The salary data for the New York Yankees (see below) makes for an interesting contrast to the recently released Business Review Weekly annual survey of Australia's highest paid athletes, as reported by Australian Associated Press.
BRW estimates the great white shark Greg Norman to be our highest paid athlete ($15 million AUD) - not bad for a fellow who mostly plays the senior tour. NBA #1 draft pick Andrew Bogut ranks at no. 2 with estimated earnings of $14m.
That most of Australia's richest athletes earn their money outside of Australia is unsurprising - we've only got a population of 22 million - but the rising earnings of Australia’s best cricketers is noteworthy. Australian test & one day international captain Ricky Ponting ($4.26m), Australian test and one day international vice captain & Twenty20 captain Michael Clarke ($2.54m), "Mr Cricket" Mike Hussey ($1.39m) and former test and one day international players Brett Lee ($3.52m) and Andrew Symons ($1.22m) all make the list. The advent of the Indian Premier League T20 competition has certainly bumped up the salaries of the latter two (for pre-2008 IPL salaries, see a 2008 piece from Ben Dorries in the Brisbane Courier-Mail ). These salaries don’t quite add up to the value of the starting lineup of the NY Yankees (see below for the earlier post from Brian Goff), but the IPL remains an interesting experiment in turning both the labour market and competition structures of a global sport upside down.
Show me the money #2
In an interesting article by Ken Belson in the New York Times, it has been noted that the NFL is seeking to cut the smaller retailers of licensed merchandise out of the game:
The league said it will only allow online shops that bought at least $3 million worth of licensed merchandise from Reebok last year to apply to offer the line this year. More traditional stores that also sell online will have to meet a minimum threshold of $2 million in purchases last year.
This story appears just after the US Supreme Court heard oral argument in the American Needle v NFL case. Whether the USSC rules in favour of the NFL or not, this is a good example of ample market power being flexed by the NFL.