Leah Donlan looks into the earning potential of Lewis Hamilton


Given the global profile of Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton’s second world championship has most definitely given him the opportunity to become the highest paid UK sportsman.

Currently the UK’s second highest paid sportsman on £20.4m – not far behind Welsh footballer Gareth Bale on £23.2m – Lewis Hamilton’s second winning title has put him into an elite group of multiple champions.

Not only will he be able to command a higher salary, but his sponsorship earning potential will increase significantly as companies will want to get their brand printed all over one of the country’s most successful sportsman.

The second world championship further augments his expertise in the world of motor sport, and therefore any brands with a motor sport or motoring connection are likely to find that Lewis Hamilton would be an appealing athlete to endorse their brands.

While Formula 1 may not be quite as global a sport as football or golf, it’s expanding rapidly into growing markets such as Russia and the Middle East, as well as having a strong following in South America.

These all represent potential opportunities for Lewis Hamilton to expand his sponsorship portfolio, and in markets such as the USA where Formula1 is potentially less powerful, his long term romance with popular American singer, Nicole Scherzinger can only work in his favour.

Sponsorship theory suggests there are three characteristics which sponsors are drawn to in athletes – these being attractiveness, expertise and trustworthiness. There is no doubt that Lewis Hamilton is an expert at what he does, but being in one of the hottest celebrity couples right now certainly boosts his attractiveness value, as Lewis is able to further develop his personal brand through his fiancés global profile – similar to how both David and Victoria Beckham’s individual brands leverage equity from their association with the other.


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Manchester Business School has a global reputation for innovative and influential teaching and research, which impacts business on a local, national and international level. We call this Original Thinking Applied.

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