3. Venus Williams (Estimated net worth: $95 million)
Who is She?
Her full name is Venus Ebony Starr Williams, born on June 17, 1980. She is an American professional tennis player. A former world No. 1, Williams is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis and, along with younger sister Serena Williams, is credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism on the women’s professional tennis tour.
Williams has been ranked world No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association on three occasions, for a total of 11 weeks. Venus Williams First reached the No. 1 ranking on February 25, 2002, the first African American woman to do so in the Open Era, and the second all-time since Althea Gibson. Williams’ seven Grand Slam singles titles are tied for 12th on the all-time list, and 8th on the Open Era list, more than any other active female player except her sister. She has reached 16 Grand Slam finals, most recently at Wimbledon in 2017. She has also won 14 Grand Slam Women’s doubles titles, all with Serena Williams; the pair is unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals.
How she makes her money?
Sure, Serena takes a bit more of the spotlight in recent years, but make no mistake: Venus is a fearsome competitor on and off the court. While her women’s singles ranking has dipped (she’s currently No. 53), the elder Williams sister’s marketing power is nearly unmatched: She’s No. 2 behind Serena in The Marketing Arm’s ranking of brand-friendly female athletes, with high points for aspiration. The 39-year-old veteran superstar is sitting on money from massive deals she’s made over her career, including a $40 million partnership with Reebok and ties with Tide, Electronic Arts, and Ralph Lauren. She also reportedly commands as much as $100,000 for a speaking engagement.
4. Danica Patrick (Estimated net worth: $60 million)
Who is She?
Her full name Danica Sue Patrick, born on March 25, 1982. She is an American former professional racing driver. She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing—her victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 is the only win by a woman in an IndyCar Series race. Born to a working-class family in Beloit, Wisconsin, Patrick began karting at the age of ten and achieved early success by winning her class in the World Karting Association Grand National Championship three times in the mid-1990s. She dropped out of high school with her parents’ permission in 1998 and moved to the United Kingdom to further her career.
Patrick competed in Formula Vauxhall and Formula Ford before returning to the United States in 2001 due to a lack of funding. In 2002, she competed in five Barber Dodge Pro Series races for Rahal Letterman Racing. Patrick later raced in the Toyota Atlantic Series for the next two years. Her best effort was third in the championship standings for the 2004 season where she became the first woman to win a pole position in the series.
She began racing stock cars in 2010 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series) with her best result coming in the form of a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. She placed a career-high tenth in the 2012 season standings and was the second woman to clinch a pole position in the Nationwide Series after Shawna Robinson in 1994. Patrick started in the Sprint Cup Series (now NASCAR Cup Series) in 2012. She became the first woman to win a Cup Series pole position by setting the fastest qualifying lap for the 2013 Daytona 500, finishing eighth. Patrick bested Janet Guthrie’s record for the most top-ten finishes by a woman in the Sprint Cup Series in 2015. She stopped racing full-time after the 2017 season but competed at the 2018 Daytona 500 and the 2018 Indianapolis 500 before officially retiring.
How she makes her money?
Patrick, one of only two non-tennis players on this list, comes behind only the Williams sisters in The Marketing Arm’s ranking of the most marketable female athletes, which notes her high trust level among the public. The 37-year-old queen of racing retired after last year’s Indianapolis 500, but she’s still cashing in on her legendary status with her own clothing line, Warrior by Danica Patrick, and her fitness book Pretty Intense. Her relationship with NFL star Aaron Rodgers ensures that she won’t be leaving the minds of sports fans anytime soon.