It’s no secret that the modern sports world revolves around money. This blog will break down the average salaries in team sports. Why? Some sports are paid more than others and mentioned the wealthiest athletes in each sport are. Here are the ten top-paying sports in the world.
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The sport of cycling brings in just a few associations Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France. However, cycling has a big following, mainly in Europe. Its events are some of the most expensive sporting events globally, and the best riders are loaded with cash. In 2021, the British rider Christopher Froome was the highest-paid cyclist in the competition, with a gross salary of €5.5 million. And that’s without even endorsement deals; that’s why it’s included in top-paying sports.
Tennis is one of the more financially demanding sports in the world. To become a pro, you must pay the court fees, equipment, coaching, and the list. When you manage to get on the Pro Tour, you also have to pay for travel, accommodation, and the entourage of people who help the player perform at the top level, including coaches, massage therapists, nutrition experts, etc. And the player needs to pay for their accommodation and travel as well. There is no club or league to pay for anything, and the cost of playing pro tennis can vary from $200,000 to $2 million per year. Players outside the top 100 barely make ends meet; the prize money they earn usually covers all the expenses, sometimes not even that. However, for the very best, tennis is one of the most lucrative sports in the world, and it brings in a lot of sponsorship money. Roger Federer was Forbes’s highest-paid athlete in 2020, even though he barely played due to a knee injury. Tennis’s ten highest paid sports players made $320,000,000 over the last year and 350,000,000 in the year before.
8. Ice hockey:
Ice hockey is one of the four major American sports, bringing in a lot of dollars for its biggest stars. Even though the NHL is the least popular of the big four sports, the average salary in the league is still above $3.3 million, or about 40% of the average wage in the NBA. Edmonton’s Conor McDavid is the highest-paid NHL player in 2021 with $15 million in salary, and the 20 highest-paid players earned $10 million per year or more.
Once the most popular sport in the US, baseball has lost some of its following and appeal, but it’s still one of the heavyweights. Baseball players sign the most extended contracts in all sports. Even though the average salaries are slightly behind the NBA and the NFL, they make up for longevity, which is why baseball stars signed some of the most significant contracts in sports. Eight of the top ten largest contracts were signed in the MLB. With Mike Trout at the forefront, who signed a twelve-year deal worth $426,000,000 in 2019, the average salary in the MLB is $4.2 million.
Undoubtedly, the most popular sport around the globe, football, is often called the most important of the less essential things in the world, so naturally, its best players are among the best-paid athletes. Each year in the last 20 years, football wages increased by more than 1500%. Their salaries account for up to 80% to 90% of the club’s total costs, compared to just 50% at the beginning of the millennium. The best footballers are also some of the most followed people on social media. Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way with 315,000,000 followers on Instagram as the most followed person on the platform. That kind of following generates enormous earning power, and this helped him reclaim the top spot on this year’s Forbes ranking list of the highest-paid soccer players in the world. Ronaldo is set to earn $125,000,000 before taxes in the 21 22 seasons, with 70 million coming from salary and bonus for his return to Manchester United. Rinaldo, Messi, and Namar earn more than $100 million annually, and each of the top ten highest-paid footballers is topping $30 million annually. However, the average salary for the top teams usually ranges between five and $12 million per player, and midfield teams in the top five European leagues spend between two and three million for each player.
The NFL is the most popular sport in America, and its best players frequently occupy the Forbes Highest paid athletes list. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the way at $45 million in salary. He made sports history in 2020 after signing a ten-year deal worth half a billion dollars with incentives, which is still the most significant sports contract ever. In 20 21, 34 NFL players will make more than $20 million in salary. But because many people are on one NFL team, the average salary for a player is around $3 million.
4. Formula One:
Formula one has ranked the highest-paid sport in the world. There are only ten teams in Formula One, and each section has two cars in the competition, meaning that there are only 20 Formula One driving jobs on the planet. Formula one is the pinnacle of motorsport, and those cars are some of the most sophisticated machines in the world, consisting of over 50 different parts. Even though hypercars are much faster than Formula in a straight line, nothing corners and goes around the track faster than F One. It takes a lot of skill, dedication, money, and several small miracles for a driver to even reach F One and take one of those 20 seats. But once they do, they are usually set for life. Because Formula One is extremely expensive and luxurious, and its drivers are considered the best in the world, they are paid quite the sums. Lewis Hamilton brings home $55 million in base salary plus bonuses. As the highest-paid driver, that number gets more extensive if we account for Lewis’s endorsement deals, even though his competitors make much less. The other top drivers all top $10 million in salary plus performance bonuses
Tiger Woods became the first billionaire athlete after 13 years as a professional golfer. Of course, most of that money came from sponsorship deals, which are not hard to come by for the top golfers in the world. Tiger earned more than $60 million last year, even though he barely played. Other than woods, each of the top ten highest-paid golfers made between 15 and $45 million. When it comes to prize money from tournaments, Dustin Johnson earned the most with $24 million. There’s no lie in here, folks. There’s a lot of money in pro golf, and even the Caddies do exceptionally well, with a reported half a million dollars in earnings for top tier Caddies in 2020
When Conor McGregor fought Floyd Mayweather in 2017, it painfully illustrated the enormous difference in earnings between MMA and boxing. Connor, the two-division champion in the UFC and its most financially successful fighter ever, said during the promotional tour with Floyd that I’m going to quadruple my net worth with this half-a-fight. The fight generated 4.3 million US pay-per-view buys and six 7 million globally, which made it the highest-grossing battle ever. Floyd reportedly earned over $250,000,000, while Connor exceeded $100 million for their dance in the ring. Soon enough, boxing money fights began happening regularly, with YouTubers earning more money per fight than some MMA fighters in their careers because of the Muhammad Ali Act of 1999. Boxing matches are not governed by any league or association, like the UFC, for example, which means that boxers and their promoters can rake in more cash and get a more significant percentage pay per view and negotiate their endorsement deals. There’s no ranking needed, meaning that any two people with a boxing license can set up a fight, unlike MMA, where the organization decides who will fight whom. So if there’s an interest in two fighters fighting, boxers can hypothetically generate hundreds of millions of dollars if they sell enough pay-per-view. That’s why we saw Logan Paul versus KSI generating more than $100 million, with each fighter raking in 35% of the pay-per-view and reportedly making more than $30 million each, despite never boxing professionally before their fight.
Per the collective bargaining agreement in the NBA, the revenue is shared between the owners and the players in a 50-50 ratio. Total NBA revenue increased from $2.6 billion in 2002 to over $8 billion in 2021. Simple math tells us that 450 NBA players netted over $4 billion last year, meaning the average NBA salary is around $8 million yearly. Of course, the highest-paid players are paid much more, and the newest top deals start from nearly $50 million per season. And Steph Curry, for example, will earn $60 million in 2026 from his contract alone. That is Steph’s second maximum contract. And just from his last two deals, he will earn $420,000,000 in salary. Of course, basketball is not just the NBA; the highest-paid players in the Euro League earn well below the average wage in the NBA. But if we look at the top earners and the fact that the NBA contracts are usually fully guaranteed, basketball is the highest-paying sport in the world.