What Sport Pays the Most | Top 10 Highest Paid Professional Sports in the World


Sports are not only a popular form of entertainment but also one of the largest enterprises in recent times. It has also been an essential aspect of the educational system across the world.

Sports are a way of life for individuals of all backgrounds. It is one of the most significant acts for world unity. People express their enthusiasm for sports in a variety of ways. While some individuals participate, others bet on it through various themes and forms at major sportsbooks or casinos.

Professional athletes earn large sums of money through their salaries and the cash they receive from sponsorship deals. These contracts can occasionally be worth millions of dollars. As a result, every competition assists contestants in earning substantial money.

Here, in this article, we will look at the world’s top ten highest-paid professional sports.

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Top 10 Highest-Paid Professional Sports in the World

#1. Basketball

Topping the list of highest-paid sports in the world is basketball.

The NBA is the king of money-making in sports, with just 30 clubs and an unparalleled structure to create money from broadcast, sponsorships, merchandise, and, of course, ticket sales.

Each franchise is worth more than $2 billion, and the league earns over $8.76 billion in revenue each year.

Over the years, basketball has risen in popularity, particularly in the United States, making it a lucrative sport. Basketball is among the highest-paid sports, with annual pay of $7,422,823 in 2018-19.

Source: Istock – Basketball

Basketball players in the NBA are usually 6ft 7inches tall. Every basketball player’s ambition is to make it to the NBA. Michael Jordan earned $343 million annually as the highest-paid former NBA player.

Michael Jordan is also the world’s richest athlete, having a net worth of more than $2 billion. According to Forbes magazine, NBA players such as LeBron James and Steph Curry are among the highest-paid athletes.

Basketball sports are at the top of the list due to the vast number of sponsorship deals and the simplicity of branding.

#2. Boxing

Boxing is one of the oldest sports globally, having originally performed more than 2700 years ago. It is presently ranked second among the world’s highest-paying sports.

Boxing is extremely popular in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Boxing is a high-risk, high-reward combat sport contested between two participants within a ring.

Source: Istock – Boxing

This game requires competitors to be highly fit in order to achieve great things. Many well-known boxers have made large sums of money from various events and face-offs. Fighters make a lot of money via sponsorship deals, betting, and pay-per-view commissions.

Floyd Mayweather, an American boxer, is the world’s richest athlete, with a net worth of $450 million. The boxing battle between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was the most watched and famous in history.

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#3. Football

American football, often known as football, is the most popular sport in the United States and is watched by millions of people. The National Football League (NFL) is the most famous American football league in the world, with 32 clubs.

Most football players throughout the world aspire to play in the league. Compared to all other professional sports leagues, the NFL has the highest average attendance globally.

Source: Istock – American Football

Football is the world’s third highest-paid sport, played at all levels, including high school, college, and professional.

Former American football professional Roger Staubach is the highest-paid footballer, earning $253 million annually. Although the NFL is exclusively broadcast in the United States, it is one of the world’s most popular sports leagues.

#4. Golf

Golf is the fourth highest-paid sport, with the highest-paid player earning $127 million annually.

It is regarded as one of the most challenging sports to master, yet it is also considered an easy activity to learn. Golf was first played in the 15th century, but it did not become popular in the United States and Europe until the 17th century.


Tiger Woods has the highest net worth of any golfer, with an estimated net worth of $800 million. Tiger Wood occupied #1 on Forbes’ list of wealthiest players for 11 consecutive times.

Woods has the record for being the wealthiest player on the Forbes List eleven times. Popular competitions in the game include the US Open, British Open, and PGA Championship.

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#5. Soccer

Soccer is the world’s fifth-highest-paid sport. Football’s highest-paid player earned $127 million.

Soccer is, without a doubt, the most popular sport in the world, with nearly every country having a fan base of more than 4 billion people. Soccer began in the 1950s and is now immensely popular across Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Source: Istock – Soccer

Football players such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar Jr. lead the current Forbes list of top sports athletes’ earnings.

With a total worth of $127 million, Argentine superstar Messi is the top earner in football, followed by Ronaldo at $109 million and Neymar at $105 million.

#6. Tennis

Tennis is the world’s sixth-highest-paid sport and one of the most popular, with millions of spectators worldwide.

The most popular tennis tournaments/events are the US Open, French Open, and Grand Slams. Women are also active participants in this sport. Female tennis players, interestingly, are among the world’s highest-paid female athletes.

Source: Istock – Tennis

Tennis is governed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The highest-paid tennis player earns almost $106 million each year.

Roger Federer, a Swiss professional tennis player, is the world’s richest tennis player, with a net worth of $450 million.

#7. Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a fast-paced, muscular sport that has earned the moniker “The Fastest Game on Earth.” It is also well-known for being one of the most lucrative sports in the world.

And the contestants have repeatedly attained respectable positions on Forbes’ list of the World’s Richest Players.

Source: Istock – Ice Hockey

Wayne Gretzky, the legendary ice hockey player, was fifth on the list in 1994, with total revenue of $13.5 million. Since then, ice hockey has remained one of the most lucrative sports.

In 1995, he ranked tenth on the list again, with a total income of $14.5 million.

Joe Sakic, a Canadian ice hockey player, finished ninth in 1997 with a total income of 17.9 million. Sergei Fedorov, a Russian international ice hockey player, was third on the list in 1998, with total revenue of $29.8 million.

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#8. Baseball

This Bat and Ball game has been an official Olympic sport since 1744. It is one of the most well-known sports in the United States. Most high school and college administrators have included this game in their curriculum.

Source: Istock – Baseball

The typical baseball player earns $1.5 million per year. However, this is dependent on the player’s rank.

Mike Trout, probably the highest-paid baseball player in the world, signed a 12-year, $426 million contract with

The Angels. His annual earnings from the sport are around $35.54 million, excluding incentives and endorsement deals.

#9. Auto Racing

Auto racing is a prominent sport in the United States and Europe. It is not only an exciting activity but also one of the most deadly.

It is ranked tenth on the list of most-paid sports, with the most significant sum ever paid to an auto racing driver being $18 million.

Istockphoto: Auto Racing

Auto racing has occurred since the development of the vehicle, with the first race in 1867. Michael Schumacher, a former German driver, is the wealthiest auto racing player, with a net worth of $800 million.

Michael holds the record for the most races won in a single season and the fastest laps, both of which have yet to be beaten.

#10. Cycling

More than 120 years ago, in 1899, Charles Minthorn Murphy became the first cyclist to complete a mile in under a minute. This achievement earned him the moniker “Mile-a-Minute Murphy.”

Since the invention of bicycles and other vehicles, cycling has become one of the world’s most active sports. Cycling tournaments are hosted in many regions of the world and are also regarded to be among the top-paid events.

Source: Istockphoto – Cycling

Not only do great cyclists get money through contests, but they also promote companies’ products and services.

Lance Armstrong, the legendary cyclist, was ninth on Forbes’ list of the Richest Players in 2010, with total revenue of $28 million. Lance will also be one of the highest-paid athletes in 2022.


What sport is the hardest?

Boxing. The Sweet Science. That sport demands the most from the athletes who compete in it.

It’s harder than football, harder than baseball, harder than basketball, harder than hockey or soccer or cycling or skiing or fishing or billiards, or any other of the 60 sports we rated.


The sport has roughly 3.5 billion fans worldwide and 250 million players across 200 countries around the world. The next most popular sports in the world are cricket (2.5 billion fans), basketball (2.2 billion fans), and field hockey (2 billion).

What sport has the longest season?

Major League Baseball

The MLB season, with 162-games, is the longest of the major American sports. After the regular season, the highest-ranking teams enter playoff games. A total of eight teams, four from each league, get into the playoffs.

Highest Paid Sport in The World in 2022

  • Baseball
  • American Football
  • Ice Hockey
  • Auto Racing
  • Boxing
  • Basketball
  • Tennis


Athletes may amass enormous fortune and renown via sports. That is what draws many young people to a career in this field.

To be a competitive athlete, though, more than simply a drive for riches and glory is required.

Without keen affection and skill, one cannot give his or her everything. While sports might provide money and recognition, these benefits can only be obtained via hard labor.



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