Serena Williams, clearly the most successful American female tennis player to play the game, has made the most of her opportunities to financially capitalize on her hard work and effort. That strategy has allowed her to amass an estimated net worth of $180 million. While championship purses for tennis are relatively low when compared to the major sports, Williams has won consistently enough over the years to become a multimillionaire.
Though the largest percentage of her wealth has come from her unparalleled skill sets, she has also taken advantage of the opportunity to regularly endorse products from some of the sports world’s most common household names. As any athlete with a Nike endorsement knows, such deals can add considerable sums of money to one’s coffers.
For her professional efforts, Williams can be found in the top 10 of women’s single season money earnings between the years 2009 and 2016. In 2013 she won consistently and often, with the result of annual earning reaching $12.4 million. This was her best year ever, yet was only the beginning of her on-court success as she would place in the top 10 money earners for the next three years. Her streak ended when she became pregnant in 2017, having played in very few tournaments.
While playing professional tennis does not pay anywhere near what it used to, Williams has focused on winning the major tournaments that comprise the Grand Slam of tennis. The four tournaments – the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open – have been won by Serena twice in the same year. These clearly are the highest paying for the winner, and she has won 23 of them. That is more than any woman tennis player other than the legendary Margaret Court.
With the Grand Slam winnings as the foundation, Williams has more than $88 million in career earnings. Having just turned 37, this career earnings number is not likely to increase though she has not formally announced her retirement from the tennis circuit. She has definitively stated in April of this year if she gets pregnant once again that will be the end of her tennis career.
Her income from her product endorsements accounts for the other half of her total net worth. She began by accepting an endorsement deal with Puma, only to have Nike up the ante in 2003. She moved on with a 5 year contract with the sports shoe and apparel company for a cool $40 million, though recent information has that contract getting $55 million from Nike. The business relationship has been extended since then, which comprises the largest single endorsement deal that adds to her overall net worth.
Of more recent vintage, Williams earned $27 million for endorsing a number of products during 2016 and 2017, including:
With a view to retirement, in May of this year Williams signed an endorsement deal with the trading card company Upper deck, reportedly a multi-year deal though financial terms have not been fully disclosed. Though this may not appear to be in the same court with Nike and Pepsi, Upper Deck has endorsement deals with other big sports names such as Tiger Woods, the G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan, and hockey’s Wayne Gretzky.
There are two other essential net worth categories missing: real estate and social media earnings. Williams has not forgotten to invest in real estate, currently owning a home in Bel Air worth an estimated $10 million that sits on a 2.7 acre property. She very recently sold a piece of property in Florida she purchased in 2012 for $4.12 million. The 2.4 acre undeveloped lot was sold for $6 million, resulting in a $1.8 million profit.
Finally, Williams took a different approach to social media. The year 2012 was a busy one for her as she invested in the social media website Mobli. Then followed additional investments in Mayvenn and Daily Harvest, with the latter having managed to raise more than $43 million.
Serena Williams appears to now be settling down into a less active lifestyle and focusing on the future of her family and finances. Of all her sources of income, her real estate and social media earnings show the greatest promise in the long term, as at 37 she is not likely to return to the professional tennis circuit, pregnancy or no pregnancy. It is predicted that as her presence fades from the tennis headlines, so will the offered amounts of endorsement deals. Overall, we can expect her net worth to remain stable in the future, but the potential for growth is limited.