Cristiano Ronaldo the Highest Paid Athlete in the World

Cristiano Ronaldo signed a five-year contract extension with Nike NKE +0.46% that kicked off last year and is worth $13 million a year. It is the most expensive athlete sponsorship deal in all of soccer, and it is an absolute bargain for the $31 billion-in-sales sportswear giant.

Ronaldo generated $36 million in value for Nike on social media alone via his own accounts through 59 posts over the last 12 months, according to a study of the top-paid athletes by Hookit, which tracks sponsorship value in social and digital media. All of Ronaldo’s partners got a total of $176 million in media value from his promotional work on social platforms.