List of Highest Paid Sports in the World 2022

Last Updated on August 23, 2022

Highest Paid Sports

Are you interested in the highest paid sports in the world? Sports is not only one of the popular sources of entertainment but also one of the most prominent industries of the current era. Sport has become an integral part of the education system across the world.

Athletes not only bring name and fame to their country but also earn millions for themselves. Athletes spare no effort to reach the highest level with their strong determination and hard work.

It is indeed a dream come true to make a successful career in sports. However, achieving success in a sports career requires a lot of effort and persistence.

And if you are wondering which sport pays more, I would say that it depends on the physical and mental attributes of the aspiring player.

However, if you want to pursue a sports career for yourself or your children, you should definitely check out this list of the highest paid sports in the world.

List of Highest Paid Sports in the World

Here’s a look at the list of the 10 highest paid sports in the world in 2022.

1. BasketBall

Basketball ranks first in the list of highest-paying sports in the world. National Basketball Association (NBA), composed of 30 teams is the most popular and highest paying basketball league in the world.

Basketball sport started attracting the attention of athletes across the globe as they started paying very high amounts in the 1970s. It is also the most-watched sport in the USA and Canada.

The average height of a Basketball player in the NBA is about 6ft 7inches. It is the dream of every basketball player to reach NBA. Michael Jordan is the highest-paid former NBA player who made $343 million a year.

Michael Jordan is also the richest athlete in the world with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion. According to Forbes magazine, present NBA players like LeBron James and Steph Curry are featured in the most paid athletes list. The high endorsement deals in this sport along with the ease of branding make basketball sports top in the list.

2. Boxing

Boxing is one of the oldest sports on planet earth which was first played more than 2700 years ago in 688 BC. It now ranks second in the list of highest paying sports in the world.

Boxing is very popular in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Boxing sport is a high-risk high-reward game as it is a combat sport played between two players inside a ring.

It is the demand of this game that athletes need to be really fit to achieve something big. Many popular boxers have made huge money from different tournaments and face-offs. Boxing players make huge money through endorsement deals, betting, and pay-per-view commissions.

The highest-paid fighter was paid a whopping $333 million for a match. The richest athlete in the world is an American boxer, Floyd Mayweather whose net worth is estimated to be $450 million. In the history of boxing, the match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was the most-watched and very popular.

3. Football

American football which is also known as Football is one of the most-watched sports by millions of fans in the USA and also the most popular sport. National Football League (NFL), composed of 32 teams is the most popular American football league in the world.

It is the dream of most football players around the world to join the league. NFL has the highest average attendance in the world while compared to all other professional sports leagues.

Football is the third highest-paid sport in the world which is played at all levels – High school, College, and Professional.

Roger Staubach, a former American football professional is the highest-paid footballer who made $253 million a year. Even though NFL is watched only in the USA it is one of the biggest leagues in the world.

4. Golf

Golf is considered to be one of the hardest sports to get perfection but it is said to be an easy-to-learn sport. Golf was played initially in the 15th century but gained prominence only in the 17th century in the USA and Europe.

Golf ranks fourth in the list of highest-paid sports wherein the highest-paid golfer has made $127 million a year.

Tiger Woods is the richest golfer with an estimated net worth of $800 million. The legendary golfer was ranked first in the Forbes list of richest players for record 11 times which is a big feat.

Woods holds the record of ranking first in the Forbes List of Richest Players eleven times. Popular events like US Open, British Open, PGA Championship are organized all over the world.

5. Soccer

Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the world played by almost every country in the world with a huge fan base of more than 4 billion fans worldwide. Soccer was started in the 1950s and is very popular now in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Soccer is the fifth-highest paying sport in the world. The highest-paid footballer has made $127 million.

Cristiano Ronaldo, a Portuguese professional is the world’s richest soccer with a net worth of more than one billion which was earned by endorsement and salary.

6. Tennis

Tennis is the world’s sixth-highest paying sport and one of the most popular sports with millions of fans all over the world.

US Open, French Open, Grand Slams are the most popular tournaments/events in tennis. Even women are active players in this sport. Interestingly, female tennis players are included in the list of the world’s highest-paid female athletes.

International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the governing body for Tennis. The highest-paid tennis player makes approximately $106 million a year.

Swiss professional player, Roger Federer is the richest tennis player on the planet who boasts a net worth of $450 million.

7. Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey is the world’s seventh-highest paid sport and also one of the most popular, most-watched sports in the USA. Ice Hockey is a contact team sport that is played on ice either indoor or outdoor rink.

The highest-paid Ice Hockey player earns approximately $99 million a year. Ice Hockey is the national winter sport of Canada and is also popular in the USA, Russia, and Australia.

Ice Hockey is governed by International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and National Hockey League (NHL) is the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world. Legendary Canadian player, Wayne Gretzky is the richest Ice hockey player with a net worth of $250 million.

8. Baseball

Baseball is the eighth highest paying sport in the world which is very popular in the USA, Japan, and South Korea. A baseball player has earned the highest amount of $38 million a year. It was first played in the 18th century.

IBAF abbreviated as International Baseball Federation is the governing body that looks after the decisions and executions of the policies for baseball sport.

Major League Baseball (MLB) is touted as the biggest as well as the most popular baseball league around the world.

For a long time, many MLB players have featured consistently in the Forbes list of richest athletes. Alex Rodriguez, an American former professional is the richest baseball player with a net worth of $400 million.

9. Auto Racing

Auto racing is a very popular sport in the USA and European region. Auto racing is not only an interesting game but also one of the most dangerous sports.

It ranks ninth in the list of highest-paid sports wherein the highest amount ever paid to the auto racing driver was $18 million.

Auto racing has existed ever since the invention of the automobile with the first race being organized in the year 1867. Former German driver, Michael Schumacher is the richest auto racing player with a net worth of $800 million.

Michael holds the record for the fastest laps and the most races won in a single season which is yet to be broken.

10. Cycling

More than 120 years ago, Charles Minthorn Murphy became the first cyclist to cover the distance of one mile in less than a minute in 1899. This feat earned him a “Mile-a-Minute Murphy”, nickname.

Cycling is now considered one of the world’s most active sports ever since the innovation of cycles and other vehicles. There are several cycling tournaments that are held in different parts of the world and are also considered among the highest paying events.

Not only do famous cyclists make money through tournaments they also endorse products and services of companies.

Legendary cyclist, Lance Armstrong was ranked at 9th place in the list of Richest Players in 2010 released by Forbes with a total income of $28 million. Lance is also one of the highest-paying sports players in 2022.

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