Top 12 Richest/Most-Paid Sports in the World [2022 Edition]

The most-paid sports, to name a few, such as Basketball and Football, draw unprecedented love and attention from fans all around the globe. The sports industry, which is a lucrative sector as a career, has some of the highest-paid people that enjoy fandom and glamorous lives.

Sports have been an integral part of our civilization since the stone age, which ensures instant happiness and thrill in people. 

Indeed, sports help build strong relationships among the countries and create harmony through mutual collaboration.

Keeping fame and money in mind, currently, the sports industry depicts a net worth of around $1.3 trillion globally.

Sports
Sports (Source: Rank One Sport)

Of course, this industry is booming and covers approximately 1% of the world’s GDP.

Do you know which is the richest sport in the world today? or which sports make the most money?

To find the top 12 highest-paid /most-paid sports in the world, go through the listicle below. ( and comment down if it surprised you!)

Top 12 Richest/Most-Paid Sports in the World 

The sports industry is full of entertainment factors, lucrative deals, and renowned players. Here, we will dive into the richest of top sports and the fame and money they pull.

12. Volleyball

  • Current Industry value: $273.1 million
  • Average salary: $44,680

As we start with the bottom of the list, volleyball has been a growing sport. Most acclaimed it to be a “girl’s game”; however, it has been expanding in the global market. Today, volleyball’s global market value is $261.1 million

Volleyball
Volleyball (Source: Britannica)

As we look for the professionals’ earnings on the field, volleyball players earn an average of $19,910 to $187,200, with a median salary of $44,680.

Also, it is known as a recreational activity, and almost 800 million people globally enjoy it. 

At present, it is the most popular in Brazil. As the most popular volleyball player, Ivan Zaytsev is called “the king of the volleyball.” 

In the meantime, some of the top volleyball players are Wilfredo Leon, Jenia Grebennikov, and Matthew Anderson, to name a few. 

11. Boxing

  • Current Industry value: $348.4 million
  • Average salary: $50,000

With the years of thrill and excitement provided by this sport, boxing has always been one of the most entertaining and famous sports worldwide. But sadly, its popularity has been declining gradually.

Boxing
Boxing (Source: GettyImage)

Today, the global industry value of boxing is $348.4 million. Additionally, a professional boxer is estimated to earn an average salary of $50,000. As amateurs, the professional fighters earn around $1,000 to $4,000 per fight.

Likewise, it gradually increases to the midrange of $5,000 to $10,000 per fight. Not to mention, boxers even gain extra bonuses for their award of the fights and also have separate sponsors and endorsement deals. 

As for the fighters today, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Sugar Ray Robinson, and much more stay on the top. Altogether, it is the most popular in the United States, and Las Vegas stands as its central location. 

Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather are some of the prominent boxers.

10. Auto racing 

  • Current Industry value: $5 billion 
  • Average salary: $70,000

Auto-racing-as-a-sport
Auto racing as a sport (Source: tcr-series.com)

Auto racing falls under the top ten, with a global market value of $5 billion.

Also, as per the predictions, this field will boom up to $9.4 billion in global market value by 2026. This revenue includes sponsorship, advertising, ticketing, merchandising, hosting fees, and broadcasting. 

Similarly, a professional auto racer is estimated to have an average salary of $70,000.

Also, it starts with the median value of $40,904 a year, which amounts to $19.67 an hour. It can also go up to $130,000 in earnings per race. 

Similarly, it is the most popular at Monaco Grand Prix, and as a whole, this sport attracts around 87.4 million audiences.

Some of the wealthiest auto racers include Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, and Ken Block, to name a few. 

9. Cricket

  • Current Industry value: $6 billion 
  • Average salary: $60,000

One of the most famous sports with an audience count of almost 2 to 3 billion, depicts a global market value of $6 billion. Cricket is most prominent in India, Bangladesh, the U.K., Pakistan, and Sri Lanka based on the viewership rating. 

Cricket
Cricket

Also, the salary gap ranges from around $20,000. Inside the field, some of the greatest and wealthiest cricketers in the world include Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Tim Paine, and so on. 

For its overall review, cricket has been more and more dominating over the years. 

8. Tennis

  • Current Industry value: $6.06 billion 
  • Average salary: $64,033

Often tennis is called a traditional sport, which has gained increasing popularity over the past years.

As per the statistics, over 87 million people indulge in it, portraying a global market value of $6.06 million. It is widely popular in Australia.

Tennis Sport
Tennis (Source: Forbes)

Likewise, professional tennis earns an average salary of $64,033 per year. Furthermore, it depicts a median salary of $31,000, and the average career prize money amounts to $300,000. 

Similarly, they earn a fair amount from endorsement deals and appearance fees. Today, some richest tennis players include Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, and Rodger Federer. 

7. Golf

  • Current Industry value: $129.9 billion 
  • Average salary: $51,890

With the start of the global pandemic, golf is highly known as the silver lining on the dark cloud. Indeed, that stereotypical title as the game for “rich old men” is far gone as everyone from different age groups and classes enjoys it equally. 

Meanwhile, this sport stands with a global market value of $7 billion, and almost 30 million people indulge in this sport just in the States.

 

Golf
Golf (Source: Golf Chanel)

Talking about its earnings, professional golfers earns an average salary of $51,890 a year.

As golf starters, they earn around $24,072 per year or $12 per hour. However, even with the low base salary, they make enough through endorsements and sponsorships.

Overall, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, and Greg Norman are some of the wealthiest golfers today. 

6. Cycling 

  • Current Industry value: $147.24 Billion
  • Average salary: $65,454

Tour de France is undoubtedly the most demanding and biggest arena for cycling. Also, everyone from the books and corners of the world is familiar with cycling.

Talking just about cycling apparel, it portrays a global market value sized at USD 3241.8 million. For a while, cycling has had an incredible global market value of $57.49 billion.

cycling
Cycling (Source: Britannica)

Professional cyclists earn an average salary of $65,454 with $31.47 an hour. Usually, professionals can make up to $171,000. However, they earn a minimum wage of $2.35 million on the UCI World Tour

Currently, the richest cyclists in the world are Chris Froome, Tadej Pogačar, and Primož Roglič. 

Click to follow on about the top ten most dangerous sports of all time.  

5. Ice Hockey

  • Current Industry value: $60 billion 
  • Average salary: $2.69 million

Ice-hockey
Ice hockey as a sport (Source: Britannica)

 Ice hockey, Falling among the top five richest sports, gathers a fandom of over 2.2 billion people.

As it grows as the most popular sport, it widely spreads globally and depicts a global market value of $60 billion

As of 2022, the average salary of professional NHL players is estimated to be around $2.69 million.

The minimum wage commences with approximately $700,000. In the meantime, they have sponsorship deals for their equipment and gear. 

At present, the highest-paid NHL player is McDavid Connor, followed by Panarin Artemi. To date, the highest-paid NHL player is Joe Sakic.

4. Soccer (Football)

  • Current Industry value: $600 billion 
  • Average salary: $1.5 million

Widely known as Football, soccer is played in around 200 countries globally by approximately 250 million players.

Football
Football (Source: The Guardian)

It is one of the most well-known sports and depicts a global market value of $600 billion. Likewise, the average earnings of a professional athlete in this field are $398,725.

Often it’s salary ranges from $14,441 to $384,204. Altogether, the players topping the chart of most paid soccer players are Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar

3. American Football

  • Current Industry value: $200 billion 
  • Average salary: $860,000

American Football, also otherwise known as rugby, is highly played all over the world. According to the report, around 3.5 billion people indulged in it.

American-Football
American Football (Source: AFI.com)

Currently, the American football industry depicts a global market value of $200 billion

The minimum base salary commences with $660 thousand with an average earning of $860,000. As for the rookie, this sport pays $435,000.

Well, some of the highest-earning NFL players include Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers.

2. Baseball

  • Current Industry value: $40 billion 
  • Average salary: $4.17 million 

Through the ups and downs of viewership and playtime, baseball is still one of the most popular worldwide. So, it stands with a global market value of $40 million

Baseball
Baseball (Source: USA Today)

As per the sources, an MLB player makes around $4.17 million with a minimum average salary of $570.5 thousand.

Mike Trout tops their chart as the highest-paid baseball player with an annual salary of 37.17 million U.S. dollars.

1. Basketball 

  • Current Industry value: $90 billion
  • Average salary: $7 million

Basketball
Basketball (Source: NBA)

As one of the top three popular games globally, Basketball is also the wealthiest sport, with a global market value of $90 billion. Its popularity has crossed over 2 to 2.5 billion fans worldwide. 

Most of the viewers in this game are based in the US, Canada, China, Japan, and the Philippines. Also, a basketball player earns an average salary of $44,444, which amounts to $21.37 an hour. 

Here, some of the highest-earning basketball players include LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook, to name a few. 

You might also be interested in the top 20 richest MMA fighters in the world. 

Summary

We have listed out the highest-paid sports in the world. Indeed, some do pay insanely high amounts in comparison to others.

Are you surprised with the list? I bet you dint think ice hockey would make it to the list.

Let us know your take on this in the comments below.

Anyways, with the end of this series, we will be back with another exciting series. 

Before the end, here’s a quick walkthrough again!

  1. Basketball
  2. Baseball 
  3. American Football / Rugby 
  4. Soccer
  5. Ice Hockey 
  6. Cycling
  7. Golf
  8. Tennis
  9. Cricket
  10. Auto racing
  11. Boxing
  12. Volleyball

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