What Sport Makes The Most Money?

What Sport Makes The Most Money
What Sport Makes The Most Money

You’ve probably noticed that athletes are now making it big in the world of sports. And this could make you curious to know what sport makes the most money. Anyway, this article will feed your curiosity by the time you finish reading. 

Many sports now come with so much money and prestige thus producing a new set of billionaires in the sports world. 

In today’s world, there are more than 8000 sporting activities. It might sound crazy to think that one could even become a multi-millionaire only by intentionally engaging in a sport that appreciates their efforts.

In this article, you will get to discover what sport makes the most money, how football clubs make money, and some others. Keep reading!

Check out: 10 Highest Paid Sport in 2023 | Best Paying Sports in the World

World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams

According to Forbes, four sports constitute these fifty teams below. Twenty-six are from football, nine from basketball, nine from soccer, and six from baseball. These teams are driven by the zest to be amongst the top 50 and the ever-escalating media rights deals.

With a domestic media rights deal valued at $2.18 billion yearly, the Premier League is dominating the world of soccer. On the ranking, it’s also the best-represented soccer league, having about five teams.

The NFL newly licensed TV rights for a decade worth $10.3 billion a year beginning in 2023. This is an 80% growth above its present deal. MLB will receive an average of $1.84 billion a year from its national media deals starting next season. This is a 19% growth.

Whereas, the NBA will get an average of $2.6 billion a year from 2024 through 2025 on its present deal. And the NHL signed media deals that will pay it only $625 million a year starting with the 2021-2022 season. It doesn’t have teams in the top 50. The revenue is shared equally amongst all the U.S. leagues.

The table below shows the world’s most valuable sports teams, their value, and their owners.

Sports TeamsValueOwner
Dallas Cowboys (NFL)$5.7 billionJerry Jones
New York Yankees (MLB)$5.25 billionSteinbrenner family
New York Knicks (NBA)$5 billionMadison Square Garden Sports
Barcelona (Soccer)$4.76 billionClub members
Real Madrid (Soccer)$4.75 billionClub members
Golden State Warriors (NBA)$4.7 billionJoe Lacob, Peter Gruber
Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)$4.6 billionJerry Buss Family Trusts, Philip Anschutz
New England Patriots (NFL)$4.4 billionRobert Kraft
New York Giants (NFL)$4.3 billionJohn Mara, Steven Tisch
Bayern Munich (Soccer)$4.21 billionClub members
Manchester United (Soccer)$4.2 billionGlazer family
Liverpool (Soccer)$4.1 billionJohn Henry, Tom Werner
Los Angeles Rams (NFL)$4 billionStanley Kroenke
Manchester City (Soccer)$4 billionSheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan
San Francisco 49ers (NFL)$3.8 billionDenise DeBartolo York, John York
Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) $3.7 billionGuggenheim Baseball Management
New York Jets (NFL)$3.55 billionJohnson family
Chicago Bears (NFL)$3.53 billionMcCaskey family
Washington Football Team (NFL)$3.5 billionDaniel Snyder
Boston Red Sox (MLB)$3.47 billionJohn Henry, Tom Werner
Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)$3.4 billionJeffrey Lurie
Chicago Cubs (MLB)$3.36 billionRicketts family
Houston Texans (NFL)$3.3 billionJanice McNair
Chicago Bulls (NBA) $3.3 billionJerry Reinsdorf
Denver Broncos (NFL)$3.2 billionPat Bowlen Trust
Boston Celtics (NBA)$3.2 billionWycliffe Grousbeck, Irving Grousbeck, Robert Epstein, Stephen Pagliuca
Chelsea (Soccer)$3.2 billionRoman Abramovich
San Francisco Giants (MLB)$3.18 billionCharles Johnson
Las Vegas Raiders (NFL)$3.1 billionMark Davis
Seattle Seahawks (NFL)$3.08 billionPaul G. Allen Trust
Green Bay Packers (NFL)$3.05 billionShareholders
Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL)$3 billionDaniel Rooney Trust, Arthur Rooney II
Baltimore Ravens (NFL)$2.98 billionStephen Bisciotti
Minnesota Vikings (NFL)$2.95 billionZygmunt Wilf
Miami Dolphins (NFL)$2.9 billionStephen Ross
Atlanta Falcons (NFL)$2.88 billionArthur Blank
Indianapolis Colts (NFL)$2.85 billionJames Irsay
Arsenal (Soccer)$2.8 billionStanley Kroenke
Los Angeles Clippers (NBA)$2.75 billionSteve Ballmer
Brooklyn Nets (NBA)$2.65 billionJoseph Tsai
Los Angeles Chargers (NFL)$2.6 billionDean Spanos
Carolina Panthers (NFL)$2.55 billionDavid Tepper
Kansas City Chiefs (NFL)$2.5 billionHunt family
Houston Rockets (NBA)$2.5 billion Tilman Fertitta
Paris Saint-Germain (Soccer)$2.5 billionQatar Sports Investments
New Orleans Saints (NFL)$2.48 billionGayle Benson
Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL)$2.45 billionShahid Khan
New York Mets (MLB)$2.45 billionSteve Cohen
Dallas Mavericks (NBA)$2.45 billionMark Cuban
Cleveland Browns (NFL)$2.35 billionDee and Jimmy Haslam

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

How Do Football Clubs Make Money? 

A lot of people including players, managers, and critics have agreed with the folklore, “there is a lot of money in football”. But have you ever thought about where the money comes from? Or is it shared amongst the team members?

Well, we will point out some of the ways football clubs make money below.

  1. Player transfers
  2. Television money
  3. Prize money
  4. Gate receipts and match day revenue
  5. Money realized from tours of the stadium 

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Who are The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes? 

Below is a table containing the ranking of the top 50 highest-paid athletes according to Forbes.

Conor McGregor$180M
Lionel Messi$130M
Cristiano Ronaldo$120M
Dak Prescott$107.5M
LeBron James$96.5M
Roger Federer $90M
Lewis Hamilton $82M
Tom Brady $76M
Kevin Durant$75M
Stephen Curry$74.5M
Naomi Osaka$60M
Tiger Woods $60M
Russell Westbrook $59M
Patrick Mahomes$54.5M
James Harden$51M
David Bakhtiari$48.5M
Ronnie Stanley$47.5M
Giannis Antetokounmpo$47M
Dustin Johnson $44.5M
Klay Thompson$44.5M
Joey Bosa$44M
Kyrie Irving$44M
Jalen Ramsey$43.5M
Trent Williams$44.5M
Myles Garrett$43M
Max Verstappen$42.5M
Serena Williams $41.5M
Phil Mickelson$41M
Damian Lillard$40.5M
Kylian Mbappé$40M
Chris Paul$40M
DeAndre Hopkins$39M
Leonard Williams$39M
Jimmy Butler$38.5M
Marlon Humphrey$37.5M
Mohamed Salah$37.5M
Paul George$37M
Chris Jones$37M
Anthony Davis$36M
Aaron Donald$36M
Matt Judon$36M
Paul Pogba$35.5M
Deshaun Watson$35.5M
Shaquil Barrett$35M
Novak Djokovic$34.5M
J.J. Watt$34.5M
Canelo Alvarez$34M
Andres Iniesta$34M
Robert Lewandowski$34M

Read also: How to Make Money in Metaverse | Full Guide 2023

What Sport Makes The Most Money? 

Now to the main thing—what sport makes the most money in the world? In the world of sports, a couple of sports make the most money. And we will be looking at them one after the other in this section.


Leading our list of what sports make the most money in the world is Basketball. The famous sport emanated from the United States and has been producing billionaires since then. The National Basketball Association (NBA) tournament is among the professional sports leagues that make the most money.

Players in this tournament are paid handsomely by their teams. Asides from that, their endorsement deals also earn them millions of dollars. So, if you’ve been thinking about what sport makes the most money, then basketball is one of them.


What sport makes the most money? Well, Boxing is one of them. This sport involves self-defense but it’s a very risky one. Thus, boxers are entitled to what they earn each time they get inside that squared circle.

Notwithstanding the heavy punches, boxing has paved the way for a new set of multi-millionaires to come into existence. Some of them include Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather Jnr, Oscar Dela Hoya, and many others.

Canelo Alvarez, a Mexican boxer earned a whopping $61 million inside the ring and an additional $2 million from endorsement deals.

Auto Racing 

Auto racing is another sport that makes the most money in the world. Alongside the numerous auto racing competitions that take place every year including the Indianapolis 500, Grand Prix of Formula 1, and NASCAR, auto racing drivers still maintain their tagline—big risk, big reward.

Famous 36-year-old Lewis Hamilton, F1 champion and Brit driver is the highest-paid F1 driver in 2022. He inked a one-year deal extension worth $55 million with Mercedes.

Next to him is Fernando Alonso, a two-time champion. He is a Spaniard who allegedly earns $20,500,000. 

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The number four sport that makes the most money in the world is golf, and Tiger Woods is major proof. The Golfer is one of the most successful in his field.

With an earning of $62 million, Tiger still sits at the top of the Forbes list of richest players. Other Golfers who earn a fortune from the sport are Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, and Dustin Johnson. 

A professional Golfer earns an estimated average salary of $628,079.

American football 

American football is not left out of the sport that makes the most money in the world, particularly in the U.S. Thus, the National Football League (NFL) is one of the professional sports leagues that makes the most money. 

The NFL holds one of the most-watched events in the world—the Superbowl event. Great pop celebrities and Hollywood stars grace the event and perform at the halftime show. No doubt, this event generates a lot of cash for the NFL.

While NFL star Deion Sanders came third in the 1995 Forbes list with an earning of $22.5 million, Peyton Manning, a famous NFL quarterback came third in the 2004 Forbes list of richest players with an earning of $42 million.

Although the sport is risky and very competitive, players always have their wallets full. Presently Russell Wilson ($89.5) and Aaron Rodgers ($89.3) are America’s highest-paid footballers.


Alongside being a sport that makes the most money in the world, soccer is considered the most famous and demanding sport across the globe.

In addition to the lucrative deals they sign, soccer players are often luxurious. Prominent people like David Beckham, an English player, once came 8th place in the 2004 Forbes list of highest-paid athletes with an earning of $28 million.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona FC is currently ranked second on the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, with a total income of $130 million annually. And Conor McGregor comes first on the same list with a total income of $180M


This recreational sport is played across the globe by millions. The WTA Tours proved itself to be among the professional sports leagues that make the most money.

If you’re doubting how much money you can make from tennis, then consider Roger Federer (the Swiss tennis legend) as proof. He earns approximately $93.4 million. However, a major part of his income (about $86 million) comes from his endorsement deals.

While the Grand Slam tournaments such as Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open award massive cash prizes, top players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and top sports brands such as Adidas, Nike, and Puma are also involved.

Ice Hockey

Alongside being among the fast-paced sport that is physically demanding, Ice Hockey is another sport that makes the most money in the world. The sport has various tournaments among which we have the National Hockey League (NHL)—a professional sports league that makes the most money.

NHL teams earn a total salary in the range of $1.54 million to 3.54 million. The sport has seen wealthy players like Auston Matthews, Wayne Gretzky, and Sergei Fedorov among others.

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Considering its wide acceptance, this sport has become one of the most popular in the United States. It was originally played in the 18th century, however, there are now variations in its rules. 

Major League Baseball (MLB) is also a professional sports league that makes the most money and is the world’s most famous baseball league. Baseball players often opt into this league because it pays richly.


If you find it questionable for cycling to be on this list, Lance Armstrong should serve as big proof to you that cycling pays. Cycling is a common sport in European countries such as Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, and Germany 

As well as attracting huge endorsement deals, the cycling tournament, Italia Olympics is amongst the most paid cycle tournaments.

Bottom Line 

I believe this article has proved to you beyond doubt that the aforementioned sports are the sports that make the most money. 


Who is the highest-paid football player?

Aaron Rodgers is currently the highest-paid football player.

What sport is the hardest?

Boxing is the hardest sport. And following it is Ice hockey.

Which sport has the most deaths?

Base jumping is considered the most dangerous sport in the world.

What sport takes the most IQ?

Wrestling (WWE).

Which league has more money?

The National Football League (NFL).



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