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Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World11 min read

DN POSTS MAY 1 Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

Athletes have always been respected, well paid for by people all across the world. The earnings differ from one sport to another. Only if there is a supply of talented players, respective clubs can confidently enter into a contract with them, paying a huge amount of money.

 These clubs eventually pay a high salary to all their players to establish a good relationship as well as boost their morale. For talented players, it is a way, that can keep them in the team for as long as the time for renewal of contract occurs.

Here is a top ten list on different highest paid sports in the world, let’s have a look:

10. Cycling

Highest Paid Sports in the World

Cycle sport is a competitive physical activity using bicycles. There are several categories of bicycle racing including road bicycle racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway. Non-racing cycling sports include artistic cycling, cycle polo, freestyle BMX and mountain bike trials. 

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the world governing body for cycling and international competitive cycling events. 

The countries most devoted to bicycle racing include Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Other countries with international standing include Australia, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, United States and Colombia.

There are many cycling tournaments that are considered among the highest paying events on earth. Besides a good amount of income in the form of the tournament earnings, a famous cyclist also gets a good amount of money from such endorsers. 

9. Baseball

Baseball 02 Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

Once, French-American Historian Jacques Barzun said, “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.” 

With spring comes America’s favorite pastime, baseball. The roaring of the crowd, the cracking of the bat, and “Take me out to the Ball Game”, have more meaning than just people, the game and a song. They have memories and with memories come a long season of watching your favorite team. 

The sport’s international governing body, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), estimates that 65 million people play either baseball or softball in over 140 countries.

This is one of the games where players get a huge sum of money. In 1957, 59 years ago, Ted Williams was the highest paid player at $125,000. He was the best hitter and maybe the best player in the game.

In 2021, the top players are making literally more than 100 times what Ted made. You can compute the percentage increase. It’s mind boggling.

If we are to ask the question of why baseball players are paid so much, then it can be answered by one principle – the principle of supply and demand. Here, the need is for talented players. The number of players is strikingly less, thus, leading to such escalation of their annual salary.

8. Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey 01 Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

Hockey is a sport in which two teams play against each other by trying to manoeuvre a ball or a puck into the opponent’s goal using a hockey stick. There are many types of hockey such as bandy, field hockey, ice hockey and rink hockey. The fast paced physical sport is also called the “Fastest Game On Earth”. It is widely popular as one of the highest paid sports in the world. Many players have achieved a decent position in the Forbes list as the richest players. 

The highest paid player in the NHL is the captain of the Edmonton Oilers and Canadian national team player, Connor McDavid. The 22-year old pocketed 19 million U.S. dollars in 2019, out of which 15 million U.S. dollars came from his salary and a further four million was generated through endorsements. 

7. Tennis

Tennis 01 Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is also a renowned worldwide spectator sport. 

Historians believe that the game’s ancient origin lay in 12th century northern France. It was a ball that was struck with the palm of the hand.

 Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume (“game of the palm”), which changed into real tennis. He became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis outdoors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris “around the end of the 13th century”.

 In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe. Tennis players have frequently achieved positions in the Forbes list of the richest players.

6. Soccer 

Soccer Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

Football was not a sport that led to so much money until the 1960s and 70s. The several football clubs that make revenue via income from tickets being sold, merchandise, as well as winning tournaments, are demanding better talents from all across the world. 

The Argentine Lionel Messi just edged it past his Portuguese rival in Forbes rich list and remains the World’s Richest Soccer Player for the year 2020.

5. American Football

American Football Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

Athletes have always been loved and respected. They are also well paid all across the world. The money is excessively high in the case of football. 

American football earns its place among the highest paying sports in the world. And the players frequently achieve positions in the forbes list of richest players. Not only the players but also it houses some of the highest paying sports management jobs.

4. Golf 

Golf Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

Golf is a sport that is enjoyed worldwide. It is most popular in Ireland, but Canada, the UK, and the US come in after. Golf is enjoyed by many for various reasons. It is versatile, offers a chance to connect with other players, it’s physically demanding but still relaxing, no round is ever the same, and one can’t deny the beauty of golf courses.

Scottish people invented golf in 1457. No one truly knows the earliest days of the sport. The most accepted theory is the game was created during the high Middle Ages.

Tiger Woods is probably the most popular golfer on the face of the earth. He is known to be the money machine with a net worth of 900 million dollars. Tiger Woods has achieved his place among the most popular athletes on social media. Throughout his career so far, he has won tons of major championships.

Woods has won 80 PGA Tours and 14 majors. He has a handful of endorsement deals and sponsorships which fetch almost 20% of his net worth. He is amazingly rich and he has earned it in every possible way. Other than Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus etc are equally rich golf stars.

3. Car Racing

Car Racing 03 Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

Car racing is also called auto racing which is basically motorsport where automobiles are run for competition. Since the invention of the automobile auto racing has come into existence, races of various sorts were organized, with the first recorded as early as 1867.

 Many of the earliest events were effective reliability trials that focused on proving these new machines were a practical mode of transport, but soon became an important way for automobile makers to demonstrate their machines. By the 1930s, special racing cars had developed.

Although the move is risky, the risk is still compromised by great winning amounts and several endorsements of reputed brands. 

Micheal Schumacher is the one to achieve the first place on the Forbes list of the richest players in 1999 with a total income of $49 million.

2. Boxing 

Boxing 01 Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

We are quite familiar with the thrill we get watching the combat sport boxing. Many may not know, boxing is an ancient sport, and the first country to introduce boxing as a sport was Greece. It was back in the days of 688 BC when this game came to limelight. 

The god, Apollo, was regarded as the creator and guardian of the sport, which was at the time called, “Pygmachia”. In Greek Olympic boxing, the first-ever recorded boxer was Onomastos Smyrnaios. Pygmachia was one of the deadliest combat sports in ancient Greece, as the fighters would wear leather gloves with sharp edges, intended to cut the opponent’s face. 

Joseph Louis Barrow, aka “Brown Bomber,” was a professional boxer who fought from 1934-1951. Joseph was the world heavyweight champion for more than ten years, from 1937-1949, defending his title in 26 fights. Today, Barrow is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.

 This sport consumes a lot of money because the salary the employees receive is determined by the revenue they generate for their employers. The greater the revenue, the higher the salary. The renowned boxers earn huge amounts as their tournament prize money. They also get a good amount of profit from pay-per-view commissions, betting, and endorsements.

In the Forbes list of richest players, Floyd Mayweather topped the list.  As of 2021, Floyd Mayweather’s net worth is estimated to be roughly $560 million dollars, making him the richest boxer in the world.

1. Basketball

Basketball Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World

 Dating back to 1891, basketball has a long history. It was invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States. From then it became one of the world’s most popular and widely viewed sports.

 Basketball is not an easy sport. It needs a lot of endurance, team spirit, and great skills to outscore the opponents and win the game. It consists of a court, a ball, and a referee. Basketball is rated as the highest sport in the world. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries, talent, and level of competition.

  In North America, the NBA is the third wealthiest professional sport league after the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) by revenue.

NBA owners and general managers love to offer astronomical salaries to players and this raises the eyebrows of many. The logic behind this approach is that the best way to retain supposedly talented executives is to put them in a pay class with the best of their peers. Simply, the greater the revenue is, the higher the salary will be.

In the Sports industry talent and hard work are the key elements that decide the amount of money you fetch. Many youngsters dream to enter the field of sport for fame and money but overall it is about perseverance which in other words, the ‘sportsman spirit’ that helps you to shine in this industry. 

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