With the average salaries of the biggest professional sports celebrities in North America ranging from $2.7 million for football players to $6.5 million for basketball players, star athletes often find themselves pondering what to do with their disposable income, the Globe and Mail reports.
For some, philanthropy has proven to be an effective way to both do good and build their personal brands at the same time. Former Montreal Canadiens star P.K. Subban, for example, made a $10 million donation in 2015 to Montreal Children's Hospital, which was described at the time as the largest philanthropic commitment by a sports figure in Canadian history. Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Swedish twins who played hockey together with the Vancouver Canucks for eighteen years, supported more than fifty charities and causes during their careers, including B.C. Children's Hospital, to which they donated $1.5 million in 2010.
Similarly, during the PGA Tour season, PGA golfers provide support to local charities in locations in which tournaments are held. Indeed, PGA Tour members contributed $166 million to charities in 2016, according to the Globe and Mail, and have provided more than $2.4 billion since 1938.
"When I got in the position to start giving back and I was on the PGA Tour, I decided that was the most natural fit for me," said professional golfer David Hearn, whose foundation focuses on helping individuals and families affected by Alzheimer's disease. "And because I had seen how it had impacted our family and other families around us, I felt like that was something that I could really do, something small."