Highest Paid Sport: Most Lucrative Sport in the World

Highest Paid Sport: Most Lucrative Sport in the World

Sport is one of the biggest moving forces on Earth. It also brings a lot of wealth, depending on the playing level and the branch. 

Many famous stars have made a significant amount of money, and the richest one of them found himself on the billionaires’ list.

So, wondering what the highest paid sport is?

You’ll find out in this article!

10. Tennis

It is globally known as the most popular highest-paid professional sport.

The tennis players find themselves among the top sports earners. 

The Australian Open is the most famous tournament and single winners earn a fantastic price of $2.875 million.

Aside from earnings from big tournaments like the US Open, Rolland Garros, and Wimbledon, famous tennis players earn money from endorsement deals. 

Roger Federer is the highest-paid, with more than $90 million in his bank account. 

Also read: Best tennis players of all time

9. Ice Hockey

Next on our list of highest-paid sports in the world is Ice Hockey.

It is popular in Canada as a national winter sport. 

The highest-paid NHL team, Minnesota Wild, pays its players around $3.32 million. 

The Oiler’s centre, Connor McDavid, stands on top of the most-paid ice hockey athletes list. 

McDavid’s net worth is $30 million. He also has endorsement deals with Adidas and CCM worth approximately $4 million.

8. Golf

Even though golf was invented in Scotland, Ireland enjoys the most popularity. 

People like to play it for many reasons. It is good for stress relief, making new friends, and improving business relationships. 

The legendary American golfer Tiger Woods is one of the richest golfers and athletes in the world. His net worth is $800 million.

Related: Biggest sports in the UK

7. Auto Racing

Auto racing is a popular sport in Europe and the USA. 

Although retired, Michael Schumacher remains the wealthiest racing driver. He is also a World Championship title record holder. His net worth is estimated at $800 million.

So, Formula 1 is considered one of the most profitable sports in the world.

The highest-paid race car driver is Lewis Hamilton, with an annual salary of $36 million. He is followed by Fernando Alonso, who earns $34 million, and Sebastian Vettel, who earns $32 million. 

6. MMA

Research shows that a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter can earn at least twice as much as a boxer. 

MMA fighters also have heavy pockets since their average annual salary is $68,500

Connor McGregor is the world’s most paid MMA fighter. He had earned $37 million from fights and $16 million from endorsement deals from 2020 to 2022.

The payouts for an actual fight range from $10,000 to a fantastic price of $3 million per fight. Also, if a fighter wins, he receives a bonus doubling the amount of money for the fight. 

The USA residents are most into this sport, but Brazil and Russia are also showing interest.

5. Baseball

Baseball is one more on the list of highest-paid sports in America. It is also popular in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. 

Major League Baseball is known as one of the most profitable sports leagues globally. 

So, MLB players are on the Forbes list of wealthiest athletes. But, no wonder since the average MLB salary is around $4.3 million. 

The highest-paid baseball player in 2022 is Trevor Bauer. His annual earnings come in at approximately $40 million.

Related: Oldest sport in the world

4. Football

Football is the most famous sport globally. It’s played in almost every country and has billions of fans.

Football players are among the highest-paid athletes by signing huge salaried contracts.

The wealthiest footballer is Cristiano Ronaldo, with a net worth of $500 million. Next comes Messi, whose worth is $400 million, and Neymar, with $200 million.

The Champions League is also a huge source of income for the clubs. 

So if a team wins every game and lifts the trophy, they could bring home around €70 million.

3. American Football

Americans are going crazy for this sport. Thus, making the NFL one of the most attended professional leagues as the average number of attendance per season is 16 million

So the league’s revenues are constantly increasing. NFL teams, on average, payout their players around $3.3 million. 

In 2013, Aaron Rodgers became the highest-paid NFL player in history. He signed a 5-year contract worth $110 million. 

Apart from the big salaries, players earn a good amount of money from sponsorship deals. The endorsement deals start from $1 million and go up to around $15 million per year. 

2. Boxing

Boxing is one of the oldest sports, dating back to 688 BC. It’s most popular in the USA, Mexico, the UK, Japan, and Cuba. 

This dangerous sport brings a pretty huge income to professional athletes. The income is mainly from tournaments, Pay-Per-View commissions, and endorsements. 

Boxing legends like George Foreman, Oscar de la Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao made hundreds of millions. 

Still, the most-paid boxer of all time is Floyd Mayweather, with a net worth of $565 million. 

Canelo Alvarez is considered the wealthiest out of the active boxers, with a net worth of $140 million.

Related: Hardest sport in the world

1. Basketball

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that basketball is the highest-paid sport in the world. It originates in the USA, but it is widely spread on every continent, gaining more and more popularity.

NBA players are among the highest-paid athletes. They are not only earning millions from salaries but there are also many NBA players with shoe endorsements as well.

NBA’s franchises have around $3 billion, and the league generates about $9 billion. So no wonder players are well-paid, with an average salary of $7.90 million. 

Currently, Stephen Curry receives the highest salary of $45 million. 

On top of the list of wealthiest basketball players is Michael Jordan, with a $1.6 billion net worth.

Bottom Line

Sports are the primary source of fame and wealth for professional players. But, their deals with sponsors and famous brands also add millions to their bank accounts.

And while it enriches them, it is also their lifestyle and a way of entertaining the audience. 

We hope we have expanded your knowledge about the list of highest-paid sports. 

It remains to be seen whether these numbers will change in the future.

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