Wealth does not always follow fame, but when properly monetized, stardom can be a powerful tool for building a fortune.
The act of turning one’s self into a marketing machine is epitomized by 21-year-old Kylie Jenner, who was the fourth highest earning celebrity in 2018. Leveraging her massive social media following, Jenner has turned Kylie Cosmetics into a force to be reckoned with. Recently, Forbes valued her company at over $900 million.
Today, we look at not only the world’s top earning living celebrities, but also the estates of the celebrities who are no longer with us as well.
Fame and Fortune
With a nickname like “Money”, it comes as no surprise that 2018’s top earning celebrity was Floyd Mayweather. The boxer’s bouts in 2015 and 2017 are still the top earning pay-per-view fights of all time, with the respective payouts propelling him to the top of the celebrity earnings list. His most recent opponent – Conor McGregor – also cashed in big, ranking 12th on the celebrity rich list.
Here is a full look at last year’s top earning celebrities:
View a high resolution version of this graphic.
Many celebrities earn big sums of money on specific contracts, so it makes sense that the top 10 shuffles a lot from year to year. Despite this, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is the sole celebrity to remain on this list for every year covered by the visualization.
Ed Sheeran’s Divide album was a runaway success earning him $110 million last year. Not only did the singer sell 1.1 million albums – an impressive feat in the digital age – he was the most streamed artist of 2017.
One somewhat surprising entry into the top 10 is Judy Sheindlin – better known as Judge Judy. Sheindlin reaped a huge windfall after selling her extensive 5,200-episode library to CBS.
Some celebrities are so iconic that their influence extends well beyond their own lifespan.
Michael Jackson’s music is still thrilling listeners around the world, and as a result, his catalog is raking in the posthumous profits. In 2018, the late singer’s estate earned more money than any living celebrity, adding to the $2 billion already amassed since his passing in 2009.
Below is a full look at the top earning dead celebrities:
View a high resolution version of this graphic.
For the first time since 2006, Albert Einstein has fallen out of the top 10. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem owns the rights to Einstein’s likeness, and in the aughts the “Baby Einstein” brand helped them (and Disney) amass a fortune. The popularity of the Baby Einstein brand is waning, but other licencing deals could bump the famous physicist back into the list at some point in the future.
No Business Like Show Business
Even celebrities who passed away decades ago can continue earning a shocking amount of money. While income streams like song royalties continue rolling in automatically, some savvy companies purchase estates from family members and take the marketing of deceased personalities to the next level.
Companies like Authentic Brands Group, have turned timeless icons like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley into full-fledged brands generating tens of millions of dollars per year through licencing and royalties.
Artists like Bob Marley and Dr. Seuss produced a body of work that still captures our imaginations today, so it makes sense that their estates continue to profit as time goes on.
Visualizing 200 Years of U.S. Population Density
This animation shows the population density of U.S. counties between 1790 and 2010, showing the westward expansion of the country’s population.
Visualizing 200 Years of U.S. Population Density
At the moment, there are around 326 million people living in the United States, a country that’s 3.5 million square miles (9.8 million sq km) in land area.
But throughout the nation’s history, neither of these numbers have stayed constant.
Not only did the population boom as a result of births and immigrants, but the borders of the country kept changing as well – especially in the country’s early years as settlers moved westwards.
U.S. Population Density Over Time
From a big picture perspective, here is how population density has changed for the country as a whole over the last 200 years or so:[table “404” not found /]
But today’s animated map, which comes to us from Vivid Maps, takes things a step further.
It plots U.S. population density numbers over the time period of 1790-2010 based on U.S. Census data and Jonathan Schroeder’s county-level decadal estimates for population. In essence, it gives a more precise view of who moved where and when over the course of the nation’s history.
Note: While U.S. Census data is granular and dates back to 1790, it comes with certain limitations. One obvious drawback, for example, is that such data is not able to properly account for Native American populations.
“Go West, Young Man”
As you might notice in the animation, there is one anomaly that appears in the late-1800s: the area around modern-day Oklahoma is colored in, but the state itself is an “empty gap” on the map.
The reason for this? The area was originally designated as Indian Territory – land reserved for the forced re-settlement of Native Americans. However, in 1889, the land was opened up to a massive land rush, and approximately 50,000 pioneers lined up to grab a piece of the two million acres (8,000 km²) opened for settlement.
While settlers flocking to Oklahoma is one specific event that ties into this animation, really the map shows the history of a much broader land rush in general: Manifest Destiny.
You can see pioneers landing in Louisiana in the early 1800s, the first settlements in California and Oregon, and the gradual filling up of the states in the middle of the country.
By the mid-20th century, the distribution of the population starts to resemble that of modern America.
Population Density Today
The average population density in the U.S. is now 92 people per square mile, although this changes dramatically based on where you are located:
If you are in Alaska, the state with the lowest population density, there is just one person per square mile – but if you’re in New York City there are 27,000 people per square mile, the highest of any major city in the country.
The Data Behind Surging NBA Team Valuations
Buoyed by hefty broadcast agreements and superstars like LeBron James, NBA team valuations are hitting new heights. Let’s break down the data by team.
At the beginning of this decade, the NBA was not on firm footing. More than half of the league’s teams were losing money, and negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement were looming.
Today, however, the NBA has undeniable momentum, buoyed by hefty broadcast agreements and superstars like LeBron James and Steph Curry. With interest in the NFL flagging in the U.S., professional basketball appears to be seizing the opportunity to win over sports fans and grow the popularity of the league.
This momentum has pushed team valuations to new heights, with the median team now being worth a solid $1.56 billion.
What are the exact valuations of individual franchises in the league, and how are these values derived? Let’s dig into Forbes’ annual NBA Valuations Ranking to learn more.
Breaking down team value
Forbes has broken down the value of an NBA team valuations into four components:
Sport: The revenue shared equally among all teams in the league
Market: City and market size
Arena: Revenues from sources such as attendance and premium seating
Brand: The actual value of the team’s brand
Every single team in the NBA is now valued at over $1 billion, and all but one team (the Cavaliers) were profitable last year.
For teams like the Knicks and Lakers, it’s easy to see how their huge market size contributes to their sky-high valuations. The former is currently the second-most-valuable sports franchise in America, tied with the New York Yankees.
While the biggest teams are worth more than double the NBA median value, the rising tide appears to be lifting all boats. The median team value has risen steadily and is up nearly 200% since 2014.
The biggest story in basketball over recent years has been the ascension of the Golden State Warriors.
Making the NBA finals four seasons in a row – and winning three of those match-ups – has had a massive impact on the team’s value, which has shot up 367% over the last five years. As the team moves to the brand new Chase Center next season, Golden State may even have a shot at surpassing the Knicks or Lakers in overall valuation.
Here are the top five gainers over the past five years:
The teams with the highest revenue-per-fan are typically in smaller markets like Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City, though both cities are unique in that an NBA franchise is their only professional sports team.
The struggling Chicago Bulls comes in near the bottom by revenue-per-fan, despite being the fourth most valuable team in the league.
In recent years, LeBron James has been one of the most electrifying personalities in professional sports, however, his influence on the NBA is now proving to be a double-edged sword. Since LeBron moved time zones from Cleveland to Los Angeles, NBA viewership is down – a dip that is particularly pronounced during the earlier Eastern Conference time slot.
Despite the slight dip in viewership, NBA teams are more profitable than they’ve ever been, and as the NBA turns its sights eastward to China, today’s valuations may seem modest in a few years time.
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