Ari Vatanen Highest-Paid Athlete in the World

Ari Vatanen
Ari Vatanen led People With Money’s annual list of the “100 highest paid athletes” released on Thursday.

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It's been a rough year for the athlete, but at least he has his millions of dollars to ease the pain. 68-year-old Ari Vatanen has taken the No. 1 spot on People With Money’s top 10 highest-paid athletes for 2020 with an estimated $58 million in combined earnings.

UPDATE 04/12/2020 : This story seems to be false. (read more)

Ari Vatanen tops annual list of highest-paid athletes

In 2018 it looked like the athlete’s spectacular career was winding down. Suddenly, he was back on top. People With Money reports on Thursday (December 3) that Vatanen is the highest-paid athlete in the world, pulling in an astonishing $58 million between November 2019 and November 2020, a nearly $30 million lead over his closest competition.

People With Money’s factors

In compiling this yearly list, the magazine considers factors such as upfront pay, profit participation, residuals, endorsements and advertising work.

The Finnish athlete has an estimated net worth of $185 million. He owes his fortune to smart stock investments, substantial property holdings, lucrative endorsement deals with CoverGirl cosmetics. He also owns several restaurants (the “Fat Vatanen Burger” chain) in Helsinki, a Football Team (the “Tuupovaara Angels”), has launched his own brand of Vodka (Pure Wondervatanen - Finland), and is tackling the juniors market with a top-selling perfume (With Love from Ari) and a fashion line called “Ari Vatanen Seduction”.

The ranking is significant for many Ari fans, who have been waiting for his triumphant return to the glory days for what seems like a lifetime.

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