Top 10 Richest Sports in the World

November 7, 2021

Sports is the closest anything has come to depict the lessons of everyday life. The massive influx of cash on sports has seen professional athletes earn millions and take their place as some of the richest people in the world. A major reason why so many people are getting attracted to some of the richest sports in the world, with fame and money on their minds.

According to a recent study, the estimated size of the sports industry has already crossed the US$1.3 trillion figure worldwide, with the United States accounting for US$520 billion alone. Taking all these into consideration, let’s take a look at the top 10 richest sports in the world:


#10 Boxing

These days, the world only enjoys two forms of boxing: Amateur and Professional. While the amateur boxers fight for prestige and accolades as they compete in different championships and also the Olympic games, professional boxing is where the money talks. The past year saw the promoter’s industry rack in a whopping US$348 million alone. And this is true based on the popularity Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao bout got, where it touched 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. That fight alone generated a revenue of US$410 million. Mayweather earned a total of US$285 million last year, of which, he earned US$275 million through his professional bouts and prize money.

Also Read – Top 10 Indian Professional Boxers


#9 Motorsports

The current global market of the Motorsport industry has already eclipsed the US$5bn mark. By the end of 2022, it is projected to cross the US$6.5bn threshold, making it one of the richest sports in the world. One of the biggest motorsport events, Formula One, has earned an estimated revenue of US$1.83 billion last year. Lewis Hamilton, who earned a spot among the top 10 highest-paid athletes this year, earned a total of US$82 million, out of which US$70 million came through on-track earnings.

Also Read – Worst crashes in motorsport history


#8 Tennis

This sport not only houses some of the greatest athletes but also some of the richest. The total market value of the tennis industry is around the US$6bn mark that has contributed to this sport becoming one of the richest in the world. Although there has been a fall in prize money since the pandemic struck, the average salary of tennis players have still hovered around the US$300,000 region. Players like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka, and Serena Williams are some of the richest tennis players this year.

Also Read – Top 10 Richest Tennis Players


#7 Cricket

For a game that has more than 170 years of history, it is in this last decade, since the emergence of T20 cricket, that the game has expanded globally to over 100 countries. As of 2018, CNBC reports that a large share of the sport’s revenue stems from India. And according to recent estimations, the total industry value of cricket stands at US$6 billion this year. One of the biggest cricketing carnivals, the Indian Premier League, generated a revenue of US$633.62 million (INR 4000 crore) last year, while the league itself is valued at US$5.6 billion.

Also Read – Top 10 Most Richest Cricketers in the World


#6 Golf

Often known as the game for the rich, Golf has steadily grown in popularity over the years. The market value of the golf industry has touched US$7 billion according to recent reports. The sport in recent years has seen a sharp uprising of popularity. According to a Golf Adviser article in 2019, in the US, the sport welcomed 2.6 million beginners in 2018, almost the same number as the previous year, a number that remains an all-time high. Golfing legend, Tiger Woods, earned US$43 million last year, the most among all golfing stars.


#5 Baseball

While Cuba has dominated the international scenes with 25 world championships, it is the Major League Baseball (MLB) in the US that has popularised the game globally. In the present market, the baseball industry is valued at US$40 billion. However, very few countries actively participate in the sport. The MLB, despite going an entire season with the pandemic restrictions, generated a revenue of US$8.95 billion last season, with each franchise bagging an average of US$298 million in revenue. The Los Angeles Dodgers franchise has four of the six highest-paid players in the MLB – David Price, Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, and Albert Pujols, all earning salaries in excess of US$30 million.

Also Read – Top 10 Richest Baseball Teams in the World


#4 Ice Hockey

The national game of Canada and one of the most popular sports in the US, Ice Hockey is a fast-paced and technical sport that has dominated the western shores. The total market value of the sport is reported to be around US$60 billion, while the National Hockey League (NHL) alone generated US$4.34 billion in revenue last year. A professional participating in the NHL on average bags close to US$2.2 million in salary. Needless to say, Canada and the United States have a major role behind that market value. Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs was the highest earner last season with US$15.9 million.


#3 Basketball

From the Boston Celtics in the ’60s and ’70s to the Michael Jordan-driven Chicago Bulls in the ’90s, to the Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers destiny, the National Basketball League (NBA) has been the flag bearer of popularising basketball globally. Today, the basketball industry has a global market value of US$90 billion. The NBA generated a revenue of US$6.27 billion last season, with each franchise bagging a handsome US$209 million in revenue. It’s a no-brainer why this sport has some of the richest athletes in the world, with LA Lakers‘ star LeBron James earning a mouthwatering US$96.5 million this year, according to Forbes.

Also Read – Top 10 Richest NBA Teams


#2 American Football (NFL)

Though only played in the United States, the National Football League (NFL) has a market valuation of nearly US$200 billion according to recent estimations. It is one of the biggest sporting carvinals in the US, and the cash flow generated is off the charts. Last year, the NFL generated an astonishing US$11.39 billion in revenue – the most among any sporting league in the world – with teams bagging in excess of US$350 million on average. Needless to say, the sport has some of the richest athletes in the sport. As per Forbes, both Dak Prescott and Tom Brady have a spot inside the Top 10 highest earning athletes this year.



#1 Football

No matter which corner of the world you visit, you will always find someone with a football at their feet. The most popular and cherished sport in the world, football has the highest industry share among all sports. It has a market value of US$600 billion, which is 43 percent of the global sports market. The Premier League alone generated US$5.43 billion in revenue last season, with leagues such as LaLiga Santander, Serie A TIM, and Bundesliga also generating a massive influx of cash flow. Two of the greatest footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, both are among the top three highest-earning athletes; Messi earned US$130 million in total and Ronaldo bagged US$120 million this year.

Also Read
The Top 10 most valuable Football Clubs and their Finances
Top 10 richest active male footballers in the world in 2022


Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Bottas takes stunning pole at Mexico Grand Prix.

Next Story

UEFA extends SPN deal

Latest from Listicles

Go toTop

Don't Miss