Top 40: QLD’s highest earning sports stars
THEY'RE some of Queensland's most recognisable faces and they have the bank account to go along with the fame. Here we reveal our top 40 highest earners in sport.
In part one we find some of the biggest names in Australia's domestic footy codes, a cricketer earning the big bucks thanks to deals across the Indian Ocean, and a semi-retired motorsport star still bringing in the bacon.
40. Ben Cutting (Cricket) - $771,000
The 32 year-old Brisbane all-rounder is in high demand as a limited-overs player around the world, earning $426,000 in the IPL, $110,000 from the Brisbane Heat, approximately $80,000 from the Afghan Premier League and the same from taking part in the Super League T-10 tournament in the UAE.
He also has bat and other sponsorships worth about $75,000 a year.
39. Sally Pearson (Athletics) - $780,000
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist, 2011 and 2017 world champion, and 2011 Female Athlete of the Year was hampered by injury last season but enters 2019 fit and planning to compete in the 100m hurdles at seven Diamond League meets.
Prizemoney for the final is $70,000 for first, down to $14,000 for third.
The 32-year-old Gold Coaster is also paid appearance money to compete around the world, estimated at around $220,000 for the season.
Her on-track earnings are supplemented by sponsorship deals with organisations including Adidas, Coles, Village Roadshow theme parks, Plus Fitness, Chempro and Audi Gold Coast.
38. Valentine Holmes (NFL) - $820,000
The former Sharks, Maroons and Test player walked away from annual earnings estimated at $1 million to chase the NFL minimum of $680,000 a season.
He also has a Nike contract worth around $150,000. At just 23 years of age, should he not be picked up by an NFL team he will no doubt be welcomed back to rugby league by any club with room left under the salary cap.
37. Will Genia (Rugby) - $850,000
When the former Reds halfback returned from a stint in France prior to last season he was signed to a similar contract to Quade Cooper, with a $650,000 base payment jumping to $800,000 for inclusion in the national squad.
Since his return Genia, 31, has been the Wallabies first-choice No.9 and is considered a certainty to be chosen for this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.
He also has around $50,000 in endorsement deals.
36. Kalyn Ponga (NRL) - $900,000
The dynamic playmaker earned headlines when he signed a four-year contract with the Knights at a reported $600,000 a season after only three NRL games, but expect his next deal to dwarf that amount.
At just 20 years of age and already exceeding expectations, his will be one of the most highly sought after signatures in the game if and when the Knights loosen their grip.
Guaranteed an extra $90,000 from Origin duty he could also pick up another $60,000 if he makes the Kangaroos squad this season.
Will also earn an estimated $150,000 in endorsements including Fox Sports.
35. Dayne Zorko (AFL) - $905,000
The 30-year-old Brisbane-born midfielder signed a deal worth a reported $2 million over four years in 2016, but has since seen that upgraded to around $825,000 after being appointed club captain, earning All Australian selection and becoming the Lions' most high-profile player.
He picks up around $80,000 through endorsement deals including ambassador roles with the AFL and Auskick.
34. Darius Boyd (NRL) - $925,000
The 31-year-old Broncos captain earns a reported $750,000 a season from the club plus an estimated $175,000 in endorsements and third-party deals.
Having retired from representative football last season he has dropped up to $150,000 in Origin and Test payments but with reports of a possible return to the Maroons this season his earnings could climb to just over the $1 million mark.
33. Dayne Beams (AFL) - $950,000
After helping Southport to the 2008 QAFL title as an 18-year-old, the Gold Coast-raised midfielder joined Collingwood before signing with the Lions in 2015, captaining the side in 2017.
At the end of last season he returned to Collingwood in a deal which saw him retain his estimated $850,000 annual salary plus endorsement deals worth around $100,000.
32. Quade Cooper (Rugby) - $980,000
The 70-Test veteran is on a base salary of $650,000 with Rugby Australia and the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise which rises to around $800,000 if he plays for the Wallabies. Unwanted by Queensland Reds' coach Brad Thorn last season, Cooper was the world's highest-paid club player when he turned out for Brisbane Souths.
With the Wallabies desperate for a play-maker and Cooper, 30, showing good early form for the Rebels, a recall to the Wallabies is a genuine possibility.
Should that eventuate, personal endorsements worth an estimated $180,000 will see his annual earnings rise close to $1 million.
31. Craig Lowndes (Motor Racing) - $1.1 million
At his peak the 44 year-old former Victorian who has called Queensland home for 20 years was earning in excess of $3 million a year.
Now that he has stopped driving full-time and will only co-drive in three major events - Bathurst, Sandown and Gold Coast - this season his income will drop, but he is still holding his own financially.
His full driving contract of approximately $950,000 will be reduced to $300,000 but he should keep the majority of his major endorsements and his signing as Supercar commentator with Fox Sports will keep his annual income over the million dollar mark.