From the mid-1970s all the way to the early 1990s, Jimmy Connors was one of the most recognizable tennis players in the world. He held the number one ranking for a total of 268 weeks, including 160 consecutive weeks from 1974 to 1977. This is just one stat that puts him in a discussion for greatest tennis player in the history of the sport.
Despite his long, successful career, making money was not as easy on tour as it is today. Many people wonder just how much he was able to earn as a tennis player, and what his net worth is today.
What is Jimmy Connors’ net worth? Estimates have Jimmy Connors net worth at around $15 million at this point in his life. Now in his late 60s, he has not been an active player for more than two decades. He still makes money from a variety of sources, which helps keep his net worth up at this point in his life.
Career Prize Money Earnings
Jimmy Connors earned the majority of his prize money at Grand Slam events, where he won a total of eight major singles titles. His most successful tournament was the U.S. Open, as he won five different times throughout his career. To put in perspective how much players made during that era, Connors received $120,000 for winning in 1983. This was the first time a champion at the U.S. Open received a six-figure check.
Here is a breakdown of how much Jimmy Connor earned in prize money on his most successful years on the ATP Tour . (According to ATP) Remember that these numbers are only from the ATP Tour, back in the 80s ATP didn’t have the same control of the whole pro tennis scene. Many tournaments were organized by different tennis associations. Apart from the numbers below, Jimmy Connor earned an additional $6 million.
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Connors had one of the longest careers in tennis history, turning pro in 1972, and retiring in 1996. During that time, he picked up 109 career singles titles. Some of these were pretty small tournaments, but it does include the eight Grand Slam titles previously mentioned, three Year End Championships, and 17 Grand Prix Super Series titles.
This all adds up to career total of $8.6 million in prize money. He was one of the highest earners of his era, and that led to several other opportunities off of the court for him to grow his brand.
Connors was part of several rivalries that took place as the sports grew internationally. Early on in his career, he had famous battles against the likes of Bjorn Borg and Ilie Nastase. His later years included battles with John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl. His success on court have made many companies wanting to collaborate with him. Below is a brief breakdown of all his endorsements deals during his career.
Wilson sponsored Jimmy Connors through most of his career, including his entire prime. He had a pretty unique racquet evolution during his career, starting with the cutting edge Wilson T2000 steel racquet early on. Most other players were still using wooden racquets then, but the steel racquet helped him gain an edge.
He liked that racquet so much that he refused to change anything until 1984. During that stretch, other players evolved from wooden racquets to newer racquet technologies that ultimately gave him an edge. Connors knew that he could no longer keep up, so he eventually switched to a midsize graphite Wilson Pro Staff.
By 1987, Connors was entering the tail end of his career. Slazinger found a way to slide in and sign him to a deal to endorse their graphite racquets. Panther Pro Ceramic became a hot seller thanks in large part to Connors. To finish his career, he signed a racquet deal with Estusa.
It seemed like no company ever held onto Jimmy Connors for long during his professional career. In the beginning, he was sponsored by Fred Perry, but he also went through brands such as Sergio Tachinni, Robert Bruce JC, Cerrutti, Slazenger, Reebok, and Nike.
His shoes of choice also changed quite a bit. He wore shoes from Super Pros, Brooks, Converse, Reebok and Nike. It appears as though he has some sort of deal with Nike at the moment, since when he makes appearances, he wears their shoes and clothing.
Information on deals at that time are pretty tough to come by, and many fledgling companies were unable to pay their professionals when they were hit hard. One example is Brooks, a company that fell on hard times financially and ended up not fulfilling their endorsement deal with him.
Connors benefited greatly from the rise in popularity of tennis during his era. Even though the money was not nearly as good as it is today, he still found a way to land some deals here and there during, and post-career.
Since companies were still trying to figure out the best ways to maximize a celebrity/athlete endorsement, not all of them ended up being too memorable. A few of his other endorsements during his career include Nestle, Power Stick, Nurpin, Jet-X, and more.
Other Wealth Contributors
Connors has dabbled in a variety of endeavors since retiring in the mid-1990s. As far as tennis-related jobs are concerned, he has provided commentary on events for different broadcasters here in there. None of his jobs have been particularly steady, but he has helped with coverage of numerous Grand Slam events for NBC, the BBC, and the Tennis Channel.
Coaching has also been pretty sporadic for Connors, as he first dove into a partnership when working with Andy Roddick in 2006. They had a 19-month relationship, which peaked at the 2006 U.S. Open when Roddick reached the final.
It would not be until 2013 when Connors would actively coach a professional again, as he landed a job with Maria Sharapova. That partnership did not last long at all, as he coached her for just one match before parting ways a month later.
The only book Connors has to his name was released in 2013, titled The Outsider. This autobiography won a few awards, and it has been well-reviewed for his general candidness in it.
Outside of tennis, Connors has found some success in business. He invested in Argosy Gaming Company in the 1990s, and has also dabbled in real estate acquisitions. This has helped grow his net worth a bit during his post-playing days.
Connors is not as front and center as some of the other former pros, so no one knows just how much earning potential he has at this point. Do not be surprised to see him pop up periodically, but he seems pretty content with how things are going at this point.