Top 15 Highest Paid Sports in the World 2020
There are a number of contenders for the title of Highest Paid Sports in the World and a number of ways to calculate it. Sports like boxing, basketball and soccer have some of the highest earning sports on the earth. But to answer this question, it is not about individual salaries it is about the best paying sports overall.
Fabulaes has complied a list of Top 15 Highest Paid Sports in the World 2020 on average salaries. This enables us to compare sports fairly and has produced some interesting results. This list support the fact that athletes are among the highest-paid entertainers in the world. Be it the salary from the games, the prize money they get, or the amounts they receive from their endorsement deals, the amounts they earn is huge. Each game and each tournament help the players make large sums of money. Here we are going to introduce you to the Top 15 Highest Paid Sports in the World 2020.
15. Rugby Union
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 250k
A major sport for Australia, South Africa, France and UK, with some interest in the rest of the world. World cup is a huge global event, with attendance figures of 2 million+ across all games in recent versions, reportedly only surpassed only in scale by Olympics, football world cup and Tour de France. Despite being only popular in one country, the Super Bowl is watched by millions of people every year.
At the peak of a Premiership career a good club player might get just short of £200k before their earning start to decrease. One player told me that at 33 he was playing for less money than when he was 21, which gives you a good indication of the drop off in earnings.
There are obviously exceptions, club captains, internationals and marquee players will all get substantially more.
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Average Salary of Professionals: $ 300k
A traditional sport in a number of countries, particularly in Central Asia and India, where it maintains strong appeal, but also in Japan, Russia and the US. Reinstated recently to Olympics after initially being removed.
Wrestling, and no not the WWE kind, is one of the oldest sports, dating back 15,000 years ago. It’s popular in high school and collegiate settings all over the world. In 1896, wrestling was named a “foundational sport” in the Olympic games.
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 450k
A very global sport with significant interest across all countries measured. Most watched sport in world’s biggest event, the summer Olympics, with 100m final an iconic global event gaining an estimated audience over a billion. More than 40 countries gained medals at the last Olympics from all continents.
In 1896 the first modern Olympic Games were staged. Although initially of limited appeal, the Olympics captured the imagination of athletes and grew steadily, making track and field an international sport for the first time. In 1913 the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) was formed by representatives from 16 countries.
Participation by women has grown rapidly in many countries in recent years, particularly in the United States, where many schools have added women’s track and field to their athletic programs.
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 490k
Invented in 1895, the first volleyball world championships weren’t held until 1949 and then introduced as an Olympic sport in 1964. It’s considered one of the most popular sports around the world next to soccer.
Big in the developing world, particularly Brazil, but also Asia and parts of Europe. More national federations than any other sport at more than 200 and some estimates place it as having the most number of participants. World championships screened live across Europe and Asia.
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 500k
Since the innovation of cycles and other human-powered vehicles, cycling is counted among one of the most active sports in the world. There are many cycling tournaments that are considered among the highest paying event on the planet earth. Apart from two-wheeled bicycles, “cycling” also includes the riding of unicycles, tricycles, quadra-cycles, recumbent and similar human-powered vehicles (HPVs).
Besides huge income in the form of the tournament earnings, the famous cyclists also get good amounts of money from their sponsors. Legendary cyclist and one of the most controversial athletes of modern days “Lance Armstrong” achieved 9th place in the “Forbes list of Richest Players” with a total income of $28 million. He also earns his place in the highest paying sports players in 2020.
As a sport, cycling is governed internationally by the Union Cycliste Internationale in Switzerland, USA Cycling, and by the International Human Powered Vehicle Association (IHPVA). Cycling Championships include:
- Olympic Games
- UCI Track Cycling World Championships
- UCI Track Cycling World Cup
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 1.5 Million
Sports Journalist says about baseball that it is “a unique paragon of American culture” as it still remains one of the major sports of the United States. It has more than 2.1 million participants in the United States. With a great viewership of MLB, the participants are counted among the highest-earning athletes in the modern world.
American baseball player Cecil Fielder first achieved 8th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 1993 with a total income of $12.7 million. Alex Rodriguez achieved the 7th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 2003 with a total income of $26 million and again achieved the 9th place in 2004 with a total income of $26.2 million and in 2011 with $35 million total income.
Baseball is governed by World Baseball Softball Confederation. Following are the series of baseball game:
- World Series
- Caribbean Series
- World Baseball Classic
- Baseball World Cup
9. Ice Hockey
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 4 Million
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. And the participants have frequently achieved decent positions in the Forbes list of Richest Players.
Legendary ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky achieved 5th place in the list in 1994 with a total income of $13.5 million. And since then, ice hockey holds its place among the richest sports to play. He again achieved 10th place in the list in 1995 with a total income of $14.5 million. Canadian ice hockey player Joe Sakic achieved 9th place in 1997 with a total income of 17.9 million. Russian international ice hockey player Sergei Fedorov also achieved the 3rd place in the list in 1998 with $29.8 million total income.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is the formal governing body for international ice hockey. Mega events include:
- National Hockey League (NHL)
- Kontinental Hockey League
- Austrian Hockey League
- Supreme Hockey League (VHL)
- Asia League
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 4.2 Million
Tennis is one of the most popular recreational sports and is played by millions worldwide. WTA tours, undoubtedly, mark its name for being one of the highest paying tournaments in the world. And the tennis players have frequently achieved positions in the Forbes list of richest players.
Legendary tennis player Andre Agassi achieved 6th place in the list in 1992 with a total income of $11 million. Jim Courier achieved 9th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 1993 with a total income of $12.6 million. Recent days’ legendary tennis star Roger Federer achieved 6th place in 2008 with $35 million total income. He again got the spot in 2010 with $43 million total income and again in 2013 with $71.5 million total income.
Tennis Mega Events include:
- Australian Open
- French Open
- US Open
7. Soccer / Football
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 5.2 Million
Without even saying, football or soccer is the home of some of the highest paying sports contracts.
English football player David Beckham first achieved 8th place in the Forbes list in 2004 with a total income of $28 million. He again achieved the 7th place in the list in 2005 with a total income of $32.5 million and achieved the 6th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 2007 with $33 million. Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho achieved 9th place in the list in 2007 with $31million. David Beckham again achieved the 2nd place in 2008 with a total income of $50 million.
Last year, Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo achieved the 1st place in the 2017 Forbes list of richest players with a total income of $93 million. Besides, another legendary Argentine footballer Lionel Messi also achieved the 2nd place in the list last year with a total income of $86.2 million. at the moment Messi is the Highest Paid football player in the World, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo.
6. American Football
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 5.75 Million
American Football earns its place among the highest paying sports in the world. And the players frequently achieved positions in the Forbes list of Richest Players. Besides the players, it also houses some of the highest paying sports management jobs.
Joe Montana first achieved 7th place in the Forbes list in 1992 with a total income of $9.5 million. NFL star Deion Sanders achieved the 3rd place in the list in 1995 with a total income of $22.5 million. Famous NFL participant Peyton Manning achieved the 3rd place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 2004 with $42 million. Michael Vick achieved the 4th place in the list in 2005 with $37.5 million. Another famous NFL star, Tom Brady, achieved the 9th place in 2006 with a total income of $29 million.
The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) is the governing body. Mega events include:
- IFAF World Championship
- IFAF Women’s World Championship
- IFAF U-19 World Championship
- Flag Football World Championship
See also: Top 15 Most Popular Sports in the World
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 6 Million
Very Popular Elite Class game is Golf. According to the National Golf Foundation (NGF) 26 million people played golf only in USA. Game is popular and sponsor in Canada, Switzerland, Ireland and England.
Legendary golfer and one of the most successful athletes of any genre, Tiger Woods, still holds the history of achieving the first place in Forbes list of Richest Players, a record eleven times. He topped the Forbes list in 2010 with $105 million and in 2011 with $75 million. Finally, he tops again in 2013 with a total income of $78.1 million.
Long before Tiger Woods’ achievements, Jack Nicklaus achieved the 3rd place in the list of richest players. He earned the spot in 1994 with $14.8 million. Besides, in the same year, Arnold Palmer also achieved the 4th place on the list with a total income of $13.6 million. So undoubtedly, Golf earns its place for providing the highest paying sports jobs.
International events include:
- Golf at the Asian Games
- Curtis Cup
- EurAsia Cup
- International Crown
- Golf at the Summer Olympics
4. Auto Racing
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 6.2 Million
everal racing events such as the Grand Prix of Formula1 or NASCAR earns its reputation for being one of the highest paying events in the sports universe. The involvement of risks is compromised by great winning amounts and several endorsements of reputed brands. F1 legend Michael Schumacher achieved the first place of the Forbes list of Richest Players in 1999 with a total income of $49 million.
He again achieved the same in 2000 with $59 million. Long before that, Ayrton Senna achieved the 3rd place of Forbes list of Richest Players in 1992 with $22 million. And the same year Nigel Mansell also achieved the 4th place on the list with a total income of $14.5 million.
Mega events include:
- World Rally Championship
- Monte Carlo Rally
- Rally Argentina
- Rally Finland
- Rally GB
- British Rally Championship
- Intercontinental Rally Challenge
- African Rally Championship
- Asia-Pacific Rally Championship
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 6.5 Million
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. One of the greatest boxers Mike Tyson topped the Forbes list in 1991 with $28.6 million. He again repeated the same in 1996 with a total income of $75 million. Former international boxer Evander Holyfield topped the Forbes list of Richest Players with $60.5 million in 1992.
After a short break as a contribution of the boxer in the Forbes list of Richest Players, Floyd Mayweather topped the list with $85 million income in 2012 and again achieved the first place in 2014 with $105 million income.
Internationally it is playing in big events like;
- Olympics Games
- World Boxing Championships
- Commonwealth Games
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 7 Million
Cricket is the most famous game all around the World and even in Americas now, thus it is the second most highest paid sport. Every Cricketer earns $ 1 Million on average from playing international matches for their national teams. Which Helps Cricket To Make To The Second Spot In The List Of Highest Paid Sports In The World.
Speaking about professional sports leagues, the biggest among them, The Indian Premier League (IPL), has shocked cricket professionals with its rich owners and global appeal. With the IPL teams being paid up to $1.55 million for only one season of five weeks, compared to $500,000 and $1 million in national teams.
Average Salary of Professionals: $ 7.8 Million
Famous basketball tournaments such as the NBA received compliments for being among the highest paying sports leagues. The participants get huge amounts of salary from their respected teams. Besides, they also earn millions from numerous of their endorsements. They have their signature shoes and jerseys to boost their yearly income. Basketball player Michael Jordan tops the Forbes list of Richest Players with $35.9 million in 1992. And now, it also holds its place among the most popular sports in America.
He then achieved $36.0 million in 1993, $30.01 million in 1994, $43.9 million in 1995, $78.3 million in 1997 and $69 million in 1998. Another legendary basketball player Shaquille O’Neal achieved the 6th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players. He has earned $15.2 million in 1993 and again achieved the 2nd place with $16.7 million in 1994.
Basketball is being played internationally at:
- World Cup
- Olympics Games
- Commonwealth Games
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