as how they’re paid megabucks to be seen wearing Rolex watches. Here are 20 wealthy Rolex sporting ambassadors.
20. Dwyane Wade And Gabrielle Union Are Always Spotted Wearing Rolex Watches
Rolex, for all the sports sponsorship contracts they’ve dished out over the years, isn’t commonly associated with basketball and the NBA. It’s strange how certain types of companies are associated with different sports. Watch brands generally don’t sponsor NBA athletes. They’re sponsored by food and drink brands, sneakers, etc. But in that respect, Dwyane Wade differs from the norm. At 36 years old, his stellar career’s still ongoing. He’s part of the old guard, but due to what he’s achieved, he has to be among one of the greats of the game. Rolex likes to associate itself with greatness. Dwyane has also attracted other watch brands. He’s been sponsored by Hubolt, but his Rolex watches have got to be among his favorite in his vast collection. His wife, Gabrielle Union, loves them too – she probably likes to make use of all the freebies he gets sent!
19. Jackie Stewart Has Been Working With Rolex For 45 Years
Jackie Stewart is a massive name in the world of motor racing. He’s getting on a bit now, and admittedly no longer competes, but he has created a legacy for himself that will live on through the sport of Formula One. He’s a British former Formula One racing driver hailing from Scotland, someone who tasted a tremendous amount of success on the track. He won three World Driver’s Championships, but arguably what he’s most notable for is his work off the track. When he stepped away from competing, Jackie was instrumental in helping to improve the safety of motor racing. He’s the kind of guy Rolex loves to be associated with – someone who’s legacy is going to live on and whose influence transcends from the sport to the rest of the sporting world. Jackie has been a long time Rolex ambassador, and has been part of the company’s image for around 45 years. He’s arguably more in the know about Rolex than a lot of those who work at the company.
18. Martine Grael Is One Of The Few Sailors Who Is Associated With Rolex
Rolex doesn’t just get involved with the big sports. Rolex and their association with tennis and golf – that’s something we all know about. But they’re a brand that supports sports in general. If there’s a sporting event that needs funding or perhaps needs more coverage, Rolex is a brand that’ll think seriously about stepping in and helping. They’ve done that when it comes to sailing, and sponsor many sailing competitions around the globe. Sailing isn’t exactly a lucrative sport for the athletes, so Rolex have also backed some sailors, and in doing so, it’s safe to assume that they’ve changed a few lives. Martine Grael has got to be one of them. The Brazilian sailor hails from a sailing family – her brother and father also sailed in the Olympics. But they didn’t get a sponsorship deal like Martine has. Because of her association with Rolex, it’s fair to say that she’s got more cash than the average Olympic sailor.
17. Steve Guerdat Is One Of The Wealthiest Equestrians Thanks To Rolex
Rolex is a Swiss luxury watchmaker that has ploughed money into all sorts of events and has backed athletes from different sports around the world. But hailing from Switzerland, it’s a brand that loves nothing more than to get behind home grown talent. Roger Federer for example, as you’ll discover further down this list, is perhaps their most prized ambassador. He is a global phenomenon. But they’ve also gotten behind other, lesser-known, Swiss athletes. Steve Guerdat is a Swiss equestrian. He’s a showjumping champion, someone who just lives and breathes horses, and has done, actually before he even began walking as a kid. That’s what you call true passion, and that’s the type of story that Rolex loves. Equestrians are normally quite affluent individuals, not really guys who are hard up for a bit of cash. But even so, a deal with Rolex must have come in handy and must have made Steve one of the wealthiest equestrians going around.
16. Lewis Pugh Proves That Rolex Is All About Supporting Successful Athletes
Lewis Pugh is another guy on this list who doesn’t exactly come from a mainstream sport. But due to all of his achievements, the numerous accolades that have come his way, and being backed by companies such as Rolex, he’s risen to become, you’d have to say, one of the world’s greatest athletes. He’s a British-South African endurance swimmer and is also an ocean advocate. He’s swam in long distance events in every ocean on the planet, becoming the first man to have done so. His achievements as a swimmer are staggering, but he’s perhaps better known for the work he does highlighting the plight of certain regions around the globe, such as the North Pole, and bringing attention to environmental issues. Rolex love this and loves everything that this man personifies. Rolex has backed him in his endeavors for many years. He’s the perfect ambassador for their Deepsea Sea-Dweller watches.
15. Mark Webber Is A Perfect Fit For Rolex
Australian former professional racing driver, Mark Webber, is someone who you’ve got to say reached the pinnacle of motor sport – not just Formula One, where he was best known, but motor sport in general. He had a good time of things in endurance racing, but undoubtedly, the majority of his success came on the track as a Formula One driver. He’s now swapped life in the fast lane for media duties, and is still very much involved in the sport. Rolex has been associated with Mark Webber for many many years, and still is even though he’s retired. He’s a Rolex testimonee and someone who just fits in perfectly with the Rolex brand and everything it signifies. Rolex is “driven by a passion for performance and precision” as it states on it’s website, and so the ex-Formula One speedster and multitalented driver was always going to be a perfect fit.
14. Jordan Spieth Represents Excellence For Rolex
Rolex has a genuine passion for golf, and is a brand that is all about precision, seeking excellence, perfection and tradition. We could very well have been describing Jordan Spieth. He’s someone who fits in with the brand perfectly. He is someone who’s enjoyed the backing of Rolex for many years. That’s quite some achievement considering Jordan is only 24 years old. As a golfer and athlete, he’s already achieved so much, and he and Rolex must also know that there’s still a whole lot to come. The guy could have the golfing world at his feet, so to speak, and Rolex, a longtime supporter of golf, wants to be a part of that. The brand is a leading supporting and sponsor behind Jordan Spieth. It recognizes that he’s captivated not just golf, but the entire sporting world – pure excellence, which is what the brand stands for. Jordan too, was absolutely delighted with the sponsorship deal: “It’s an honor to be a part of the Rolex team and join legends like Mr. Nicklaus, Mr. Palmer and Mr. Player. I’m very proud to be associated with one of golf’s greatest global partners.” The cash would also come in handy, but he forgot to mention that!
13. Ana Ivanovic Is The Best Model For Rolex Watches
Former Serbian tennis pro, Ana Ivanovic, is a woman who certainly made her mark on the game. She was once the best player in the world, and is someone who can claim to have won a Grand Slam title. But what she’s most known for is being one of the most beautiful players in the game. She was beautiful on the court and off it, and captured fans’ attention by taking part in stunning photoshoots. She was one of the most marketable athletes in the world – everyone wanted to get her on board.
Ana is a woman who loves her watches. She’s always spotted with a beautiful timepiece on her wrist, and for Ana, it’s always Rolex. Rolex loves getting involved and spending cash in tennis. It’s been doing so for decades. When they sponsored Ana way back in 2008, they spotted her potential. They’ve been together in partnership ever since, even now that she’s retired. Ana is someone who’s incredibly loyal to her brands and is always spotted wearing a Rolex. No doubt she’s created plenty of buzz for Rolex, has made them a lot of money, and has made plenty of it herself over the past decade.
12. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Had So Much Charisma That Rolex Had To Get Him On Board
As mentioned previously, Rolex just loves to plough its money into tennis. They love sponsoring top events in the game and backing a number of different players. Of course, when it comes to tennis, and their sponsorship of athletes in general, Roger Federer is their marquee name, as he would be being one of the world’s greatest athletes. But in the men’s game, the luxury watch brand has also forged partnerships with other top pros, such as Frenchman, Joe-Wilfried Tsonga. He’s one of their top tennis testimonials, and has been involved with them for quite some time now. Tsonga’s made a ton of cash in the game, but although we don’t know the exact figure, it’s fair to assume he makes more through sponsorship deals. The French number one is charismatic, a superstar in his home nation and in the tennis world, and is a highly marketable athlete. Rolex just had to get him on board as an ambassador.
11. David Beckham And His Wife Love Rolex Watches
David Beckham is arguably the biggest athlete in the world. It’s amazing what he did for the beautiful game of soccer, how his popularity just grew and grew to the point where even non-soccer fans know his name. Even now, even since retiring, he’s incredibly active in the game, and has just bought an MLS team. In addition to his achievements, he’s one half of a super couple with his wife Victoria Beckham. They’re celebrity A-listers. Over the years Beckham has been involved with many companies and has had numerous sponsors. In terms of watches, he just loves them, and at the moment he’s getting freebies because he’s a Tudor Watch ambassador. In the past both he and his wife have also been associated with Rolex. He still has many in his collection. It’s fair to assume though that Beckham didn’t really need the money from any sponsorship deal. He’s absolutely loaded, and dishes out most of his income to charity, as he did with his salary as a soccer player in the later stages of his career.
10. Caroline Wozniacki Is One Of The Brand’s Most Successful Ambassadors
With Ana Ivanovic no longer around in the women’s draw, Rolex needed a new ambassador. They’ve managed to get a few, but the top player they managed to bag has to be Caroline Wozniacki. Caroline Wozniacki has always been there at the top of the rankings. Rolex had faith in her, envisaged that she would eventually take her career to the next level, and that’s what she’s just done. She’s just won her first Grand Slam title, the Australian Open, and is the current world number one. Rolex likes to back winners, those creating history, and Caroline fits the bill perfectly.
Caroline is also one of the wealthiest athletes around. Her prize money to date sits at a cool $30 million. Then there are all her earnings from sponsorships and the stunning photoshoots she’s done over the years for various publications and all of her other ventures. Caroline’s enjoying a golden period at the moment and is absolutely raking it in.
9. Lindsey Vonn Has So Much Star Power That Rolex Needed To Sign With Her
Lindsey Vonn is currently in the headlines quite a bit as she’s gearing up to take home medals at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. But she’s used to grabbing the headlines, has been in them quite a lot over the past 13 years or so. Lindsey is an American World Cup alpine skier. That’s not exactly one of the world’s most popular sports, but she’s helped bring it more to the mainstream. She’s certainly helped to get people interested. That’s because Lindsey is regarded to be among the most beautiful athletes on the planet. Set eyes on some of the photoshoots she’s done over the years and you’d be hard pressed to disagree. She enjoys a tremendous amount of popularity, has star appeal, and that’s got to be part of the reason why Rolex has gotten her on board as a sporting ambassador – that and her dedication to her craft and determination to achieve success.
8. Phil Mickelson Embodies Rolex’s Values
Phil Mickelson is regarded to be one of the nicest people in golf. The big leftie is an imposing figure on the course, looms above his competitors, but when it comes down to it, he’s a real gent, a perfect ambassador for the gentleman’s game. He may be a gentle giant, but that doesn’t mean the fire doesn’t burn within him and that he’s not hungry for success. Phil’s extremely passionate about his craft, hones his skills and practices religiously, and this has translated into plenty of success for the big American. In terms of prize money, Phil continues to rake it in year after year. He’s a highly marketable athlete, and around 75% of his earnings comes from sponsorship deals, such as long-term sponsorship deals he’s held with the likes of Rolex. This has made him one of the wealthiest athletes around. In 2011, he was actually the second-highest paid athlete in the U.S. Rolex has said they chose to sponsor him due to his determination, patience, and perseverance. You can add likability and popularity to that list too.
7. Tiger Woods Still Has Rolex’s Support
Tiger Woods’ fall from grace has been rather dramatic. Once upon a time he was one of the world’s top athlete and frequently headed the list of the world’s highest paid athletes. But due to various scandals, he has dropped off the pace and has seriously struggled in his attempts to regain his once dominating form. Tiger’s one of the most successful athletes in history. He’s broken a number of records, and by doing so, has accumulated a wealth of prize money.
Understandably, plenty of companies wanted Tiger on board, and sponsored him as their ambassador. When the scandal arose, many of these companies parted ways with him. Five massive companies dropped him, including the watch company Tag Heuer. But Rolex had faith that he’d get his life back on track and become the top athlete the world once new and loved. They signed with him in 2011, and regarding the deal, said it was due “to the exceptional stature of Tiger Woods and the leading role he plays in forging sport’s global appeal. Rolex is convinced that Tiger Woods still has a long career ahead of him, and that he has all the qualities required to continue to mark the history of golf.” That’s as good a reason as any.
6. Maria Sharapova Unfortunately Lost Her Deal With Rolex
Maria Sharapova was once the highest-earning female athlete on the planet. It’s not hard to see why. She tasted success at a young age, winning her first Grand Slam title as a teenager. Since then the sporting world has seen her blossom into a beautiful athlete. She’s incredibly graceful on court, has a tremendous amount of poise and elegance – oh and did we mention she’s beautiful? These qualities in themselves make Maria a highly marketable athlete. But she also possesses a business brain and is very savvy when it comes to making financial decisions and exploring other ventures. She therefore knows which companies to get involved in, and what will work best for her in terms of her image and from a financial standpoint. Her deal with Rolex was a no-brainer. But after she committed an offence, her deal with Rolex, and other top brands, was put on hold. It proved to be a costly error in judgment, one that will probably haunt her for the rest of her playing days.
5. Eugenie Bouchard Was The Perfect Ambassador For The Style-Conscious Brand
When Eugenie Bouchard first burst onto the scene, she was touted as being the next big thing in tennis. She’d be the first to admit that she hasn’t quite fulfilled her potential. But nevertheless, she’s certainly created an impression. She’s arguably one of the most popular players in the game – one of the most popular athletes in sports, for that matter. That’s because she is one of the most beautiful women in sports. It’d be unfair to say that Genie has gotten by solely on her looks, but her looks and her overall presence have played a massive part in making Genie the superstar athlete she is today. It’s why brands such as Rolex want to be associated with her. Genie seen with a Rolex on her wrist is going to result in plenty of sales and bring the watch company a whole load of popularity. She’s a Rolex ambassador and just loves her watches and everything about the brand. It’s a perfect partnership.
4. Cheyenne Woods Looks Fantastic In Rolex Watches
It was inevitable that someone else in the Woods’ family was going to take up golf, follow in the Great Tiger’s footsteps. But even so, people were pretty surprised when it was Cheyenne Woods. A bit of a stereotype here, but she just didn’t strike people as the type. But like uncle like niece, Cheyenne has enjoyed a very successful time of things as a pro golfer. Her golfing prowess might not be anywhere near up to scratch, anywhere close to her uncle’s, but Cheyenne has found fame, success and fortune in other ways.
Firstly, Cheyenne is stunning, so there have been no shortage of magazines and sporting publications ringing her up, eager to get her on board for photoshoot sessions. Thankfully for us, Cheyenne has obliged and has taken part in some seriously stunning shoots. Then there’re the sponsorship deals she’s acquired. A lot of that is down to her surname and her look, not that Cheyenne would care. If companies such as Rolex offer you a sponsorship deal, you take it. That’s just what she did when they came knocking in 2013. She became one of their global ambassadors, joining her uncle in the Rolex golfing family.
3. Garbiñe Muguruza Is One Of The Newest Faces For The Rolex Brand
Garbiñe Muguruza is the new girl on the block in the tennis world. Actually, we say new, but she’s been around for a good number of years now. But compared to the others, she’s a fresh face, someone who’s certainly blossomed in terms of her look and her appearance on court. You’ve got to say that Eugenie Bouchard is the most stunning player in the WTA, but Garbine isn’t too far behind and she’s one of the best players in the world. From that point of view, she’s the perfect player to get behind. Many sponsors have done so, including Rolex. After enjoying a meteoric rise in 2014, she bought her own Rolex. She’s obviously a fan of the luxury watchmaker. But since then she hasn’t needed to shell out her cash. Rolex came calling, offered her a sponsorship deal, and she snapped it up. They’ve enjoyed a strong partnership ever since.
2. Roger Federer Is The Most Iconic Rolex Ambassador
This is a no-brainer for this list. When it comes to wealthy Rolex sporting ambassadors, no one fits the bill more that Roger Federer. In terms of his success as a tennis player – well, we could just wax lyrical about him and his achievements until the cows come home. He’s got that star appeal, something that’s meant he’s loved by pretty everyone worldwide. Even those who aren’t into tennis know his name. With this success and popularity, there’s been plenty of cash. In terms of his prize money, he’s accumulated over $100 million. But those earnings are dwarfed by his off-court ventures, the sponsorship deals and endorsement contacts he’s held over the years. One of those is with Rolex. He’s had an affinity with Rolex, as the brand has with him. He’s Swiss, a global superstar, a true gent, and is passionate about his craft. The partnership just fits. He’s been associated with Rolex for many many years and is always spotted out and about with a Rolex on his wrist. He’s loyal to the brand and he’s certainly given back in terms of all he’s done for them.
1. Alain Hubert Is Not Your Typical Rolex Ambassador
Alain Hubert might not be a name that’s too familiar to a lot of you. He’s a mountain and polar guide, a true explorer and an avid practitioner of all sorts of outdoor sports. Oh, and he’s also a civil engineer. He’s trekked to some remote places in some seriously harsh conditions over the years, just because he loves to, but also in the name of science. He’s been featured in tons of publications, documentaries and films, and has many notable awards and distinctions to his name. Rolex is a brand that recognizes such achievements and guys like Alain, and want to get behind such people. He’s been a Rolex ambassador for quite some time, and embodies the values that Rolex as a brand hold close to their hearts. Alain being a Rolex ambassador has certainly helped give his finances a boost, to the point where he’s actually pretty wealthy (relatively speaking, of course, in comparison to other polar guides and explorers).
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