Who's Making the Most Money in Sports Today?

By Brooke Moran

If you play in the NFL, then you are making bank. It’s as simple as that. Professional football has the highest paying salary out of any sport, and it makes sense too. Football players get cleat and shoe contracts, Gatorade and Powerade sponsorships, clothes endorsements like Nike and Under Armour, and just about anything else you can think of. Some might think, “What about baseball, or basketball, or MMA wrestling? Those have to be just as popular,” and they are. Let’s break down how much money your favorite sport is making. These sports are also listed highest to lowest revenue according to Marketwatch.

#1 National Football League (NFL)

The National Football League (known as the NFL) has the highest revenue out of all sports. All together, the NFL tops out at about 13 billion dollars in revenue. They are the highest money making professional sport in the world. Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, has the highest paying salary of any NFL player. The prior player who held the salary record was set by Matt Ryan, quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. Rodgers revenue tops out at $33.5 million, and before he is done, the Packers would have paid him over $80 million dollars throughout a twelve month period.

#2 Major League Baseball (MLB)

Major League Baseball (MLB) is ranked number two on this list. In 2017, Major League Baseball broke a record, the revenue exceeding 10 billion dollars. In 2018, Mike Trout, a center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels, is the current highest paid athlete. His 2018 paycheck tops in around 36 billion dollars. One of the reasons why is he paid this much is because Trout signed a six year contract with the Angles in March of 2014. Clayton Kershaw is the second place contender of who is paid the most in the MLB. The pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he made around 34 billion dollars in 2018.

#3 The Premier League Football Association (FA)

The Premier League Football Association, also known as FA, falls third on this list. The revenue they brought in for 2018 reached around 6.5 billion dollars. The FA is a football (soccer) association out of England and Wales. Alexis Sanchez, a forward who plays for Manchester United, is the highest paid athlete. He is paid 21.5 million dollars annually and signed a five-year contract worth 81.9 million pounds (106.9 american dollars). The team Manchester United contains three players that are some of the highest paid athletes in the association.

#4 National Basketball Association (NBA)

Coming in fourth on this list is the National Basketball Association, or NBA. The NBA's revenue tops out at around 6 billion dollars. Stephen Curry is probably one of the most renowned NBA players. He is a two-time MVP who plays for the Golden State Warriors in a point guard position. Curry is also the highest paid NBA player in 2018, his salary topped out at 34 million dollars. Curry also signed on a 5-year 200 million dollar contract and is signed until 2022. He surpassed LeBron James’s salary of $33 million dollars in 2018. Curry and James go back and forth over who is the highest paid NBA player in the game. James doesn't sit that far behind Curry because they are going neck and neck over who is the “richest” player in the NBA. People fear James will surpass Curry on this status because James is in cooperation with Nike and Kia, which has nothing to do with basketball, but it is still money towards their revenue.

#5 National Hockey League (NHL)

Finally, we have the National Hockey League (NHL). While the NHL does not make an insane amount of money, it is still so much fun to watch. For the 2017-18 season, the National Hockey League hit a record of 25 million dollars in revenue, which was higher than what it was in the previous seasons. Connor McDavid, a captain for the Edmonton Oilers, is the highest paid NHL player. His revenue tops out at 19 million dollars for his 2018 season. Another thing about McDavid is he is the youngest Oilers captain at the young age of 19. No one has ever been a captain at that young of an age on the Oilers NHL team.

The list can of course go on and on about who makes the most money and why because everything is always changing. People can be dropped, sign new contracts, get hurt; there's so many different things that can happen. This being said, most athletes do center who they are going to play with around money and how much they get paid. The more money you offer, the better chance of getting that said athlete.