Huge money is invested every year for various sporting events. Sportspersons participating in these events are paid a respectable amount and this has encouraged more and more youngsters to take up sports seriously. Cricket, Soccer, Basketball, Tennis are some of the most famous sports of the world. There are other lesser known sports like cycling, ice hockey and baseball where a lot of money is involved. Here is a list of world’s highest paid sports.
The UCI Track Cycling World championship and Tour de France are the two major cycling events that are held every year. Huge numbers of cyclists participate in these events and decent prize money is allotted. Bicycle racing is in fact one of the most popular sports. Many countries like Africa, Asia, USA and countries in South America organize professional cycling events but it is the European countries who organize professional cycling championships on a large scale. The TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship is conducted on a large scale with more than 50000 live spectators.
Baseball is the national sports of USA. It is also played in South American Countries, Caribbean Islands and in some East Asian countries. The Major League Baseball is one of the largest Baseball events played in Canada and the USA. The participating teams are divided in two separate divisions called the National League and the American League and the champion team is selected through subsequent playoffs. Major baseball events also take place in Japan and Cuba. These events involve numerous awards and prizes for the winning teams. Prizes of over $54,000 are paid out.
8. Ice Hockey
Ice Hockey is played in cooler countries like Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Finland. There are currently 68 member teams in International Ice Hockey Federation and all the teams take part in various International Ice Hockey Federation Championships. Other Ice Hockey championships with huge prize money are the National Hockey League for Men and the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. Prizes run up to €50,000 or more.
Golf is believed to be one of the most sophisticated sports. Some of the important championships are The Masters, The US Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship. Played on Golf courses, this sport awards the players with massive prize money running up to $8 million. Ernie Else, the top notch player, earned $19.6 million in 2010-11.
Tennis has gained a lot of popularity all over the world and many tournaments in different countries are organized. The major Grand Slam Tournaments are the Australian Open, The French Open, The Wimbledon and The US Open. The Australian and US Open are played on hard courts, the French Open is played on red clay and the Wimbledon is played on grass court. All these tournaments reward the players with huge prize money. US Open championship alone pays out around $22,006,000 in prize money every year. Roger Federer makes around $42 million in prize money alone.
Basketball is widely played in western countries and has been included in the Olympics. The NBA is the largest professional basketball league and pays its players with attractive packages. Kobe Byrant, who plays for the lakers, earns a salary of $25.2 million per year.
4. American Football
This sport is very popular in USA and is different from the regular football. Although this game is not listed in the Summer Olympics, it still has a major fan following. The International Federation of American Football is the governing body and sets the rules for various championships organized in countries like Australia, Brazil, Japan, Belgium, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, Ireland and some Asian countries. The popularity of this sport is much more in the Western countries and includes high prize money to the range of $16.5 million or more. The highest earning player of American football is Ndamukong Suh. He earns a whopping $35.5 million per year.
Cricket is a very popular sport and many cricketing tournaments are held throughout the year. The most prominent and awaited cricket tournament is the World Cup organized by the International Cricket Council every four years. Cricket is played in various formats like one-day internationals, test cricket and the Twenty20 matches. Various national and international championships are organized between different countries. Many domestic leagues have also come up like the Indian Premier League (IPL) where players are offered hefty amounts. IPL pays its players around $110,000 for every three hour match. For the five weeks over which the IPL is conducted, players are played as much as $1.1 million.
Soccer or Football is probably one of the most popular sports in the world. This fast paced game has fans all over the world who eagerly wait for the World Cup that takes place every four years. This sporting event is watched by millions of viewers and involves huge money. The International Federation of Association Football or FIFA organizes this extravagant event among 190 member nations and the winning team is rewarded with a lump sum amount. The European Championships conducted by the UEFA are also quite rewarding and is worth $77 million. Lionel Messi, currently the best player in the world, took home a paycheck of $33 million this year. David Beckham’s earnings in 2012 are $31.5 million.
Boxing is a sport which is very thrilling and exciting. With The Boxing World Championships are highly attractive as they reward the winners with huge money. This sport is also included in Commonwealth and Olympic games. In 2012, the top boxer Mayweather made $85 million in just two fights. Well, boxing definitely pays!