As we all know, the sporting industry is very lucrative, from athletes to events and even allowing spectators to line their pockets. But, have you ever wondered where the big bucks really lie? We have laid out the wealthiest sports in the world that generate the biggest sums of money.
It will surprise very few people that football is a very wealthy sport since it is the world’s most popular game in the sporting industry and therefore pays its athletes’ a generous salary, events bring in unthinkable amounts, and bookies allow spectators to get in on the action for themselves.
The likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo earn hundreds of millions of pounds for their participation in the sport and American football is no different, paying their athletes’ large sums when signing contracts to play.
Big footballing events bring in their fair share, with the men’s FIFA World Cup 2018 generating an estimated 5.4 million dollars, not to mention a further $138 million (2018) in placed bets. And American football’s biggest event – the Super Bowl – is not shy of making a few dollars of its own, an estimate of $17.2 billion is expected to be made during the event on television rights, tickets, merchandise, food/drinks, etc.
The timeless sport of horse racing is yet another globally popular sport, but unlike other wealthy sports, athletes do not earn big salaries, Jockeys and trainers/owners earn depending on placing in the big races. However, the wealth of this sport primarily lies in the betting aspect and is one of the reasons why the sport is so famous.
Large events such as the Grand National generates enormous amounts of money simply though spectators and viewers placing wagers on the races, with around £300 million spent on bets at this event alone and this does not account for the availability of free bets for bettors to place.
LeBron James is one of the wealthiest athletes in the world and has made his fortune by playing in the NBA – National Basketball Association, one of the most popular competitions in the sporting industry. With a salary of around $134 million, it’s safe to say that being a professional basketball player has its perks with other big names also earning large sums of money each year, such as Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, both of whom earned well above $100 million as of the 2019-20 season.
Fans anxiously await the NBA playoffs to see the players at their best and so the event is known to generate a fair amount, with the game seeing revenues of around $8 billion from all areas, such as tickets, television rights, merchandise, food, and drinks.
Britain is known to have a special place in their heart for Tennis and big events such as Wimbledon have been an annual tradition for the country and tennis fans since 1877 – running for 143 years. But not only is it a beloved sport all over the world, but it is also a very wealthy sport to be involved in, with big names such as Andy Murray and Roger Federer making tens of millions of pounds.