World's Highest Paid Sports
The list of ESPN Top Salaries in Sports 2011 had baseball and boxing with the highest individual salary in that year. In another calculation described below, we analyzed the Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes from 1990-2010, and determined which sports were most prevalent on the lists. We found basketball ranked highest.
Forbes magazine has been publishing lists of the highest paid athletes since 1990. The athletes come from a range of sports, but which are the highest paid? We determined which sports were most prevalent on the Annual Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes in the world, by taking the results of all the top 10 lists and looking at the sport that the athlete is involved with instead of the athlete themselves. Only the data from 1990-2010 has been analyzed.
It Pays to Play Basketball
Although golfer Tiger Woods has been dominant on the top of the highest paid athlete lists recently, the dominance of Michael Jordan earlier on and several other basketballers who have also made the top 10 lists has ensured that basketball leads on this combined list. Even boxing and motorsports have had more sports people on the top 10 lists than golf. The ESPN Top Salaries in Sports 2011 has baseball and boxing on the top in terms of salary (they did not consider endorsements), with basketball 4th.
- The points for each year are derived from giving 10 points for a sport being on the top of a list, and one less for each rank below that (e.g. 1 point for being 10th on the list, and for ties all received the same points). Total earnings for each sport is also listed, which only includes athletes who made the top 10 list for each year. Total earnings are calculated based on money derived from salaries, bonuses, prize money, endorsements and licensing income.
- In 1995, Deion Sanders was listed under both American Football and Baseball, so his points were shared between these two sports.
- Only ten sports have been represented on the top paid athlete lists (the category of auto racing includes the disciplines of motoGP, NASCAR and F1).
- Analysis of athlete rankings on highest paid lists.
- List of Highest paid Athletes Lists
- Other world sport lists
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- so you mean to tell me that with all the money has christ R david be thier sport is not even among the first 3 big sports in the world. Steve egbe (2013)
- : I find it hard 2 blve but what can one say if the researches point it out 2 be like dis ..I always thought Soccer would be atleast No.1, 2, 3 or 4 considering da huge salaries earned by de likes of CR7,Messi,Yaya just 2 name a few..dis needs 2 be reviewed. Lucky Malakana Ndlovu (2013)
- Bs. In soccer only a few earn more than a few milions per year (messi, c.ronaldo, neymar) ,but in boxing all the professional boxeurs earn a lot of money and a few like mayweather or pacquiao earn a fortune in just a match,a lot of basketballers earn tens of millions a year from endorsements. Andy Pro Lucky Malakana Ndlovu (2016)
- Gg Andy Pro (2016)
It's cause soccer is worldwide. If you play in the big leagues in europe, you fall in the higher category. While Nba is only in North America so it's pretty biased
- Jared Lucky Malakana Ndlovu (2015)
no its average earnings
- Bijaya singh (2013)
Yes I am proud that boxing is in second ***it is a father of sport and game of gentalmens ##
- Thomas Nana Kwantwi (2013)
the best is always preserved 4 the skillful bbal players.i love fotbal vry much but dis is a SHOCK.pls God help me 2 luv bbal.
- Jas (2015)
These people are on stupid money. With children dying of hunger and living in extreme poverty all over the world, those contracts are just obscene.
- Athlete (2014)
I don't care what pays more! I am a basketball player but I also do athletics and football and let me tell you now! The only sport that comes close or equals the combination of physical and mental skills needed to play basketball at a high level is probably boxing! I mean the footwork, the speed-power-agility you need is crazy. U got 6'8 guys with incredible quickness and body control. Powerful athletes with a soft tough around the basket! I like football but I have seen guy get good at football simply because they play a lot! To shoot a basketball takes time and crazy dedication on mechanics that you only get from individual practice...endless repition. They have wickness sprinters go into rugby with NO privous experience and make a carrer within a year! Same with football, basketball,nfl players decide to become track and field athletes in the same amount of time! Even boxing is a sport that you can join late with little experience and have a professional career in! NOW...I am yet to see the same jump in professional basketball...with the exception and the only exception of someone that is 6'9 and above!!! In which case would only be on the team to catch a few rebounds, In basketball terms they would only be an (athletic body) not a skilled basketball player. So why don't we see people jumping into professional basketball out of nowhere? Because I is HARRD! So please don't start dess respecting the sport when you know nothing about it! I love sports in general nod can appreciate the work and dedication it takes to become great at anything in life but you just can't deny what's is!
- Romeo Drizzy Bowel (2013)
Why is the race runner not included among the tenth list
- Rayon cameron (2013)
track should be at number one place
- Bryand (2016)
Basketball should be the top
- Bre (2016)
I don't get why they didn't put track on there
- David Timbo (2015)
i want to know the the richest sport in the world of all time
- Harrison glover David Timbo (2016)
the richest is basketball
- Basketball (2014)
The salaries for some sports may be higher but basketball players get millions of additional dollars from endorsements. And look at Michael Jordan, the first athlete to become a billionaire because of his famous Jordan brand that gets over 2 billion dollars of revenue annually. That's saying something. Basketball players get much larger endorsements than most if not all sports.
- Kanav (2013)
The highest paid salaries are in American football. Check their salaries.
- Arda (2016)
You earn more money on soccer than bascketball
- Orlando (2015)
Soccer is the most paid sport change this! And stop embarrasing soccer
- This is soooo wrong!!!! basketball doesn't pay more than baseball or Soccer. You can do the research yourselves people
- Still shocked that bbal rules! Anywayz i remain a soccer fan! Ciao y'all! (from kenny Armstrong, Mar 2013)
- This life is full of misery ... . so nothing in it.... what of those that swim and people that run 10 thousand meter ...this life is full politics..people that suffer get nothing why people that do nothing gain ...whats in golf that most .... (from dufkb, Mar 2013)
- Why should it be basketball 1st? How many people enjoy going out this days to watch basketball, check out the population of people that enjoys watching and playing football and many loves investing their money football so I don't see why you should rate basketball as first (I still don't believe this). (from dickson, Mar 2013)
- I am quiet shocked of the list that boxing even pay more than football but that not withstanding i still love tennis and football. I am a fan to Serena Williams (from Adumene sampson, Mar 2013)
- I presume football is the highest (from eddy ekpenyong, Mar 2013)
- Does this involve all other benefits from sponsors etc or just salaries? (from fredmuga, Mar 2013) - the earnings totals are derived from salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees, licensing and endorsement income. Taxes or agents' fees are not factored into the figures.
- I still don't agree!I want d Analysis b repeated.cox f/ballerz r superstar. (from nelson cJ, Feb 2013)
- Basketball will ever remain my game for life. I LIVE FOR THIS! (from Vincent boban, Feb 2013)
- I never stop arguing wit my dad and my brother that basketball is the best. Til i die, i will never stop loving d game (from Salako wale, Feb 2013)
- I thought auto-racing is the highest paid sports (from shamith, Feb 2013)
- I keep telling my friend's that basket ball pay's more than any sport but no they will not agree but as for me I will keep loving anyone who play's bball and that's why I love my bf cause basket balers are the b..o..m...b. (from ib2tyt, Feb 2013)
- I thought formula1 was the highest paid sport (from ervin, Feb 2013)
- 4 me i think golf is d highest i dont know what list I'm seeing (from orji tobechi, Feb 2013)
- But soccer is the most entertaining one. (from Vandi dia, Jan 2013)
- Which place does cricket pocess? (from Raja, Jan 2013) - no cricketers have made the top 10 highest earners yet
- Basketball is damn good game ... it'll always rule as it has ruled so far ... it pays as it says ... :) (from Jaat, Dec 2012)
- I though football be a lil more higher like at least 3 place but i guess!! (from David, Nov 2012)
- With may closely follow up of football for the past 3years,and with the interest i see people attach to this sport,i think that in the ranking of the 10world highest paid sport it should be within this ranking.this is may interest as a fan of football. (from nde clement, Nov 2012)
- Where is cricket? (from SKM, Nov 2012)
- I have been having argument with my friend in the house about the best and richest sports in the world.. becasue they don't understand what it take to be a basket baller so they don't know anything about it i stoled to my ground cus they wanted me to agree to their own words that soccer is the highest paid but still i am all alone on the argument but still i will never stop loving the game that makes my world Glo BASKET BALL ... (from valouricti, Nov 2012)
- What about wrestling? (from baribor kinebari, Nov 2012)
- Yes, basketball pays but i prefer soccer to it, because soccer is the best game. (from Joseph Ekpone, Oct 2012)
- Boxing rules to even though its second thats why i promise to never stop
- What do road cyclists earn these days, without the exception of Armstrong? (from Scott Goldstein, Oct 2012)
- Basketball is the best among all. It rules and it also pays. That is why i promised my self never to stop playing it till i die (from Okwugba kenechukwu, Aug 2012)