Highest Paying Sports in the World 2021
The world of sports is an industry worth billions. The highest-paid sports in the world are football, basketball, baseball, and ice hockey. Soccer is also a popular sport worldwide that brings in the most revenue for sponsorships. Athletes from these major sports can make millions each year through endorsements and salaries with teams or leagues they play on
For example, Cristiano Ronaldo has over $200 million dollars as reported by Forbes Magazine’s 2021 list of athletes’ earnings. And LeBron James made over $150 million last year according to the same magazine’s list of athlete earnings.
How much money do you think a professional athlete makes in one year? Some of the best players in their respective sports make over $20 million per year. With this type of salary, it’s easy to see why athletes are some of the highest paid people on Earth. This article will explore which sports are the most lucrative and where these athletes come from.
This blog post will examine how much an average player earns for each game played, what leagues have the highest salaries and who is at risk for injury during games. It also discusses whether or not there is a gender pay gap between male and female athletes and introduces new technologies that may soon change how we watch our favorite sport teams compete in pro leagues around the world.
Top 10 Highest Paid Sports in the World 2021
Here are the Highest Paid Sports in the World 2021:
- Tennis – $38,800 Avg. Salary
- Combat sport – $500,000 Avg. Salary
- Golf – $628,079 Avg. Salary
- Auto racing – $112,038 Avg. Salary
- Ice hockey – $1.54 million Avg. Salary
- American football – $860,000 Avg. Salary
- Soccer -$5 million Avg. Salary
- Baseball – $4.36 million Avg. Salary
- Cricket – $4.33 million Avg. Salary
- Basketball – $7.4 million Avg. Salary
Average tennis player salary: US$38,800 for male players and US$40,180 for female players.
Tennis is one of the highest-paid sports in the world. In 2017, ATP players earned an average salary of US$38,800 annually and WTA players earned $US40,180 per year. There is a difference between male and female tennis player salaries as women are earning more than men on average.
In 2015 Novak Djokovic became the highest-paid player in history by signing his US$111 million contract with Uniqlo to promote their clothing line for ten years. The total value was split into two parts: 25 percent upfront and 75 percent after each season ended during that period which amounted to him earning about US$15million or so every year from 2020 onwards.
The highest paid tennis star Serena Williams has won a total of 23 Grand Slam titles and has an estimated net worth of US$175 million. The highest paid female tennis player Caroline Wozniacki is earning $US12,000 more per year than the highest paid male players on average.
In the world of tennis, a small but high payout is what attracts new players to their sport. High-qualified women and men are able to make significant prize money for each tournament they win, while those ranked between 200 and 2000 barely get any at all. The winners take home 18% of total prize money from 128 competitors in four grand slam tournaments; 0.3% if you’re lucky enough to qualify only once or twice on your way up through 2028 ranking points (roughly 10 years).
9. Combat sport
- Average boxer salary: $51,370
- UFC fighter salary average: $138,250
- Average WWE salary: $500,000
Combat sport is one of the highest paid sports in the world. Boxers earn an average salary of $51,370 per year for competing and they can get bonuses if their fight is televised or takes place in a major boxing capital such as Vegas or New York City.
UFC fighters are earning an annual salary on $US138,250 while WWE wrestlers have an estimated net worth between US$500 thousand to over US$25 million which makes them some of highest-paid athletes on earth thanks to live event tickets, merchandise sales and TV deals with NBC Universal and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., respectively. Average wrestlers make around US000 during their career before taxes but superstars like John Cena could pull up to 400K each night when he wrestles at Madison Square Garden.
UFC fighters in the top 100 highest-earning UFC athletes make an average of $US14,06 million per year before taxes and bonuses but they can earn even more by winning fights at pay-per-view such as Conor McGregor who’s earning US$238 million from his megafight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Meanwhile, WWE wrestlers in the highest-earning 100 made an average of US$786,500 per year before taxes and bonuses.
The pay for boxers can range from several hundred dollars to millions per fight. The most recent example of this is when Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao earned a whopping $100 million each by participating in their 2015 title fight, which was broadcasted on TV across the nation with an audience that reached up to 400 million people worldwide. MMA has grown significantly over time as well- thanks primarily due to fighters like Conor McGregor who have brought not only new fans but also new revenue levels into UFC events; although some would say there’s still considerable salary gap between top stars (well paid) versus lowest paid athletes – 187 out of 510 total competitors currently earning six figures or more annually represent 33% overall according job classification.
Average Salary of a Professional Golfer: $628,079
Golf is one of highest paying sports in the world 2021. Golfers have an average salary of $628,0779 per year for competing and they can get bonuses if their performance is televised or takes place in a major golf capital such as Augusta National Golf Club, site of The Masters tournament that’s broadcasted on TV annually to over 400 million people worldwide. In 2006 Tiger Woods reached his highest earnings ever with US$110 million from endorsements alone; while Rory McIlroy earned €11million just by winning the FedEx Cup at only 25 years old.
The PGA Tour requires players to complete between 15-25 events each season before becoming eligible for its postseason honorees (the richest prize money). This has led most professional golfers to compete in a mixture of other events such as those sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, which also pays out prize money for finishing in the top ten (these are typically smaller purses).
Two recent examples who have shattered highest-paid golfers’ records are Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. The game of golf has been around for centuries and it is now more popular than ever before. With the rise in popularity, so have some of the most wealthiest athletes to play this sport.
Golfers like Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, and Jack Nicklaus solidified their legacy within Golf history as they were all considered among its best players at one point or another during their careers. These three individuals are also worth billions themselves thanks to being masters on a course that produces millions every year from fans’ interest alone!
7. Auto racing
- NASCAR driver salary: $112,038
- average motogp salary: $2.5 million
The highest paying motorsport events are Formula One and NASCAR, with drivers earning anywhere from $112,038 to millions of dollars per race depending on when they’re classified as a rookie or veteran driver.
The highest average salary for an individual racer comes from motogp- where racers make an average of $US.25 million per year before taxes and bonuses.
With the cost of racing now exceeding US$100 million for those who reach F-One level during any given season – it’s not surprising that top racers can command salaries ranging into tens if not hundreds of millions annually; especially considering how lucrative auto manufacturers have found sponsorship agreements with F-One teams over recent years.
6. Ice hockey
Average ice hockey player salary (NHL): 1.54 million to 3.54 million U.S. dollars
Ice Hockey is one of highest paying sports in the world. Players can earn up to a million dollars per year in North America while playing for NHL teams; or as low as $185,00 if they play overseas in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League – where there are currently only two players who make over US$500k annually- though that number may increase due to high demand from other international leagues interested in joining forces with Russian counterparts and forming some kind of unified league like the NBA has done recently with its own minor league system.
The highest salaries come from Canadian and U.S.-based National Hockey League franchises which pay out an average between $US.
The top-level golfing pros made a median of $68,600 in 2010 according to the PGA’s American compensation survey. The salaries ranged from $40,000 to 140k for pro players and assistant level members earned around 37K with an average between 22k-$59 k. There are more than 12 high speed motorcycle racing events happening all over the world with companies like Honda competing against each other on their fastest bikes such as MotoGP and Superbike World Championship.
5. American football
NFL average salary: $860,000
NFL players have a minimum salary of $405,000 for their first year and can make up to millions of dollars per season. The highest ranking pro football player in the league is ranked as number one out of all highest paid athletes with an annual salary of over USD$22 million!
It’s no surprise that American Football has made it onto this list; considering how lucrative the sport is both domestically and internationally – thanks to its recent surge in popularity across Asia (particularly in China). In fact, there are more than 300 NFL teams located outside North America which means these franchises generate upwards of US$300 million annually from merchandise licensing alone.
In India, leagues like I-League are very popular among sports fans but still lack sponsorships and audiences – despite players earning an average of US$4000 per year. In the highest paid sports in America, football is king with more than a million people playing for amateur and club teams across the country; but it’s not just about how much they make on the field because these athletes also earn from personal endorsements.
- Average UEFA player salary: ~$6 million-$8 million
- EPL salaries average: $3.2 million
- La Liga salaries average: $1.6 million
Football is the highest paying sport in Europe and has made a huge resurgence over recent years thanks to its growing popularity with new audiences. The highest average salary for an individual soccer player comes from UEFA – where players earn anywhere from $US$600-800 thousand annually; while those who play in England’s Premier League make on average between US$400,000-$600,000.
In La Liga – Spain’s highest ranking league for football players; the average salary is considerably less at $US$200-340 thousand annually. As we mentioned in our list of highest paid sports in America, it can be tough to find a job as an amateur or club player when there are so many people competing for such few spots on professional teams. It doesn’t help that even if they do manage to get drafted onto one team roster – most soccer players only make US$2000-$4000 per year which hardly covers living expenses and leaves little money left over for personal needs like health insurance coverage and retirement savings plans (although some clubs offer these services through their own benefits packages).
You may have heard that these days professional athletes are making a lot of money. But when you look at the highest-paid players in the world with their gifted skills intensifying World Cups and Champions Leagues, it’s clear there is some serious cash to be made as well. For example, Lionel Messi earns tens of millions just for playing soccer every year; David Beckham gets close to $1 million from sponsorships even though he hasn’t played professionally since 2013; Cristiano Ronaldo makes more than $70 million each year on endorsements alone (he also has an additional fortune estimated between €250M -€300M); Neymar brings home about US$74 million every season ($35m+/year).
Average MLB salary: $3.4 million- $4.36 million
MLB players are guaranteed a minimum salary of $490,000 with the highest paid player earning up to US$22 million annually. The MLB has one of the highest average salaries for any type of professional sport in North America and many young children dream about being drafted into Major League Baseball as their ticket out of poverty – but it is a very tough industry to break into because there are only thirty teams that can hire people from outside talent pools (unless you’re a superstar).
In Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball; these athletes earn more than other countries around the world due to higher popularity and franchise fees. That said, baseball players don’t make nearly as much money on personal endorsements or sponsorships like some fans may believe which often leaves them struggling with debt as they move through their careers.
The highest paying sport in Asia is baseball which has the highest average salary for any professional team – at $US$660,000 annually or about US$3600 per day; while also having by far the most franchises across all of the world’s continents (except Antarctica).
Average IPL player salary: $4.33 million
Cricket is the highest paying sport in Asia and has been since its inception because of high viewership numbers. Cricket tournaments have millions of viewers which are then broadcasted on TV networks for fans to watch – so these athletes make a lot more money thanks to their sponsorships than they would otherwise (because there’s such an intense interest).
In contrast, American League players earn between US$290-US$500 thousand annually; while those who play in England’s Premier League make on average between US$400,000-$600,000. Countries like Australia also offer significantly higher wages than other countries around the world – where the highest earners can take home up to AU$200 million per year.
Cricket players in India make the highest salaries of any type of professional sport – at an average rate $US$150,000 annually or about US$2100 per day; but that’s still significantly lower than what you’d earn if you played for a team like Manchester United ($315 million). Cricket players also don’t get paid nearly as much from personal endorsements and sponsorships like soccer stars do which often leaves them struggling with debt as they move through their careers.
The highest paying cricket league is the Indian Premier League because it has most franchises across all of Asia (except Antarctica) and North America combined. Players play 66 games over six months for a total salary of up to AU$200M/year- almost three times the highest paying league in any other country.
The highest-paid sports in the world are Cricket, Baseball and Soccer as they all have high viewership numbers that go a long way for marketing purposes – while also having by far the most franchises of any type of professional sport worldwide (except Antarctica).
Average NBA player salary: $7.4 million- $7.7 million
Basketball is the highest paying sport in North America and the world in 2021 by far and has been since its inception because of high viewership numbers. Basketball tournaments have millions of viewers which are then broadcasted on TV networks for fans to watch – so these athletes make a lot more money thanks to their sponsorships than they would otherwise (because there’s such an intense interest).
The highest paid players can earn up to $US$30 million per year; while the average salary is closer to US$11-14 million annually. The NBA also offers significantly higher wages than other countries around the world – where the highest earners can take home up to €250,000 per year or about US$300,000-$340,000 monthly. Players don’t do nearly as much from personal endorsements and sponsorships like soccer stars do, which often leaves them struggling with debt as they move through their careers.
The highest paying basketball league in the world is the NBA because it has most franchises across all of North America combined – while also offering significantly higher wages than anywhere else in the world (except for Australia).
Nike is LeBron James’ biggest endorser, but even they can’t keep up with all the success he’s having. According to Forbes magazine during his first 16 years in the NBA (ending last season), players like him earned more than twice as much of their $270 million pay combined salary and endorsements–$92 million according to them. This dwarfs Kevin Durant’s current ten-year Nike deal worth $187 million on court revenue over 12 seasons; for an active basketball player it would seem that no one else has ever matched this total before either: a world record! The new research lab in Beaverton Oregon where Nike manufactures most of its products was named after James just recently so if you’re looking for some great sneakers.