highest paid sports in the world | 10 Best in 2022

Money and fame have become synonymous with sports, hence paving the way for a new set of multi-millionaires to burst onto the scene.

With over 8000 sporting activities globally, one can imagine how difficult it is for sportsmen and women to engage in a sport that recognizes their efforts and rewards their hard work with good money.

How accurate is the long-held perception that the popularity of a sport does not necessarily translate into money for its participants and players?

Here are the top 10 highest paid sports in the world in 2022 as compiled based on the latest findings.

Highest Paid Sport in The World? – 10 Best in 2022

The highest-paid sport in the world in 2022 include;

1. Basketball

Taking the enviable first slot of the highest-paid sport is Basketball.

The trendy sport originated from the USA but has gained global recognition continues to create multi-millionaires. Famous basketball tournament such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) is among the highest paying sports leagues in the world.

The participants get mind-blowing salaries from their respective teams. Besides, they also earn millions from their endorsements deals.

The highest-paid Basketball players in the NBA are;

  1. Stephen Curry of Golden State Warriors who earns $43,006,362 million
  2. Russell Westbrook -Washington Wizards $41,358,814 million
  3. Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns- $41,358,814 million
  4. James Harden,Brooklyn Nets- $41,254,920 million
  5. John Wall, Houston Rockets- $41,254,920 million
  6. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets- $40,108,950 million
  7. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers- $39,219,565 million
  8. Paul George, LA Clippers- $35,450,412 million
  9. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors- $35,361,360 million
  10. Mike Conley, Utah Jazz- $34,502,130

Here are the top ten most valuable basketball teams in the world

  1. ten Toronto Raptor; Value – US$2.15 billion
  2. Dallas Maverick; Value – US$2.45 billion
  3. Houston Rocket; Value – US$2.5 billion
  4. Brooklyn Net; Value – US$2.65 billion
  5. Los Angeles Clippers; Value – US$2.75 billion
  6. Boston Celtics; Value – US$3.2 billion
  7. Chicago Bulls; Value US$3.3 billion
  8. Los Angeles Lakers; Value – US$4.6 billion
  9. Golden State Warriors; Value – US$4.7 billion
  10. New York Knicks; Value – US$5 billion

2. Boxing

boxing and basket ball

At second on the list of highest-paid sports is Boxing. The noble art of self-defense is a very dangerous sport; hence boxers deserve what they earn whenever they enter the squared circle.

Despite the hard-hitting punches, the sport has secured a lot of wealth for the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jnr, Mike Tyson, Oscar Dela Hoya, Mike Tyson, among others.

Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez was ranked number 12 on Sportico’s list of the Top 100 highest-paid athletes between June 2020 and May of this year.

The Mexican star is the only boxer on the list, with Anthony Joshua and YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul reportedly just outside the Top 100.

Alvarez made $61 million in the ring and another $2 million in endorsements.

Anthony Joshua and Jake Paul earned $20 million-plus, according to a tweet from Kurt Badenhausen of Sportivo.

Joshua fought once during the designated period, stopping Kubrat Pulev in December.

3.Auto Racing

Auto racing makes the final three as the highest-paid sports in 2022.

With several racing events held annually, such as the Grand Prix of Formula1, NASCAR, and Indianapolis 500, high risk, high reward is the catchphrase of auto racing drivers who cannot lower their salaries.

Famous Brit driver and F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is the highest-paid F1 driver for 2022. The 36-year-old recently signed a one-year contract extension with Mercedes worth USD$55 million.

Following him at second is Fernando Alonso. The two-time champion Fernando Alonso is a Spaniard who reported earning USD 20,500,000.

Other drivers who are making big in this sport are Charles Leclerc, Ferrari (16.5million dollars) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin – £12million (16.5million dollars)Daniel Ricciardo. McLaren – £11m (15 million dollars) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes – £7.5m (10.5 million dollars) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo – £6.5m (9.5 million dollars) Carlos Sainz. Ferrari – £6m (8.5 million dollars) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin – £6m (8.5 million dollars) Sergio Perez. Red Bull – £5.5m (8 million dollars) Lando Norris, McLaren – £3.5 ($5m) Pierre Gasly. Alpha Tauri – £3.5m (5 m) Esteban Ocon, Alpine – £3m ($4.2m)

4. Golf

The club-and-ball sport takes fourth place as the highest-paid sport in 2022.

According to Forbes, Mr. Tiger Woods remains the highest-paid golfer in 2022,

According to Sportico.com, Mr. Woods’ earnings is a whopping $62 million as his year’s earnings.

The report revealed that Golf’s top 10 earners made an estimated $300 million over the last 12 months, and only 29% was from prize money.

The other top-earning golfers are Phil Mickelson: $46.1 million Dustin Johnson: $40.8 million, Rory McIlroy: $32.8 million, Jordan Spieth, $29.6 million. Justin Thomas: $20.3 million, Bryson DeChambeau: $17.9 million, and Xander Schauffele: $17.3 million.

An average salary of a professional Golfer is estimated to be around $628,079.

5. American Football

Lovers of the National Football League (NFL) will have something to smile about as American Football earns its rightful place on the list of highest-paid sports in 2022.

Considering the demanding nature of this sport, many will assume that these players’ salaries keep growing.

According to the latest report by overthecap.com, 32 NFL players now make at least $20 million a season in average annual salary.

The highest-paid player in the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback league is Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes makes forty-five dollars million per season in average annual salary with the deal he signed before the 2020 season.

The second-highest-paid player in the league is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who makes forty million dollars a season. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who makes thirty-nine million in average yearly salary, is third.

6. Soccer

highest-paid sports

Coming at number 6 is the sport that is regarded as the most popular and demanding sport on earth; soccer has once again made the list of highest paying sports in 2022.

Soccer players are known for their extravagance since they often sign huge salaried contracts.

Notable names such as English football player David Beckham once ranked 8th in the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes in 2004 with a total income of $28 million.

According to Forbes, FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the highest-paid soccer star in the world.

The six-time Ballon D’or winner earns a mouthwatering $130 million a year.

Cristiano Ronaldo closely comes second after gaining $120 million in the 2022 season.

7. Baseball

Baseball is among the most played games in the united states. It is also one of the highest-paid sports globally due to its wide acceptance.

For example, American baseball player Cecil Fielder in 1993 became the 8th richest person in the world according to Forbes, with a total income of $12.7million.

8. Tennis

Next up is tennis.

It is viewed by many as one most popular recreational sports played by millions across the globe; Tennis players count themselves among the top sports earners in the world.

This news might not come as a shock because studies have proven that tennis is the second most demanding sport that will test your stamina to its limits.

In this vein, you will understand why it is a highly paid sport. According to a Forbes report, the Legendary Roger Federer is the highest-earning tennis player in 2022.

Currently, Federer has earned $52 million in endorsements from many companies like Nike, Rolex, and Credit Suisse.

Federer has also achieved $4.2 million as the prize money, which earned him a gross total of $56.2 million this year.

Other notable high earners in the tennis world are Rafal Nadal, Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic.

9. Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is appearing on the ninth on the list of highest-paid sport in 2022. Nicknamed by its lovers as the fastest game on earth, the skaters do not run on the ice with a vulcanized rubber puck for nothing. They are paid very well.

The competition has competitions like the Ice Hockey World Championship, Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the National Hockey League (NHL).

According to Forbes, Auston Matthews is the NHL’s top-earning player for the 2022 season. The Toronto Maple Leaf’s centre makes $13million as salary.

Matthews’s income from endorsements, memorabilia, and licensing is an estimated $3 million, hence taking his total income to $16 million.

10. Cycling

best paying sport in the world

Taking the tenth spot on the list is Cycling.

The sport is a highly competitive physical activity. It is important to note several bicycle racing categories, including road bicycle racing, mountain bike racing, track cycling, time trialing, BMX, cycle speedway and cyclo-cross, 

Non-racing cycling sports include artistic cycling, freestyle BMX, cycle polo, and mountain bike trials. 

With over 15 cycling competitions in the calendar year, Be assured that events such as the Strade Bianche, Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders, and Tour de France will fetch well-established cyclists a lot of money.

Most of these cyclists also get a lot of money from endorsement deals.

Legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong is reported to have a net worth of $50 million.  

Besides him, Peter Sagan is the highest-earning rider in pro cycling this season. The Slovakian reportedly takes home €5 million per season.

You can check this: 7 Industries to Make you a Millionaire Today

Besides That, Forbes has also publish the top ten highest-paid sports athletes in the world in 2022.

  1. Conor McGregor, UFC: $180 million
  2. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Barcelona: $130 million
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus: $120 million
  4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: $107.5 million
  5. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers: $96.5 million
  6. Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain: $95 million
  7. Roger Federer, tennis: $90 million
  8. Lewis Hamilton, F1: $82 million
  9. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $76 million
  10. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets: $75 million

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