The Highest-Paid Sporting Events Globally

Highest-Paid Sporting Events image
UEFA. Image Credit: Shutterstock

While soccer remains, by far, the highest-paid global sporting event, there are a few other sports categories that are not that far behind with the size of their player payouts.

Several traditional sports are known for their more than generous paycheques.  Expectedly, soccer will likely remain at the apex of the list of the best-paid sports careers.  Nonetheless, other sports categories are just as spendy when renumerating their players, with the paid amounts often reaching into five-digit figures.

Here are some of the prizes that players and teams take home during the regular annual sports calendar:

Rugby World Cup

Japan hosted the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The tournament saw three top teams from four respective pools qualify for automatic entry into the event that will take place in France in 2023. In the end, South Africa beat England with a beautiful 32-12 win during 2019 final. However, it’s unknown how much the team was rewarded since unions are paid according to total profits made by the International Rugby Board (IRB), on top of bonuses.

Nonetheless, the winning team likely took home over CA$10 million. The next tournament is set to begin in France on 8 September 2023, with the finals to be held at the Stade de France in Paris.

Cricket World Cup

The last tournament was held in England and Wales in 2019, with over 1,5 billion people tuning into the action, particularly for the final match between England and New Zealand. According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), the prize money was US$10 million for the winning team.

The next tournament will take place in India between October and November 2023 and will feature ten competing teams spread across 45 matches. The prize amount is unknown at this stage, although if the last world cup is anything to go by, it might likely be around US$12 million.

UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League is perhaps one of the most prestigious tournaments globally, with over 350 million fans tuning in to catch a glimpse of the action each year. The 2020-2021 playoffs celebrated the 66th season of Europe’s premier soccer tournament.  The finals saw both Chelsea and Manchester City go head-to-head in Portugal, with Chelsea snatching the title.

The top team is said to have scooped up more than €100 million, which doesn’t include the several million euros earned prior to the finals. As of 2021-2022, the top prize money is estimated at €3,400 million until the 2022 season.

Formula One

Formula One is the global benchmark motor sporting event. Last year’s Grand Prix saw British racing and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton take centre stage and race past the finish line with Mercedes, following his victory against teammate Valtteri Bottas. The total prize money for teams in 2020 amounted to just over US$1 billion.

FedEx Cup

Golf isn’t just an old man’s game, especially when more than US$10 million in prize money is up for grabs! And that’s not all– the overall prize for the FedEx Cup is split between players and can add up to as much as US$35 million. Last year, Dustin Johnson won the Tour Championship and secured the number one spot in the official FedEx Cup.  The next tournament will take place in August 2021, with US$15 million as the competing top prize.

US Open

The US Open is considered one of the oldest tournaments in sporting history. The first event was held in 1881 at the Newport Casino in Rhode Island, with male-only members of certain clubs allowed to participate. Six years later, women were allowed to participate, followed by the permittance of mixed tournaments in 1892.

The open era began in 1968, when qualified tennis players were allowed to compete in the Grand Slam tournament. In 2020, the US Open prize fund stood at US$12,5 million. This year’s kitty is expected to carry the same value, with matches planned to commence on 17 June.

Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

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