Sports careers are often the dream thing, with many kids and adults aspiring to a career as a professional athlete.
While the physical demands of professional athletics are intense, rewards are high, with the average pay for players in many fields.
But the question arises, what sport pays the most?
It depends upon the physiological and psychological aspects of the wannabe player.
To clear further confusion, and to help you clearly decide your dream game, here are the top 10 highest paid sports in the world:
The possibility of tennis players to become a professional is like a huge gamble.
And the probability of stable tennis earnings is little to none, let alone enormous wealth.
This level of uncertainty also applies to professional tennis players.
Just like other sports athletes, the small likelihood of a large payout is attractive for new tennis players.
Highly qualified players, both women, and men can earn significant prize money.
While the players that rank between 200 and 2,000 almost make nothing.
The winners take home approximately 18 percent of the total prize money from the 128 players that qualify for each of the four Grand Slam tournaments.
Those who perform only get 0.3 percent in the first round.
Not including a factor to the sponsorships and approvals received by top placings.
Roughly in 2020, 14000 players are qualified as tennis professionals, and nearly half of these athletes will never earn a dime.
The other end of the spectrum is a combination of competitive awards, appearance fees, and sponsorship deals.
It includes big sports brands such as Nike and top-ranked players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and the Williams sisters earn millions.
9. Combat sport
Boxers earn a purse for every fight, not a regular salary.
There are quite different payments for professional boxers.
Before the fight, the boxer’s Manager will negotiate the purse in the contract on a case-by-case basis.
Pay ranges from several hundred dollars to millions per fight and is the highest for popular TV and title fights.
The boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao earned approximately $100 million each from pay-per-view purchasing in the fight in 2015.
The popularity of MMA in recent years has grown significantly thanks to fighters like Conor McGregor.
Although in companies like the UFC, a considerable salary gap still exists from the highest to the lowest paid.
In fact, the rise of some of the top stars in the sport implies that. In 2018, 187 fighters (33% of UFCs) won six figures.
To put this into perspective, an average U.S. household income is about $45,000 a year, but over one third (213 fighters-37%) of the UFC fighting demographic in 2018 made less of the average U.S. household in 2018.
However, the popularity of MMA is increasing as these figures continue to grow to make it the highest-paid sport.
WWE says the average wrestler on the main roster is 500,000 dollars annually, while the top performers make up seven numbers.
However, it is far more difficult to determine an individual wrestler’s pay.
Rumors on the internet tied up a former Lesnar deal of $5 million a year, while others claim the new contract worth $3 million for a three-year deal.
The best golf players like Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, and Jack Nicklaus made their position immortal in the sport’s history.
These wealthiest athletes earned millions from Golf and have the highest net worth.
According to Forbes, one of the world’s leading golf players and the most successful athlete of all time, Tiger Woods still holds a record for achieving 11 times the first place in Forbes list of Richest Players.
In 2002, he first ranked at the top with net revenue of 69 million dollars.
7. Auto racing
Various competition events, like the Formula 1 Grand Prix or NASCAR, have earned their reputation as one of the highest paying sport in the world.
High-income prizes and many reputable supercar brands compensate for the involvement of life-threatening risks.
F1 legend: Michael Schumacher was ranked as the highest-paid in the list of 1999, with $49 million in total revenue.
In local or regional tournaments, club professionals can earn money.
But they earn most of their income from regular paychecks, often with lesson fees and professional income supplemented.
PGA top-level pros made a median of $68,600, ranging from $40,000 to $140, 000, according to a 2010 American compensation survey by the PGA.
A median of $37,000 has been paid by assistants who are full PGA members, ranging from $22,000 to $59,000.
High-speed and cross-country motorcycle racing has become a major sports industry with more than a dozen pro-circuit races worldwide.
Global motorcycle brands compete with each other with their fastest bikes in the premier class of motorcycle roads racing events like MotoGP and Superbike World Championship.
Talking about MotoGP, the only Asian rider, Takaaki Nakagami, is at the bottom of the league.
Nakagami has signed a contract with LCR Honda Castrol in 2018 with reported revenue of an estimated € 250,000 (RM1,21 million roughly).
It’s the same figure for another rookie, Xavier Simeon, who signed the equipment for Reale Avintia Racing.
With the cool annual figure of $2 million (about RM7.8 million), Andrea Iannone of Suzuki ECSTAR began to earn the top ten.
LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow comfortably earns $2.5 million (RM9.75 million) for driving his Honda RC213V as quickly as he can.
6. Ice hockey
Players in Ice hockey need to maintain high levels of conditioning in games that are sometimes physically demanding and even combative.
Over recent years, the requirements for off-season athletes have increased to a tough 82-game schedule and several playoff rounds.
In useful exercises, the skill of skating, handling, and shooting is perfected.
Based on the relatively small size of 23 players on the roster and a 50-50 split between owners and players.
The average earnings of players in different NHL teams range from 1.54 million to 3.54 million.
For one of the over 150 minor league teams, most pro-hockey players within the United States and Canada play.
Depending on the level of the League Minor, the amount is accounted at $40,000 to $90,000 per year.
This highest-paid professional sport relatively pays higher compared to field hockey.
5. American football
NFL players are engaged in one of the most physically challenging sports, in which athletes collide at high speed.
Football strategy, in terms of its complexity, surpasses any other sport.
To prepare for an unlimited number of potential situations, players need to study and master extensive playbooks.
Cases are common, and players take considerable time to repair damage in physical therapy and other treatment settings.
To reduce injuries, considering recent attention on traumatic brain damage and during practice sessions, the NFL has established limitations on player contact.
The average career in the NFL is the shortest among all popular sports in America, about 3.5 years.
Tough it is America’s most favorite sport, NFL players are paid well below their level compared to other major sports.
The average salaries ranged from 2.07 million to 2.99 million for NFL players on different teams in 2017/18.
It is only the top competitors, like Matt Ryan, who earn the most.
Football lineups have 53 players (for backups) that are much considerably larger than other sports, so they should divide the wages of each team member between them.
Team owners do not guarantee NFL contracts beyond the current season so that teams can cut low ability players without compensation.
Players will usually receive non-refundable guaranteed signing bonuses.
Colleges act as the minor football league, so most paid employment is in the NFL.
When you consider the professionally qualified footballers, you’re always attracted to the elite players who are at the very top.
Highest-paid athletes in the world with their gifted skills, who intensify the World Cups and the Champions Leagues.
Most followed players like Lionel Messi, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar earn the highest pay and get a large share of the money from endorsements.
A large majority of professional players earn only a fraction of what those stars are carrying home in just one week.
The salaries of the top football players depend upon a lot of factors, like the league in which they play, the tax system where they belong, and how well they (or their managers) negotiate a deal.
Add additional factors such as performance criteria related to a clean sheet and goal-scoring bonuses, promotional clauses, and photography rights to measure the actual earnings of players.
Other than the United States, professional soccer players can make millions of dollars a year, though the majority won’t do so much.
Some national league bodies, like the MLS, set wage regulations that determine how many clubs can pay players. There are no such limits in other countries.
Football earnings are usually not based only on salaries but also include bonuses, patrons, rights, backing, and, sometimes, a cut of club profits.
Successful MLB players implement rigorous off-season training sessions to enhance strength and flexibility.
The MLB season includes 162 games and several rounds of playoffs to cope with a taxing schedule for players.
Many experts think hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult tasks in sports, which requires the batting skills of players to continue to keep their edge.
The average annual salary for MLB players in 2018 was 4.52 million.
Supported by a strong union, they guarantee the safety of guaranteed contracts and a generous pension program to players making baseball the highest-paid sport in America.
Most professional baseball players are playing for one of the over 240 minor league teams in the United States.
They receive much smaller pay and benefits, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 a month, but with certainty to make in the big league team.
The top 100 players drawn from school or college receive bonuses of $500,000 to $2 million.
In 2017, the world’s most valuable cricket captain almost made 20 times more than the rest of the players.
International cricketers earn about $1 million on average from playing international matches for their national teams.
We used the above figures on international cricket and do not take into account T20 world cup player earnings, other domestic leagues, or endorsement deals.
Speaking about professional sports leagues, the biggest among them, The Indian Premier League (IPL), has shocked cricket professionals with its rich owners and global appeal.
It has attracted topmost players from five continents with average paychecks of up to $111,000 per game of three hours.
This is a tremendous amount of money in a sport that traditionally includes domestic league games in the international version.
Although cricket is among the world’s most popular sport, no domestic league actually was operated as a business before the IPL was launched in 2008.
But with the IPL teams being paid up to $1.55 million for only one season of five weeks, compared to $500,000 and $1 million in national teams.
We could conclude that cricket is indeed the extremely loved highest-paid professional sport commonwealth countries.
Earning an average of $7,422,823 in 2018-19, NBA Players are the highest-paid athletes in the world.
Not just NBA, the picture is the same in other Basketball associations as well; FIBA, CBA, ABL, Asia League, etc.
Basketball is the highest-paid sport in the world with an enormous salary and plenty of sponsorship opportunities.
There are fewer NBA teams compared to baseball and football, which enables franchisors to dedicate more resources to recruiting players.
Usually, players sign guaranteed contracts to receive compensation even if they become injured or are cut off by a team.
According to Forbes magazine, players like LeBron James during his first 16 years, earned more than twice as much of his $270 million in pay.
It dwarfs Kevin Durant’s current ten-year $275 million Nike deal with a $187 million on-court revenue over 12 seasons.
James is the highest-paid player in NBA for the sixth consecutive year at 92 million dollars, including salary and endorsements.
For an active basketball player and as a sportsman overall, this is a world record.
Nike is his biggest endorser, and their new research lab in the Business campus of Beaverton, Oregon, is named after James.
Last month, Nike LeBron XVII hit stores for the seventeenth iteration of his signed shoe.
Late Kobe Bryant endorsed Adidas, Nike, Nintendo, etc.
Speaking about the Legend Michael Jordan’s sponsors, our list is too small to mention all.
The world’s leading basketball players in places such as Spain, Greece, Italy, China, and Argentina also earn high salaries of over 1 million dollars.