Highest Paying Sports
The world of entertainment is that of glitz and glamour. It offers lucrative career options for all those who are talented and manage to establish themselves. In particular, sports offer a huge hugely profitable career option. The successful athletes are among the highest paid people in the world. This is proven by the lists that are published every year by organizations who evaluate the worth of the athletes. One of the most famous and reliable lists is published by none other than Forbes. It is quite clear that the athletes earn enough from just the games and tournaments in the form of salary or prize money, let alone the endorsement deals, to put them among the wealthiest celebrities of the world.
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Highest Paying Sports in the World
Reputed basketball tournaments such as the NBA are widely known among the highest paying sports events of the world. From numerous of their endorsements, the participants earns in millions besides as they also earns huge amount of salary from their respected teams. Their own signature shoes and jerseys also boost their income on yearly basis. Michael Jordan, the legendary basketball player, topped the Forbes list of Richest Players with $35.9 million income in 1992, $36.0 million income in 1993, $30.01 million in 1994, $43.9 million in 1995, $78.3 million income in 1997 and with $69 million total income in 1998. Former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal secured the 6th place in 1993 in the Forbes list of Richest Players with $15.2 million and again secured the 2nd place in 1994 in the list with $16.7 million.
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One of the most dangerous sports of modern times, Boxing, is also reputed for being the best paying sporting event. Besides their earnings as tournament prize money, they also get good amount of profit from Pay-Per-View commissions, betting and endorsements. In 1991, legendary boxer Mike Tyson first topped the Forbes list of Richest Players with $28.6 million and again achieved the same in 1996 with a total income of $75 million. In 1992, legendary boxer Evander Holyfield topped the Forbes list of Richest Players with $60.5 million. After a little break in the Forbes list of Richest Players, Floyd Mayweather topped the list in 2012 with $85 million income and again achieved the first place in 2014 with $105 million income.
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3. Auto Racing
Various events of auto racing like the Grand Prix of Formula1 or Nascar are counted among the highest paying events in the sports universe. The involvement of risks gets compromised a bit with great winning amount as prize money besides several endorsements of reputed brands. One of the most successful F1 drivers Michael Schumacher secured the first place in 1999 in the Forbes list of Richest Players with a total income of $49 million and again achieved the same feat in 2000 with $59 million. Long before, in 1992, Auto Racing driver Ayrton Senna achieved the 3rd place of Forbes list of Richest Players with $22 million and the same year another driver Nigel Mansell also achieved the 4th place with a total income of $14.5 million.
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One of the most successful golfer and legendary athlete, Tiger Woods, still holds the record of being in the first place in Forbes list of Richest Players a record eleven times. Woods topped the Forbes list in 2002 with $69 million income, in 2003 with $78 million income, in 2004 with $80.3 million, in 2005 with $87 million income, in 2006 with $90 million, in 2007 with $100 million total income, in 2008 with $115 million income, in 2009 with $110 million, in 2010 with $105 million, in 2011 with $75 million and again in 2013 with a total income of $78.1 million. Many years before the amazing achievement of Tiger Wood, Jack Nickalus secured the 3rd place in 1994 in the list of richest players by Forbes with $14.8 million income and Arnold Palmer with a total income of $13.6 million also achieved the 4th place the same year in the list.
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5. American Football
American Football is widely known for being one of the highest paying sports in the universe as the players’ frequently secured position in the Forbes list of Richest Players. In 1992, Joe Montana first achieved the 7th place in the Forbes list with a total income of $9.5 million. With a total income of $22.5 million, American Football star Deion Sanders achieved the 3rd place in the list in 1995. In 2004, Legendary NFL player Peyton Manning achieved the 3rd place in the Forbes list of Richest Players with $42 million income. In 2005 with $37.5 million income, Michael Vick achieved the 4th place in the list. Tom Brady, one of the greatest football players of all time, achieved the 9th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 2006 with a total income of $29 million.
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Legendary English footballer, David Beckham, first inducted in 2004 in the 8th place in the Forbes list with a total income of $28 million. He then secured the 7th place in 2005 in the list with a total income of $32.5 million and again achieved the 6th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 2007 with $33 million. In 2007, Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho achieved the 9th place in the Forbes list with $31million income. In 2008, David Beckham again secured the 2nd place in the Forbes list of Richest Players with a total income worth of $50 million. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese footballer, last year achieved the 2nd place in the Forbes 2014 list of richest players with a total income of $80 million. Last year, another great Argentine footballer Lionel Messi with a total income of $64.7 million also achieved the 4th place in the list.
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Tennis is one of the most well-known of recreational sports and it is played by millions of people throughout the world. With WTA tours being among the highest paying tournaments of the world, the tennis players quite frequently secure their places in the Forbes list of Richest Players. In 1992, legendary tennis player Andre Agassi achieved the 6th position in the list, having $11 million worth of total income. Jim Courier, 1993, achieved the 9th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players with $12.6 million worth of total income. Recent days tennis star Roger Federer achieved the 6th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 2008, 2010 and 2013, having earned total income worth $35 million, $43 million and $71.5 million respectively.
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8. Ice Hockey
The physical sport of fast pace, Ice Hockey, is often nicknamed “The Fastest Game on Earth”. It is considered among the highest paying sports of the world, with its participants having secured decent places, quite frequently, in the list of Richest Players by Forbes. In 1994, famous ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky achieved the 5th place in the list with $13.5 million worth of total income. He then achieved the 10th place in the list in the following year, i.e. in 1995 with $14.5 million worth of total income. In 1997, Joe Sakic, the ice hockey player from Canada, achieved the 9th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players, with 17.9 million worth of total income. In 1998, Sergei Federov, the international ice hockey player from Russia, achieved the 3rd place in the list with a total income worth $29.8 million.
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Jayson Stark, a reputed sports columnist, once described baseball as “a unique paragon of American culture,” as it is still among the major sports of America. More than 2.1 million people from the US alone participate in the sport. These participants are among the highest paid sportspersons in the world, especially because of the huge viewership of MLB. Cecil Fielder, a famous American baseball player at first achieved the 8th position in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 1993 with a total income of $12.7 million, while Alex Rodriguez achieved the 7th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 2003 with a total income of $26 million. In 2004, he again achieved the 9th place with a total income of $26.2 million and in 2011 he secured his position with $35 million total income.
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Charles Minthorn Murphy, back in the year 1899, turned out to be the first cyclist to cover a mile’s distance in under a minute’s time, and thus earned himself the nickname of “Mile-a-Minute Murphy”. Cycling is looked upon as one of the most active sports in the world, ever since cycles and other human-powered vehicles have undergone innovations. There are many cycling tournaments that are counted among one of the highest paying event in the planet earth. Besides huge income from the tournament earning, the famous cyclists also gets good amount of money from their endorsers. Legendary cyclist and one of the most controversial athletes of modern days Lance Armstrong achieved the 9th place in the Forbes list of Richest Players in 2010 with a total income of $28 million.
Sports industry is indeed a place where an athlete can find great wealth and fame. That is why, many young people want to build a career in sports, in pursuit of this fame and money. However, what they forget is that it takes more than just the want for fame and wealth in sports. An athlete has to be dedicated to his sport and become really good at it first. Only then will the rest of the things follow as rewards. Sports may be lucrative, but before that, they are challenging.