Forbes: LeBron James has most valuable athlete brand in sports

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LeBron James is worth a lot of money.

We all knew that, but Forbes Magazine wants you to know it’s A LOT of money. Forbes released “The Forbes Fab 40: The Most Valuable Sports Brands of 2014,” a list that has Nike at the top. Which makes sense.

But when you get to athlete’s personal brands, LeBron has moved to the top of the list, past Tiger Woods.

This year the top spot belongs to LeBron James, who will be rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers after fours season and two NBA titles with the Miami Heat. James pulled in $53 million off the court during the past year and his brand is worth $37 million, which is the amount his endorsement and non-basketball earnings exceeded the average of the top 10 off the court earners in the NBA.

LeBron’s return to Cleveland is going to jack that up even further — his approval ratings have gone up, which is good for the brand and good for sponsorship. This number is likely on the low end.

But sure, he needs to do away with the max contract limits.

Here’s your full list of the top athlete brand values from Forbes (check out the story for the team brands, company brands and event brands):

1. LeBron James ($37 million)
2. Tiger Woods ($36 million)
3. Roger Federer ($32 million)
4. Phil Mickelson ($29 million)
5. Mahendra Singh Dhoni ($20 million)
6. Usain Bolt ($19 million)
7. Cristiano Ronaldo ($17 million)
8. Kobe Bryant ($15 million)
9. Lionel Messi ($12 million)
10. Rafael Nadal ($10 million)