Highest Paying Sports In The World

Sports are essential and play a key role in our daily life, but what if the same sport, if you pursue, starts giving you thousands of US dollar contracts? Well, sports are one of the biggest paying industries in the world in the current era. Hundreds of males and female atheletes around the world are professionally attached to different sports. Here in the below list, we provided the ten highest paying sports in the world.

But the question arises following the list that is

  • How Players earn?
  • What factors determined the Rank and Populairty of sports?

Well, One of the biggest athlete earning sources is endorsements contracts. Advertising companies around the world pay very high for endorsing their brands.


Following are the factors that determined the popularity of the sport

  1. TV Viewrship
  2. Broadasting deals
  3. Global Stars Presence
  4. Avg players Income
  5. Avg match viewrship
  6. Popularity region
  7. Sponsership deals
  8. Merchandise Sales
  9. Avg Gateway tickets
  10. Debut of the sport

based on the factors, the 10 highest paying sports are summarized.

Highest paying sports

#10. eSports

  • Highest Paid: $10million
  • Popularity region:  North America, Europe, Asia Pacific
  • Governing Body: USeF
  • Popular events: Free Fire World Series Singapore, League of Legends World Championship

eSports is surely taking place over routine sports. A global industry worth of $20 Billion, is surely going to rank higher in upcoming time. However Professional gaming is not yet an official sport, but the hype is still huge. Esports events are on the rise and captivate tens of thousands of spectators. Johan Sundestein aka “N0tail” has earned nearly $7-10 million and become the highest earner of eSport.

#9. Wrestling

WWE Highest paid wrestlers
  • Highest Paid Wrestler: $12 Million
  • Popularity Region: USA, Canada, Mexico, and Middle East
  • Governing Body: FILA
  • Popular Class: WWE

It is the tenth highest-paying sport in the world right now. With the passage of time, it became one of the most popular sports in the world. Wrestling is watched and liked all over the world by millions of fans.

The higher-paid wrestler, Broke Lesner is getting $12 million that made him the highest-paid wrestler right now. However, the Famous promotion, WWE has 12 PPV shows every year with regular week shows Raw, Smack down, and NXT 2.0

#8. Baseball

  • Highest Paid: $28 million
  • First Played: 18th century
  • Popularity Region: England, USA
  • Popular League: Major League baseball

Baseball is one of the most played games in America. It is also one of the highest-paid sports in the world due to its wide acceptance. The highest-paid baseball player ever has got $38 million a year. Major League Baseball is the most popular baseball league in the world. Baseball players all around the world prefer to join the league because it pays high.

#7. Ice Hokey

NHL Classic Prize Money
  • Highest Paid: $33 million
  • First Played: 19th century
  • Popularity Region: Canada, USA, Australia
  • Popluar Event: IIHF World Championship

The fast-paced, physical sport, Ice Hockey, is often cited as the nickname “The Fastest Game on Earth.” Ice hockey is also widely known as one of the highest-paying sports in the world.

The competition has events like the Ice Hockey World Championship,  Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the National Hockey League among others. Its popularity region is also Canada, the USA, and Australia.

According to Forbes, the NHL’s top-earning player for the 2022 season is Auston Matthews.

#6. Tennis

  • Highest Paid: $52 million
  • Popularity Region: England, Europe, USA, Australia
  • Richest Player: Roger Federer
  • Popular events: US open, French Open, Australian Open, Wimbeldon

It is viewed by many as one most popular recreational sports played by millions across the globe, Tennis players count themselves among the top sports earners in the world. Its governing body is International Tennis Federation. Tennis players have some of the most expensive endorsement deals with popular advertising brands across the world.

Currently, Federer has earned a total of $52 million in endorsements from many companies like Nike, Rolex, and Credit Suisse. However, one need to be 100% fit to play the sport as reports suggest, tennis is the second most demanding sport that will test your stamina to its limits.

#5. Boxing

Mayweather Money Kicks Purse
  • Highest Paid: $63 million
  • Popularity Region: US, Europe, Asia, Africa
  • Governing Body: AIBA
  • Promtions: WBC, IBF, WBO, The Ring

The game of boxing has also made its mark among the very best paying sporting event. It also earns its place as one of the most dangerous sports of modern days. Well-known boxers earn huge amounts as their tournament prize money. They also get good amounts of profit from Pay-Per-View commissions, betting, and endorsements.

This year the highest earning boxer was Alvarez who made $61 million in the ring and another $2 million in endorsements. Anthony Joshua and Jake Paul earned $20 million-plus, according to a tweet from Kurt Badenhausen of Sportivo.

Floyd Mayweather is the richest boxer in the world. He first topped the list with $85 million in income in 2012 and again achieved first place in 2014 with $105 million income.

#4. Auto Racing

F1 Drivers Lineup
  • Highest Paid: $55 Milion
  • First Played: 1867
  • Popular Event: World championship series
  • Popularity Region: Europe, USA, Australia

Auto racing makes the final three as the highest paid sports in 2022. With several racing events held annually such as the Grand Prix of Formula1, NASCAR, and Indianapolis 500, high risk, high reward is the catchphrase of auto racing drivers who simply cannot lower their salaries.

Famous Brit driver and F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is the highest paid F1 driver for 2022. The 36-year-old recently signed a one-year contract extension with Mercedes worth USD$55 million.

#4. Golf

Genesis Invitational Prize Money
  • Highest Paid: $82 milion
  • First Played: 15th Century
  • Popularity Region: Europe, USA
  • Popular Events: US Open, British Open, PGA Championship

The club-and-ball sport takes fourth place as the highest paid sport in 2022.
Legendary golfer and one of the most successful athletes of any genre, Tiger Woods, still holds the history of achieving first place in Forbes list of Richest Players, a record eleven times.

According to reports, Tiger Woods remains the highest paid golfer in 2022 as well with earnings of $62 million + $20 million in endorsement deals.

The report revealed that Golf’s top 10 earners made an estimated $300 million over the last 12 months, and only 29% was from prize money. An average salary of a professional Golfer is estimated to be around $628,079.

#3. Football

  • Highest Paid Player: $125 Million
  • Popularity Region: Europe, Africa, Asia
  • Richest Player: Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Popular League: UEFA Champions League, FIFA WordlCup, Premier League, Euro Cup

Football is the most popular and global sport in the world with more than 6 billion fans all over the world. It is also the most played sport in the world in almost every country of the world. The largest community of the sports world is now one of the most valuable industries. The final of the FIFA World Cup match was viewed by more the 4 billion people.

Currently, PSG star striker, Lionel Messi is the highest-paid soccer star in the world. The 7th-time Ballon D’or winner earns a mouthwatering $120 million a year. However, his Nemesis, Cristiano Ronaldo earns 5 million more then him. As Ronaldo alone earn $70 million from endorsement and sponsorship deal.

#2. American Football (NFL)

NFL's sponsorship deals
  • Highest Paid: $95 Million
  • First Played: 1869
  • Popularity Region: USA, Canada
  • Popular League: NFL

American football is one of the most-watched sports in the USA. It has millions of fans across the country. NFL is the most popular American football league in the world. Players from all around the world prefer to join the league because it is paying very high.

According to the latest report 32 NFL players now make at least $20 million a season in average annual salary.

The highest-paid player in the league in Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes makes $55 million per season in average annual salary with the deal that he signed before the 2020 season. With Endorsements and commercials, he crosses the $95 million mark.

#1. Basketball

  • Highest Paid: $150 million
  • Popularity Region: USA, Canada, Europe
  • Popular League: NBA
  • First Played:

The very popular sport which originated from the USA but has gained global recognition continues to create multi-millionaires. Famous basketball tournament such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) is among the highest paying sports leagues in the world.

The participants get mind-blowing salaries from their respective teams. Besides, they also earn millions from their endorsements deals. The richest athlete in the world, Michael Jordan, is also a basketball player, with a net worth of more than $2 billion.

Stephen Curry of Golden State Warriors earns $150 million in salary and endorsement deals.


Sports can bring an athlete immense wealth and fame. Overnight stardom and Lots of Cash, That’s what attracts many youngsters to try their luck in sports. However, it takes more than just the desire for wealth and fame to be a good sports person. The top 10 highest paying sports in the world right now are:

  1. Basketball (NBA)
  2. American Football (NFL)
  3. Football
  4. Auto Racing, Golf
  5. Boxing
  6. Tennis
  7. Ice Hockey
  8. Baseball (MLB)
  9. Wrestling (WWE)
  10. eSports

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