Which Sports are the Biggest Money Makers?

Money makes the world go round. Most activities require money in one way or the other. Sports are no different.

Sporting competitions have moved from being competitive on the track and field of play to competing financially – whether it’s purchasing players or teams or even sports betting using Timeform tips. It is easy to make north of a thousand dollars or pounds in professional sports like football, basketball and horse racing. There are various leagues by financial analysts to determine which sporting brands and franchises are the top cash cows.

Also, some look to do regular assessment and analysis to determine which athletes are making it big. This article looks at which sports are the biggest money makers.


Football is one of the few sports that can genuinely boast of having a global appeal. It is played everywhere on the face of the planet, from the UK to South America and beyond. It’s usually called soccer in many countries, and so many different nations take it seriously on different levels. For example, you can go to Mexico and see locals training their kids up early in soccer, buying them mexican league soccer jerseys to start them off young in what is a profitable sport. However, you go to Australia, and they favour rugby.

It has also produced some of the best and wealthiest athletes the world has seen. Forbes’ list of top ten richest athletes in 2019 features three footballers occupying the top three spots. Forbes also annually ranks sporting franchises on their monetary value.

The 2019 edition features three football clubs in the top 10 with an average value of $4.02 billion with Real Madrid being the 3rd most valuable sports team on the planet. The full list of the top 50 most valuable sports teams has eight football teams on it. The worldwide appeal of football makes it one of the biggest money-makers in sports.


The game of hoops is a cash cow for all the stakeholders involved. At all levels, basketball rakes in a lot of money. Famous tournaments like the NBA have been commended as the most exciting leagues. It is also regarded as being one of the top-paying sports leagues.

The players receive huge paychecks from their playing contracts and countless endorsements from all walks of the business world. They have signature shoes and other paraphernalia that attract money. The franchises in the National Basketball Association (NBA) are valued at no less than $500 million. The 2019 edition of the Forbes 10 richest athletes featured three players. In terms of the 50 richest franchises of 2019, the NBA features no less than eight teams. This makes basketball one of the richest sports.


While the previously named entrants on this list are team sports, boxing comes in as the only entrant that is an individual sport. Top boxing professionals like Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquaio can take in as much as $100 million in a night. Their payoffs increase if you include the commissions from pay-per-view, betting and other endorsements. While Forbes’ 2019 list features just one boxer in Canelo Álvarez, it does not downplay the money making ability of boxing. The recent heavyweight clash between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury had guarantees of $4 and $3 million respectively. Put all these together for a year, and you have a multimillion boxing empire.

To Summarise

This article gives credence to the fact that sports are a cash cow. The athletes are among the wealthiest individuals on earth. The franchises make more money than some established corporations. Other games like American football, ice hockey and baseball are other sports money makers. On the other side of the coin, some sports such as golf, tennis and others are left out. This is because the pay-outs in these sports are generally low. However, it does not discredit the fact that sport is a big-time money-maker. And this is seen in what the athletes and sports clubs make over time.


  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2019/07/22/the-worlds-50-most-valuable-sports-teams-2019/#4ba98ae283da – Forbes
  • https://manofmany.com/entertainment/sport/forbes-worlds-richest-athlete-list-2019 – Man of Many
  • https://www.rulesofsport.com/faq/what-is-the-highest-paid-sport-in-the-world.html – Rule of sport
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