The most lucrative celebrity endorsements pay the world’s biggest stars more money than they make from their movies, concerts, shows or on-field performances — and could become an even more important source of income in the time of social distancing.
From infomercials and soft drink ads to sneaker lines and fragrances, this generation’s stars know they’ve made it once the corporations come calling. Find out which celebrity endorsement deals were worth the most.
Last updated: March 17, 2021
Kylie Jenner: Puma, $1 Million
In 2016, the Daily Mail reported that then-18-year-old — and very rich — Kylie Jenner signed a $1 million deal to serve as a brand ambassador for Puma. According to the publication, this move upset Kanye West, who has his own deal with Adidas. Soon after, Jenner released her Puma Fierce line.
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Penelope Cruz: L’Oreal, $2 Million Per Year
According to a report from CBS News, actress Penelope Cruz earns $2 million per year for her position as a spokesperson for L’Oreal. She’s the leading lady in a string of Natural Match hair color commercials.
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Lisa Rinna: Depend, $2 Million
In 2015, it was reported that “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Rinna was paid a full $2 million for a single ad for Depend adult diapers. Radar Online reported at the time that because she assumed she’d be teased for the subject matter, she wanted to get as much out of the deal as possible.
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Jessica Simpson: Proactiv, $2.5 Million
Although Jessica Simpson didn’t earn quite as much money as Diddy and Alicia Keys did from their deals with Proactiv, the singer did pull in a pretty penny from her relationship with the acne medicine company. She was paid $2.5 million to speak for the company in 2005, according to a report from Adweek. But, this might be small change compared to how much her fashion empire brings in.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Estee Lauder, $3 Million
By 2011, Gwyneth Paltrow had already supplemented her movie star income with lucrative endorsement deals from Tod’s, Coach and Estee Lauder. According to a report from CBS News, the latter contract alone earned her $3 million a year.
Michelle Wie: Nike, $4 Million to $5 Million a Year
With a net worth of $12 million, she’s not one of the richest female athletes in the world — yet. But, Michelle Wie has made millions off of endorsements.
In 2005, golf phenom Michelle Wie turned 15 — and she also turned pro. Even then, Wie was no newcomer. She became the youngest player to qualify for the USGA Amateur Championship at age 10. At 13, she not only won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, but she also became the youngest player in history to make the cut for an LPGA Tour.
Needless to say, corporations were ready to pounce when she turned pro two years later. Nike scooped her up for between $4 million and $5 million a year, according to an ESPN report at the time.
Jennifer Aniston: Emirates Airlines, $5 Million
You know Jennifer Aniston from her role in “Friends,” as the leading lady in a number of rom-coms and the star of those quirky Emirates Airlines TV commercials. According to a 2015 report by Page Six, the actress who played Rachel Green signed a deal with the world’s largest international carrier that was worth $5 million.
Justin Timberlake: McDonald’s, $6 Million
In 2003, McDonald’s signed Justin Timberlake to head the company’s now-famous “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign. Timberlake had already released a song of the same title, but the fast-food giant created a jingle of its own that only partially borrowed from Timberlake. According to AdAge, the worldwide ad blitz earned the pop star $6 million, adding more to his current multimillion-dollar fortune.
Brad Pitt: Chanel, $7 Million
In 2012, A-Lister Brad Pitt became the first man in history to pitch for Chanel’s trademark Chanel No. 5 fragrance. The campaign was widely lampooned for its silliness, but Pitt got the last laugh — and a $7 million payday.
Ashton Kutcher: Lenovo, $10 Million
Hollywood superstar and tech venture capitalist wizard Ashton Kutcher was already a veteran spokesman in 2009, thanks to a lucrative endorsement deal with Nikon. Then, he signed an even bigger contract to serve as the spokesman for Lenovo, according to a Page Six report at the time.
Selena Gomez: Coach, $10 Million
In 2016, Page Six reported that Selena Gomez returned from a brief hiatus to sign a $10 million deal with designer brand Coach. Part of the reason Coach might have been drawn to the singer is Gomez’s massive Instagram following of more than 104 million, which earned her the top spot in terms of popularity on the platform two years in a row.
Catherine Zeta-Jones: T-Mobile, $10 Million a Year
In 2002, Catherine Zeta-Jones signed a two-year contract that paid her eight figures a year. In 2005, she renewed the deal. Not only did the endorsement contract pad her purse, but it also represented one of the first times that an actress banked such a payday outside of the typical beauty/fashion Hollywood comfort zone, according to Adweek.
Usain Bolt: Puma, $10 Million a Year
World’s fastest man Usain Bolt signed his first deal with Puma as a teenager. But in 2013, he renegotiated, according to a report at the time from Reuters. The German shoe company agreed to pay the runner $10 million a year.
Angelina Jolie: St. John, $12 Million
In 2006, clothing company St. John was in the middle of an identity crisis, according to the New York Times. Losing traditional customers at the expense of a failed campaign to lure a younger generation of buyers, the brand turned to superstar Angelina Jolie for a solution. The company reportedly paid her $12 million, plus sales incentives.
Nicole Kidman: Chanel, $12 Million
When Brad Pitt signed a deal with Chanel No. 5 for $7 million in 2012, he must have known that Nicole Kidman earned nearly twice that amount close to a decade earlier. In 2003, the actress was paid $12 million to serve as a spokesperson for the famous fragrance.
Robert Pattinson: Dior, $12 Million
In 2012, “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson inked a $12 million deal to serve as spokesperson for a men’s fragrance line from Dior, according to an E! report at the time. Prior to taking the job as the new face of Dior, he was seen at high-profile events wearing the French brand’s clothing.
Floyd Mayweather: Assorted Companies, $25 Million
During his highly anticipated 2017 fight against UFC star Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather earned $25 million just by selling ad space on the clothing and accessories he wore during and before the fight. He raked in eight figures by placing endorsements on his shorts, caps and robe.
Earnhardt Jr.: Mountain Dew/Army National Guard, $25 Million a Year
In 2007, giants like Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods saw to it that $25 million was not a huge deal in the world of sports endorsements — but it was certainly a big deal for NASCAR. That year, Mountain Dew and the Army National Guard split a $25 million endorsement contract for Dale Earnhardt Jr., which brought NASCAR into the modern era of advertising.
Taylor Swift: Diet Coke, $26 Million
In 2014, Music Times reported that crossover icon Taylor Swift signed a major deal to serve as a spokesperson for Diet Coke. The contract, which features radio spots and TV ads, earned the superstar $26 million.
DJ Tiesto: 7UP, $30 Million
According to Billboard, soda giant 7UP poured $30 million into a 2014 campaign to associate DJ Tiesto with the company’s trademark beverage. Not only did 7UP pay the music maker outright, but it also contributed funding for a release party and a stage at a massive Las Vegas music festival.
George Clooney: Nespresso, $40 Million
Burt Reynolds. Andy Garcia. The Muppets. Commercials released by Nespresso feature some of the most famous faces in movie and television history — but one gets paid more than all of them. In 2017, the Daily Mail reported that George Clooney’s status as brand ambassador earned him $40 million from the drink company.
Britney Spears: Pepsi, Up To $50 Million
From Michael Jackson to Ray Charles, the world’s biggest musical acts have long been rewarded for their success with a Pepsi ad. But in 2001, it was Britney Spears who was sitting pretty as queen of the pop hill — and she landed a Pepsi advertisement of her own to prove it. The Guardian reported at the time that Pepsi paid upwards of $50 million to work with Spears, making it one of history’s biggest contracts at that time.
Julia Roberts: Lancome, $50 Million
Julia Roberts was already reportedly earning $20 million as a spokesperson with Lancome in 2010. That year, however, the “Pretty Woman” star renegotiated for 2.5 times that amount, according to reports at the time.
Beyonce: Pepsi, $50 Million
Few stars have risen higher than Beyonce — and in 2012, her global celebrity translated into a multi-year, $50 million contract with Pepsi. The New York Times reported the soda giant was thinking big — far beyond TV or print ads — and was aiming to “get into the Beyonce business.”
Charlize Theron: Dior, $55 Million
According to Playboy, Charlize Theron is near the top of the heap when it comes to getting big checks in exchange for endorsements. She reportedly signed an 11-year, $5 million-a-year contract to pitch for Dior’s signature fragrance, J’adore perfume.
Serena Williams: Nike, $55 Million
No woman in sports earns more than tennis superstar Serena Williams. The sheer size of her marketability became evident in 2003, when athletic apparel giant Nike signed her to a massive deal worth $55 million, provided certain contract contingencies were met, according to ESPN.
50 Cent: Vitaminwater, $60 Million to $100 Million
Although rapper 50 Cent was an investor and part-owner, his main function as a player behind Glaceau — the brand that founded Vitaminwater — was to use his fame to endorse the product. By the time Coca-Cola bought the company in 2007, 50 Cent was swimming in as much as nine figures.
Sofia Vergara: Assorted Companies: $94.5 Million
In 2017, Forbes again named “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara the highest-paid actress on television — mostly thanks to her lucrative array of endorsement deals. She’s earned $157.5 million since 2011. And 60% of that figure — or $94.5 million — came from pitch deals with brands like Head & Shoulders, Pepsi, Quaker Oats and CoverGirl.
George Foreman: Foreman Grills, $200 Million
In 2010, CNBC referred to boxing-legend-turned-grilling-guru George Foreman’s endorsement deal as the second-best in history, after Michael Jordan’s contract with Nike. Salton electric grills were obscure — until they became Foreman Grills. Once the affable athlete’s name was attached to the product, they took off — and so did Foreman’s wealth.
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