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For Gary Lineker, a starring role in Qatar’s big show was not an option.

Sure, he had hosted a World Cup draw before. And as a former top scorer in the tournament who now works as a popular television broadcaster he has an ongoing professional relationship with the tournament’s organizer, FIFA. But fronting the glamorous event in Doha last month that set the matchups for this year’s World Cup in Qatar — a hosting choice he has regularly criticized — was not something, Lineker decided, that he could consider.

So in a conversation with FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, Lineker said no.

Lineker’s reluctance to host the draw — which left FIFA scrambling to find a replacement — is only one recent example of the line celebrity athletes and sponsors are having to tread when it comes to the Qatar World Cup, which since its inception has been mired in controversy and complaints about the country’s treatment of migrant workers and the gay community. His decision came as multiple companies, and even the federations of some participating nations, are taking steps to distance their brands from the host country even though they have paid millions of dollars to attach themselves to the world’s most high-profile sporting event.

Qatar has long pushed back on perceptions about the country that it considers inaccurate or at best outdated, attempting to explain that as the physical appearance of the country changed, so have its protections for workers. But examples of abusive conduct and poor treatment stubbornly persist and remain fodder for news media outlets, particularly in Europe, where the Qatar World Cup continues to be a source of protest and a lightning rod of criticism for those that associate with it.


Credit…Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

Alarmed, some companies that would have been expected to leverage the biggest event in the most popular sport on earth have instead chosen to step away. For instance, ING Group, a major international financial services and banking group that sponsors the Netherlands and Belgium national teams, has decided not to leverage those relationships during the event. The company said it would not accept any of its ticket allocation for the tournament or engage in any World Cup-related promotion, a spokesman told The New York Times.

“Given the discussion and concerns around the human rights situation of the tournament infrastructure we think it’s inappropriate,” the spokesman said. Instead, ING said, the company will focus its efforts on the women’s European soccer championships to be held in England this summer.

Several other partners of the Dutch and Belgian teams also issued statements outlining their plans to ignore what would in normal circumstances be a major marketing platform. GLS, a parcel service provider that sponsors Belgium’s team, told The Times that while it has backed the Red Devils since 2011 and would continue to do so, it would not take up its ticket allocation for customer promotions or engage in any advertising campaigns in Qatar “because we consider a commercial use of the World Cup 2022 in the context of the human rights situation better not take place.”

Carrefour, however, a French-based supermarket chain with outlets in Qatar that also sponsors the Belgium team, issued a robust response to claims that it too would join the others in what appears to be a collective boycott of the World Cup. “Carrefour and its subsidiaries are not engaged in a boycott of any kind,” the company told The Times in a statement that labeled any claims it would take part “fake news.”

Even some of the competing teams, though, are treading lightly. U.S. Soccer has held internal discussions about messaging it can provide to players for when they face inevitable questions about human rights issues, and Germany’s team wore T-shirts bearing the slogan “human rights” before a World Cup qualifying match last year.

And after Denmark’s team secured its qualification last year, its soccer federation announced that two of its sponsors, the national lottery Danske Spil and a prominent bank, Arbejdernes Landsbank, had agreed to surrender the space they have paid for on the team’s training gear so that it can be replaced by human rights messages during the World Cup. (Arbejdernes Landsbank later ended its sponsorship early, a decision it said was over unrelated issues.)

None of the team’s sponsors, the Danish federation said, would take part in any commercial activities in Qatar “so that participation in the World Cup finals is primarily about sporting participation and not promoting the World Cup organizers’ events.”

Ricardo Fort, a former marketing executive responsible for Coca-Cola’s multi-decade relationship with FIFA, said many companies were calculating the effects of associating with Qatar, but he predicted that most would ultimately choose not to shy away from the tournament. “To me it feels like a localized issue,” Fort said.

Celebrities and individuals would face a tougher choice, he suggested.

“If you are a retired footballer planning to sign a deal in Germany or France et cetera, the chances are you will be more successful not being involved with the event,” Fort said.

Lineker, a former England striker who was the top scorer at the 1986 World Cup, was just the sort of star FIFA and World Cup organizers would have wanted to headline high-profile events like the draw. Lineker had said yes the last time around, taking center stage at the Kremlin for the draw ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

But after doing so he had faced a backlash from some sections of the British news media, and this time, he told Infantino, he had concluded it would be hypocritical for him to headline a ceremony that would in essence kick off an event about which he continues to have misgivings. (Lineker will continue to play a leading role in the BBC’s coverage of the tournament, having decided that reporting on the event is not the same as endorsing it.)


Credit…Carl Recine/Action Images Via Reuters

Credit…Darko Bandic/Associated Press

For others, though, the rich paydays on offer can be too big to turn down. Qatar has for years written some of the biggest sponsorship contracts in sports, and that has only ramped up as the World Cup nears. Its biggest capture to date has been David Beckham, the former England star who like Lineker was present in the hall when Qatar chosen as the host for 2022.

Qatar’s multimillion-dollar agreement with Beckham, now also a sports team owner and investor whose celebrity transcends soccer, extends beyond the World Cup; it is, in many respects, a deal for the former England national team captain to endorse Qatar itself. That has led some people close to Beckham to privately express misgivings about the nature of the arrangement. “It’s a deal to promote and support the nation and what they’re doing,” a person with knowledge of the agreement said in describing it.

Beckham has not publicly spoken about what motivated him to sign with Qatar, where he has been a frequent visitor since agreeing to a deal more than 18 months ago. His spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

Beckham has so far avoided press scrutiny at events in Qatar, which have included an event with Afghan refugees; a promotional event for Qatar Airways; and an appearance on a panel at the Doha Forum, a flashy event that brings together business and political elites. He was curiously absent, however, from the World Cup draw.

“There’s so much risk attached to this,” said Tim Crow, a former chief executive of Synergy, a firm that has advised Olympic and World Cup sponsors. “I was kind of surprised he’s decided to position himself with something for which there’s so much risk, particularly for a guy who doesn’t need the money.”

Beckham’s relationship with Qatar may lead to questions for one for his other partners, the sportswear manufacturer Adidas. The company provided few specifics about how it would activate its relationship with Beckham for the Qatar World Cup, saying only that he “is a valued, long-term member of the Adidas family and our partnership will continue as such.”


By: Tariq Panja
Title: As World Cup Nears, Brands Weigh Cost of Teaming With Qatar
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Published Date: Mon, 02 May 2022 12:35:04 +0000

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Baller Awards

5th Annual Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards Announces Nominees in Film, TV, and Visual Media

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The Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) announced today the nominees for the 2024 SCL Awards. Many of the contenders reflect the Oscar shortlist that was also announced today. The nominees include songwriters Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Lenny Kravitz, Diane Warren, and Jon Batiste who earned spots on the Oscar shortlist for Best Original Song. […]


By: Clarence Moye
Title: 5th Annual Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards Announces Nominees in Film, TV, and Visual Media
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Published Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2023 13:45:13 +0000

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Baller Awards

2024 Oscars: Best Original Song Predictions

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With the 2024 Oscars shortlists now out, it’s clear that “Barbie” will have a significant presence in the Best Original Song category.


Title: 2024 Oscars: Best Original Song Predictions
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Published Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2023 22:30:00 +0000

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Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’

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Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’ – originally posted on

Here is everything you need to know about the single hardest puncher in boxing and the former world heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder. This includes his net worth, career earnings and endorsement deals.

Deontay Wilder Net Worth

Deontay Wilder has been a professional boxer since his debut back in November 2008. He has been boxing consistently for over 15 years straight now in the pro ranks, earning more and more money as his career has progressed up to world level.

The 1985-born boxing superstar is one of the most fearsome punchers the sport of boxing has ever seen. Deontay Wilder’s boxing record consists of 43 wins – 42 of which have come via knockout. The only man to go the distance with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ was Bermane Stiverne, who Wilder then knocked out in a round in their rematch.

As of December 2023, it is reported that Deontay Wilder’s net worth is somewhere in the region of $30 million (source: Celebrity Net Worth).

Of course, given the fact the Alabama man is supremely wealthy, he likes his fair share of luxury items too. Wilder has acquired real estate, expensive jewelry, flashy cars and various other assets that have contributed to his riches.

Wilder reportedly has eight kids in total from various relationships, including one with his current girlfriend Telli Swift. Evidently a fair amount of Wilder’s earnings in the ring is used on providing for his big family and loved ones. Be sure to see Deontay Wilder’s net worth continue to grow for the remainder of his career, as long as that lasts.

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder Career Earnings

After 46 professional boxing fights, Deontay Wilder’s biggest fight purse is reported to have been around $28 million (source: Forbes). This was reportedly how much ‘The Bronze Bomber’ earned for his rematch bout with Tyson Fury back in February 2020.

Wilder went into the fight as the marginal favorite with the best offshore sportsbooks, given that he was still the reigning champion following his draw with Fury 14 months prior. Despite getting conclusively knocked out in Round 7 of the fight, this still remains the biggest purse of Wilder’s career to date.

Deontay Wilder has reportedly earned a total sum of around $95 million in his professional boxing career from his debut up to now. This is right up there with the likes of heavyweight rivals Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, and is more than the likes of Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis and Terence Crawford.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Bronze Medallist has been earnings even figure purses ever since he became world heavyweight champion back in January 2015. Of his last 10 fights, just one has been less than seven figures (Washington – $900k). In fact, Wilder has earned around $80 million just from his last five fights.

See the full table below for a detailed breakdown of the purses Deontay Wilder has received for his last 10 fights. All in all, it is fair to say that the 38-year-old isn’t short of a dollar or two. His net worth, salary and fight purses will continue to rise as his career rolls on at world level.

Deontay Wilder Fight Purses (Last 10):

Fight Fight Purse
Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius $10 million
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 3 $12 million
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2 $28 million
Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz 2 $20 million
Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale $10 million
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury $10 million
Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz $2 million
Deontay Wilder vs Bermane Stiverne 2 $1.4 million
Deontay Wilder vs Gerald Washington $900,000
Deontay Wilder vs Chris Arreola $1.4 million

Deontay Wilder purse info per Sports Payouts & Sporting News

Deontay Wilder Endorsements & Sponsorship

Although the vast majority of Deontay Wilder’s earnings comes from prize fighting, he also earns an extremely lucrative sum of money outside of the ring. These vast endorsement deals from outside of the ring are a big player in boosting Wilder’s net worth and salary.

The 1985-born boxing phenom’s biggest endorsement deal as of today is his partnership with Everlast. Wilder has shown great loyalty to Everlast for several years during his boxing career, and still sports their boxing gear to this day. He also regularly uses Everlast boxing gloves in the ring for his world title fights, as well as during training camps.

Some of Deontay Wilder’s other endorsements include his partnerships with PureKana CBD, Raising Cane’s and IHC Crypto. There is not much else known about Wilder’s endorsements and sponsors outside of his career as a boxer.

All in all, Deontay Wilder’s various sponsorships certainly help boost his net worth. Per Forbes, he reportedly earns an estimated $500,000 per annum through endorsements. Ultimately though it is punching people in the face for a living that pays ‘The Bronze Bomber’ the most money.

Be sure to claim the various sports betting apps bonuses and boxing free bets available on the SportsLens site ahead of Deontay Wilder’s next fight.

From – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks


By: Paul Kelly
Title: Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’
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Published Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2023 10:59:17 +0000

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