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How much does the average skater make a year after training costs?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by TheIronLady, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    What Evan Lysacek or an Olympic ladies Gold medalist makes doesn't really interest me. I want to know, say, what kind of profit/take home pay Alissa Czisny brings? Akiko Suziki? Mirai Nagasu? Christina Gao? Meryl Davis?

    Do any of these skaters turn a real profit? If so, how much annually?
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  2. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    I doubt it.. Doesn't a years training cost about 80K? You would have to win a lot of GPs and do some shows in Asia etc to cover that.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure you can get an estimate on this. For one thing, training expenses vary greatly; Patrick Chan spent a lot of money in recent years, while someone like Brian Joubert who trains at his hometown rink (this season being the exception) probably has considerably lower expenses. also, some skaters have a lot of sponsorships and income from ads and commercials, even without winning an OGM, or an Olympic medal of any color. I think Carolina Kostner and Kiira Korpi are in that group. And skaters do different numbers of shows, which don't pay the same anyway.

    I don't think any top-level skaters are starving, but some probably work in addition to training - either as coaches or in other jobs: for instance, Jeremy Ten works in retail and Mark Ladwig used to do all sorts of odd jobs at his rink at probably still does.
  4. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    None of the skaters named are exactly "average" either; they're in the top 10% of their national organizations. The "average" competitive skater isn't making anything; they work to afford to train unless their parents are picking up the tab. And the average "professional" skater isn't training; they're either skating in Disney or coaching and not paying training costs at all.
  5. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    Yeah I know my terminology is slack. Sorry about that. I hoped someone might know what I meant. I just wondered if Czisny, for example, with her beautiful skating in shows but no real Olympic year publicity under her belt, was earning take home profits at this point.
  6. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    I think the percentage of skaters who make enough money to never have to work again is extremely small.

    Obviously we know Yu-Na Kim made a lot of money both before and definitely post Vancouver (I think they reported she made like $7 million that year alone), plus she has numerous endorsement deals and her management company does several ATS shows a year. She's definitely a skater who (if she manages her money well) is set for life. Of course she'll continue to skate/do shows/endorse products after Sochi as well, so her earning potential over the next couple of years is going to be huge.

    Michelle Kwan had a very long list of big name endorsements as well during her competitive days. All those endorsements plus TV specials, headlining tours, etc. added up a lot for her as well. I remember reading somewhere that she's another skater who is a millionaire several times over thanks to her success.

    As for now, I doubt if US skaters are pulling in those kind of deals. However, Ashley seems to be doing pretty well for herself. She has the Nike endorsement and I think a Pandora jewelry endorsement as well. If she can win nationals again and place well at worlds, she'll be getting a lot more endorsements, especially if she's able to medal at worlds. This is the year the sponsors and brands start scouting people for deals heading into the Olympics. Ashley has the potential to earn a lot of money in the next year if she can continue on the path she's on...

    But I think the average skater, especially the skaters not on the senior level/GP level don't make much of anything.
  7. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    Gregory and Petuchkov (they were second in the U.S. behind Belbin/Agosto) had to retire from competition due to lack of funds. Amanda Evora worked as a bookkeeper at the skating rink where she trained. If you don't get on a tour or get any product endorsements you won't get any income from skating. You might pick up a little money coaching or teaching learn to skate (or free ice time), but you can't do that full-time and train for competition too. If you medal at Grand Prix events there is prize money, but I expect most skaters use that to defray their training and travel costs.

    Michelle Kwan got free ice time at Ice Castles after she became a celebrity. Scott Hamilton had a wealthy sponsor who paid his training expenses, but that was only after his parents told him he would have to quit (I think he was a junior?) because they had run out of money.

    Rudy Galindo and Nicole Bobek reportedly were paid in the low six figures for touring in Champions on Ice, but that was after they had retired from competition.

    I don't think for the majority of skaters it is a money making field. If you are attractive and/or charismatic you can get into shows without national/international medals but I don't think you will make enough to make a lifelong career out of it. The Sun Valley show skaters/coaches make about $30K according to one fundraiser brochure.
  8. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    I used to sponsor skaters. From what I've seen of their finances, the average skater spends a minimum of $45,000 US a year on ice time, lessons, costumes, skates, competition entry fees and traveling expenses. If they are lucky, they can get some of those costs defrayed via sponsorships. Not one of them makes money or even breaks even.

    The top skaters who get internationals tend to spend more money often up to around $100,000 (though I've heard of skaters who spend even more.) If they are lucky, they get more sponsorship and USFS does defray some of their costs and possibly gives them grants, but again none of them is making a profit and they often have to get part-time jobs to cover their living expenses.

    A top skater with international assignments who medals at Nationals and/or gets on TV enough might get endorsements and invited to skate in shows. Once you get invited to shows that are big enough to pay you and/or get endorsements, the possibility is there to break even and possibly even make money. However, IME, most skaters who are making a living through skating are also coaching and/or choreographing and are no longer competing as an eligible skater.

    Obviously, there are exceptions to this and also everything in between, but most skaters I know are being subsidized by their parents and basically they skate until their parents aren't willing to pay for it any more, which is why a lot of them quit around high school or college age.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  9. mathil

    mathil Active Member

    Japanese skaters do benefit from having a lot of shows at home, but besides Mao and Daisuke who have done advertisements etc., I don't think they make that much money. Elite skaters receive funding from the japanese skating federation and have plenty of sponsors, though. Kanako has thirty companies supporting her, one of Kozuka's main sponsors is Toyota, and Akiko works for Toho Real Estate that has its own skating rink and supports her. As far as I know, Hanyu doesn't have any sponsors.

    Javier Fernandez in his latest interview with Art on Ice (here) said that last season he had to paid his training expenses with the money he earned at shows and competitions, and his federation doesn't have any money at the moment. Considering he won two GP silvers (USD $13,000 for each event) and a bronze at the Final (USD $12,000), last season he made at least $38,000.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  10. madm

    madm Well-Known Member

    Well stated! I totally agree. Very few competitive skaters can subsist without parental support and part-time jobs. Nobody I know is making a profit skating except show skaters.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  11. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

    I concur with madm, excellent post! :kickass:

    Except for the fortuitous windfall of the 90's, skaters from the beginning of time to now have never gotten rich off skating nor turned a profit unless one was an Olympic Gold Medalist. In fact they're lucky if they break even imho, especially here in the States where skating has literally tanked. :( 2002 was the last hurrah. Still can't believe that SOI is on its last legs. That's been around since Scott started it back in the 80's. America really needs a skater or pair that will draw the public in, capture their imagination, go where no one has ever gone before! Thank goodness skating is popular in Japan though, gives everybody an opportunity to make money. :)

    Anyhow, it makes me appreciate the skaters even moreso knowing that they give their all to this wonderful sport they (& we) love so much, with no guarantee of breaking even, losing money in fact.

    This is why I say "GO FOR IT" whenever I read about a skater getting an endorsement or cashing in when they can. They honestly *deserve* it. And that's all I have to say about that. :cool:
  12. Whitneyskates

    Whitneyskates Well-Known Member

    How much do skaters make for the Disson shows? Is the pay based on who the skater is? I'm sure certain skaters probably make more than others.
  13. nyrak

    nyrak Active Member

    Who pays for the skaters hotels at events? I know in Canada at least the official hotel is often the best one (=most expensive) one in town....I'm assuming they have to stay at the official hotel, it's a shame it's always such an expensive place. But then again, maybe they get a group rate too ;)
  14. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Yes, there's a group rate at the official hotels.

    At international competitions the federation pays the skater's expenses. At national competitions, the skater pays, and for coaches' expenses as well.
  15. nynyfee

    nynyfee Active Member

    At international competitions the skaters pays for the coaches expenses as well!
  16. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    No, they don't have to stay at the official hotel and many don't to save money. They also will bunk up to save money and some coaches will share with their skaters so their skaters can save money. [This is US Nationals. I can't speak for other countries.]
  17. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    I'd say "extremely small", as in maybe a handful, but I think there probably are a couple dozen or more who earn enough to cover their current skating and living expenses, between prize money, show/tour earnings, corporate sponsors, and whatever they get from their federations.

    For example, skaters who made the GP finals probably earned a minimum of $30,000 in GP prize money. ($61,000 could be won if a skater wins their 2 events plus the Finals. For pairs & dance, the prize money is shared by the couple.) Last year's World Champions won $45,000 ($67,500 for pairs & dance). The 10th place finishers got $3,000 and $4,500. Prize money is also available for Europeans and 4CC for skaters who place top 12 ($20K -$1K for singles).

    So, if a single skater won everything available, they'd be looking at $126,000 between those events. That sounds like a lot, but as mentioned above, they need to cover coaches travel & fees, rink fees (unless they have some sort of deal), off ice training expenses, plus living expenses. So, additional revenue from shows and tours really make the difference for even the top skaters. Obviously, skaters not good enough to get show or tour engagements won't see any profit and depend on part-time jobs, subsidies of their federations, families, and/or sponsors.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  18. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the interesting info.; as I said before makes me appreciate each and every skater even moreso knowing that they're doing what they're doing without profit being a motivating factor, though who wouldn't enjoy doing what one loves doing and earning a living off of it as well, the best of the both worlds. :)

    This brings to mind Donlan & Speroff. IIRC I remember reading something on the 'net (maybe their official site) wherein Andrew mentioned their dream is to skate professionally in a show, of course after their amateur skating career comes to an end. But in order to do, as Susan M. mentioned up above, they need to be "good enough", and that means results. Namely a National Title, World Medal, GP medal, 4CC Medal, and if extremely lucky an Olympic Medal. :cool:

    Still, in this day & age I doubt any skater (except an Olympic Medalist) will ever be able to pay their parents' back and live well off skating, though landing a permanent part in a skating show/tour isn't bad either, at least it will allow the skater(s) to make a living off what they love to do, the best of both worlds! :hat1:
  19. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  20. HVS

    HVS Active Member

    If any skater can win every competetion like you said, they have to win OM and obviously will have a dozen sponsors :lol:

    Well, so I guess Yuna Kim is really exceptional case I have ever seen. Last year she still earned about $7 million without any competition :eek: And around 2010 Olympic, she had earned $10 million :cool:
  21. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    Are any of the coaches just ridiculous spendthrifts who order room service and martinis 10 times a day and make the skater pay their bill?
  22. rayhaneh

    rayhaneh Well-Known Member


    Yuzuru Hanyu has just signed on the marketing scheme with the Japanese Olympic Committee, which selects a small number (they were 13 signed up in 2012) of athletes to be "JOC Symbol Athletes": this means that they are paid a given amount every year and in exchange, the JOC sponsors can use their image for free

    Daisuke Takahashi and Mao Asada are also JOC athletes (Takahashi since 2007, Asada since 2009 - there are other skaters, like Miki Ando and Shizuka Arakawa who also were JOC athletes before). They are paid 10 to 20 million yen per year - which must be roughly $120,000 to $250,000 per year (I think both Takahashi and Asada are getting close to 20 million yen)

    As far as other sponsorships go, I don't think anyone else in Japan is anywhere close to Mao Asada (there are at least two or three ads on TV with her for different companies at any given time and she even developped her own brand of kimonos) and while I don't think she makes as much as Yu-na Kim, all the figures I've seen floating around is that she earns more than a million USD a year. I would guess Daisuke Takahashi comes second but I don't have a clue as far as numbers go, apart from the JOC deal. I know he's one of the faces of Puma Japan and has a deal with Kinoshita so I don't think he's doing too badly though ;)
  23. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

    It's an interesting thread. I think in Canada and in US the FS is a very expensive sport, the skaters come from the middle-class or gentility. Right? But I always thought, if anybody performs in shows he earned enough money for his life. Isn't true? BUt I know Weir is a famous star, but he hadn't enough money for his preparation.....
  24. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Pretty much, yes.

    Depends on the shows -- how much they pay, how many shows the skater does. There aren't many big for-profit shows that pay large fees to the skaters; there were more in the 1990s. Some old-style ice shows pay little to non-star ensemble skaters and not even all that much to headliners. Benefit shows often just pay the skaters' expenses and the skaters donate their time.
  25. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    He had more than enough money for designer clothes and accessories (probably for his dog, too). It's all a matter of priorities; while most skaters do struggle to break even, it is possible to earn a decent amount of money at the highest levels of the sport. Brian Joubert own a house, Evan Lysacek has property as well, a lot of skaters are attending university and presumably not all of them are on scholarship/tuition free, and skaters seem pretty well-dressed in banquet pics.

    As for socio-economic background, I assume most skaters are from middle-upper middle class families, at least in NA. But not necessarily everyone.
  26. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the infos. I know Adam Rippon grew up in a big family, I think they aren't too rich.

    I think Plushenko is one of the highest earning skaters, for the last three years, he earned $ 4,5 million ( by Russian Forbes Magazine).
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  27. GoGreen

    GoGreen New Member

    Is Mercedes-Benz sponsoring him?

    ISU is not doing its job to make the sport more popular with the audience, and that really hurts skaters' bottom lines.
  28. jjane45

    jjane45 Active Member

    So happy for Hanyu with the JOC sponsorship - training expenses and tuition at prestigious private university and change!! :happydance:
  29. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

    Probably, Plushy wearings the Mercedes logo with Bingo Boom, Odri and Ulysse Nardin logos. He has Russian (lottery Bingo Boom-official sponsor, the new commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QigMQ9Vh668 cute) sponsor and and foreign alike: ODRI is Italian firm and the traditionally Swiss Ulysse Nardine watchmaker. Plush has own watch "Champion's Diver Plushenko" limited edition, cca 11.000$ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fvj_7HJVmRA)
  30. crzesk8dad

    crzesk8dad Well-Known Member

    MacM is exactly correct. The skater pays all expenses at US Nationals.

    As a skating parent, I can tell skaters don't do this isn't done to make money. Those days are long behind us.

    As a person heavily involved in skating, I can also state that many skaters (and their families) pay out much more than they ever bring in from competition winnings (if they are fortunate enough to go to a comp that does pay winnings..ISU GP), gifts, sponsorships, shows, etc.

    Michelle, Michael, Evan, others they are the 1%, the exception to the norm. Mom and Dad usually foot the bill for some time. My skater coaches several young skaters and he is, now, paying most of the bill.

    But occasionally, "Bank of Mom and Dad" has to help out. In the long run, I wouldn't have it any other way.... :)