Thursday, 24 February 2011

Top Earning Sports Personalities in Kenya in 2010

Sport in Kenya has slowly become bread and butter for people fully engaged in it professionally. Fondly referred to by its peers as a ‘sporting nation’, the fact of the matter though is that much of the earnings are lop-sided with the one sport (athletics) accounting for almost 70% of total earnings.
The other sport, football also has two individuals sitting among the top earners but they ply their trade overseas with little or no earnings from the local scene. It is also worth noting that some sporting disciplines have been able to attract major sponsorships as a discipline but the trickle-down effect to the players has not been reflected. This is the case in golf and rugby which enjoyed in excess of KShs 1 billion and 0.5 billion respectively.
However going by the winnings, appearance fees and maybe some endorsement figures (throw ad revenues in there) and this is our list, in no particular order (most of these are estimates as actual figures are not easily availed here). We hope to inspire the budding talent waiting in the wings to take these individuals places;

Mariga - Image courtesy of

1. McDonald Mariga – having transferred to the Italian club Inter Milan from Parma mid-way last season, he was part of the 2010 UEFA Champions League, Italian League and Italian Cup title wins last year. Add with the heavily criticized ad and endorsement with UAP Insurance and Coca-Cola Kenya
{Estimates: $12,000,000 p.a., excl, bonuses and endorsements}

2. Samuel Wanjiru – winning the Chicago Marathon (prize money & time bonuses of US$ 115,000); as well as earning an appearance fee of an average of US$ 250,000. He also won the World Marathon Majors 2009-10 getting US$ 500,000. There is the sponsorship deal with Meiji Seika sponsorship deal ( makers of sports supplement Savas) worth US$ 3 million spread over 10 years signed in 2008

{Estimates:  US$ 500,000 for World Marathon title, US$ 115,000 prize money & bonus in Chicago, Appearance fees average of US$ 250,000 & US$ 300,000 per year for next 10 years from 2008-2018}

3. Dennis Oliech – he also plies his trade in Europe thus he has some sizeable income from the French League. He has not had much in endorsements both locally and abroad due to his initial big-headedness and national team mishaps. He has mellowed now and recently signed an extension contract with French club AJ Auxerre.

{Estimates:  between US$ 870,000 – 12,000,000 p.a.}

4. David Rudisha –the darling of the athletics world last year and Kenyans gave him a hell of a vote (online) and won the IAAF Male Sports Athlete of the Year; he also won a couple of races on the IAAF Diamond League of course attracting some bonuses as he broke the record twice in the space of one week

{Estimates: US$ 100,000 for World Athlete of the Year 2010, US$ 40,000 from IAAF Diamond League, undisclosed appearance and record breaking fees}

Nancy L- Gold medal 2010 CWG- New Delhi
5. Nancy Jebet Langat – she had a mixed year, being part of the winners of the inaugural IAAF Diamond League and also winning a Commonwealth gold ( some pickings from the government for winners can be added up); also won the Sports Personality of the Year Award-Kenya Female - 2010 edition 

{Estimates: US$ 40,000 IAAF Diamond League winnings, US$ 6,250 for 2010 SOYA Lady winner, Govt bonus from 2010 Commonwealth Gold medal}

5.    Other special mentions;
6. Mary Keitany – women half marathon specialists, won the World Half Marathon title in 2009, 2010 Abu Dhabi Half Marathon and Ras al Khaimah Half Marathon ( where she broke the world record this year)
{Estimates: US$ 357,740 in prize money, appearance fees and record-breaking bonuses
7. Edna Kiplagat – winner of 2010 Los Angeles Marathon and New York Marathon
{Estimates: US$ 303,000}
8. Wilson K. Kiprotich – marathoner
{Estimates: US$ 197,010}
Robert K. Cheruiyot - 2010 Boston Marathon Winner

9. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot – winner of 2010 Boston Marathon, quoted saying he would buy 50 more cows from his prize money of US$ 175,000
{Estimates: US$ 175, 545}

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