Russell Coutts is the only sailor to appear in a list of athlete’s salaries by ESPN. His reported $10,000,000 salary also makes him the most highly paid New Zealand athlete.
While the sum might be relatively small compared to superstars in major sports, the ‘per-game’ fee is significant indeed. Coutts is perhaps more an administrator than a sailor these days, so his salary reflects his business interests around the America’s Cup and the RC44 series, but if you divide the salary by the number of competitive events that Coutts competed in during 2010, then you get a pretty nice number.
As always, our maths is done on the back of an envelope, so we might be out a little, but roughly if you consider; 6 RC44 events, 4 Louis Vuitton Trophy Event, 1 Corporate gig during Cowes Week (1851 Cup) and The America’s Cup you get about $833K per event.
The ESPN list doesn’t break down the sources of income – in fact is says that the number is a base salary only. But since his official website lists only Oracle Racing as a sponsor, it would be safe to say that not a lot of the headline figure was generated through endorsements, personal rights fees or licenses.
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