10 Highest Paid Sports in the World (2022)

Sports is no longer just a recreational activity, but it is also now a very big industry. Many people participate in sports just for fun, but most people get in it so that they can earn a lot of money, simply because of the commercial value that each sport brings in. Sports have become a part of our daily lives as a form of entertainment as well as in the form of fitness.

So many people all over the globe are logged in to watch their favorite athletes play their favorite sport and because of this, every sport is making lots and lots of money in terms of broadcasting and marketing deals.

Today we will look at the top 10 highest paid sports in the world in 2021. These are sports that are famous all over the globe and many nations of the world are taking part in these sports through various intercontinental competitions.

10. Wrestling

Wrestling is an extremely competitive and physically grueling sport. Athletes put their bodies on the line for the entertainment of fans and people throughout the globe. It is extremely popular in countries such as the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

The most popular of these is WWE, which is one of the popularly watched wrestling entertainment shows which also features as a part of other ventures such as movies and video games.

Its founder, Vince McMahon, is the highest-paid personality with a net worth of over 2.1 billion dollars, and American-Canadian wrestler Brock Lesnar is the highest-paid athlete with a net worth of over 25 million dollars.

9. Cricket

The Gentleman’s Game cricket has been very popular among the young and the old people and is a big attraction in Southeast Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Cricket also brings in large numbers from its parent nations of the UK and Australia.

Apart from this, cricket is also a source of big money being pulled in from live telecasts, brand deals, and national as well as international leagues from all over the world.

The cricket industry is valued at 6 billion dollars, with the net worth of the biggest star players such as Virat Kohli being 75 million dollars.

8. Tennis

Tennis is one of the most traditional and sought-after sports of our time. It takes years of practice and strength to become good at the game that requires athletes to stay on top of their fitness at all times.

The game is widely popular all over the world and with its 4 world-famous tournaments in US Open, French Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon bring in an average salary of $64,000 per year for a professional tennis player.

Roger Federer is the highest-paid athlete in the sport and has been the only tennis player on Forbes’ highest-paid athletes’ list for many years, being worth $90 million in 2021.

7. Golf

Golf is one of those sports that even though does not require a lot of fitness to stay on top of, takes years and years of effort to master. It is no longer a sport only to be played by old men, as all ages of people are getting into it recently.

Golf is a game of knowledge and skill, and every athlete who sticks around in this sport is guaranteed to earn a lot of money.

Tiger Woods is probably the name that comes to the mind of everyone who hears about Golf, and rightfully so, as he has been the highest-paid Golfer and on the Forbes list a record eleven times, with his net worth being $60 million.

6. Football

Association football, or better known as football, is probably the most popular and most watched sport on the planet with live broadcasts of tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champion’s League bringing in billions of people in viewership.

Football is a sport that requires an equal amount of talent and hard work to master and is one of the biggest attractions for people of all ages. Athletes such as Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, and Neymar Jr. are some of the most popular names on the planet.

Football has an industry value of almost $600 billion, with almost 200 countries worldwide participating in this sport.

Lionel Messi, often regarded as the greatest player of all time, is the second-highest-worth athlete in the world according to the Forbes list with a net worth of $130 million.

5. American Football

Even with its marginalized audience of the USA and Canada, American football is one of the most-watched sports in the USA and is played at all levels of society. It is an extremely physical and competitive sport and requires athletes to always stay on top of their game.

It is a great source of revenue and entertainment for the American people and their most popular league, the NFL, is a very widely broadcasted sports tournament.

Apart from its insane average salary of $860,000, athletes such as Dak Prescott and Tom Brady are on the Forbes list as well, being valued at $107.5 million and $76 million respectively.

4. Baseball

Baseball is another one of American sports that is counted amongst the highest paying in the world. It has a huge fan following in America as well as in Japan and Korea.

Major League Baseball is the most popular baseball league in the world and has a market value of $40 billion.

Many MLB players have featured in the Forbes list over time, although none of them have come close to the popularity of American baseball star Alex Rodriguez, popularly known as A-Rod. Over the course of his career, Alex has amassed fortunes worth approximately $400 million and is regarded as one of the most successful athletes of his time.

3. Automobile Racing

Automobile racing, or motorsport, is a high-risk sport that entails great adrenaline and competitiveness between racers. The most promising racing events include F1, Grand Prix, and NASCAR.

Racing is a very heavy paying job as each component that goes into making a car costs over thousands of dollars and the average salary of a race car driver is around $70,000. Racing as a sport is most prominent in the USA and many European nations as well.

Former F1 driver Michael Schumacher is the greatest race car driver of all time and has estimated to have collected a net worth of $600 million in his lifetime. Along with him, British driver Lewis Hamilton is also currently on the Forbes list with a net worth of $280 million, having earned $80 million in the year 2020-21 itself.

2. Boxing

Boxing is a sport filled with grandeur and luxury, but it also comes with its share of athleticism and hard work. It is another very popular sport in the USA, and seasoned fighters can easily make anywhere between $90 to $100 million over a couple of fights.

As a combat sport, boxing requires a lot of dedication and focus to become the master of, and along the way each fighter needs to fight off not just opponents but injuries as well.

A fight between five-division undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather and eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao is dubbed as the greatest boxing match of all time, as it generated almost $400 million in revenue. Out of this, Floyd earned $222 million from this fight alone, with many other such fights making him the richest boxer of all time.

1. Basketball

Basketball is unsurprisingly the highest-paid sport in the world. It is a massively popular competition, combining athleticism and skill together.

It is the most popular sport in the USA and every basketball aspirant desires to play the biggest league of all, the NBA. Basketball is a $90 billion dollar industry and players can make an average of $7 million per game.

Michael Jordan, who is considered by many as the greatest athlete of all time, is the sportsperson in the world to cross the $1 billion mark, both due to his athletic success as well as his off-court success with the Nike brand Jordan.

Even after retiring his net worth is $1.6 billion.

Meanwhile, in the active roster, players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant are still on the Forbes highest-paid list, with $96.5 million and $75 million being their respective salaries.