The world’s most popular sports have helped in building one of the most vibrant economic systems by being an instrument of socioeconomic change. Sports have done more than entertainment, creating in our hearts and minds a unifying and enjoyable bond of emotional connection, to thread faces of affected parties in times when the world has seen violence, sports have impacted smiles. The revenue generated from the world’s most popular sports have helped in increasing the countries economic growth in some of the most prosperous economies. They include:-

  1. Basketball:

Currently, this is one of the most talked-about sports in the world as it is a trendy sport in America. It has over 2.2 billion estimated fans attracting media attention with various female leagues worldwide. In endorsement deals with top basketball players, the fans can attest to the fact that brands are willing to spend millions of dollars. Even after the players retirement these deals have continued as with LeBron James and Michael Jordan’s shoe deal with Nike. $92 million yearly is the highest paid amount for a basketball player. 

  1. Football/Soccer:

With 3.5 billion estimated fans, this sport is widely celebrated in Europe and played worldly by more than 270 million people. Both male and female footballers receive a lot of media attention with the highest earning player making $127 million annually and included in the ranking of the highest paid athletes worldwide. Governing bodies such as FIFA, UEFA and top football clubs and national teams have signed multi-million dollar deals with top brands like Pepsi, Coca Cola, Nike, Puma and Adidas. On various social media platforms, every major football tournament from the UEFA Champions League to the English Premier League is widely followed. 

  1. Tennis:

This is a very strenuous and physically intensive sport with an estimated 1.2 billion fans. In recent years, the emergence of new talents has helped heighten the thrill in the competition. Catching the eye of brands such as Rolex, Piguet, TAG Heuer and Audemars, both male and female tennis attract excellent media attention. In endorsement and sponsorship deals, these brands pay tennis stars large sums of money in salary yearly with players receiving as much as $93 million. 

  1. Table Tennis:

This sport enjoys a moderate number of following on social media though it’s events are not publicized as other prominent sports tournaments. The players certainly earn lucrative sums with brands like Sports Master and Autohome and the sports has 850 million estimated fans. 

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  1. Rugby:

Worldwide, this is a sport that attracts as much as 10 million players as an all-gender inclusive sport with over 400 million estimated fans. As various countries make history and record surprising upsets, the just concluded Rugby World Cup in Japan gathered a lot of attention online. As well as top brands that commit significant funds in sponsorship, the most prestigious tournament in rugby attracts the best names in the world of rugby. Helping in bringing the popularity base of the game are brands such as Toshiba, DHL, Emirates, Heineken and MasterCard, who sponsored the 2019 Rugby World Cup. With the highest paid player receiving as much as $1.4 million in annual income, the players earn a considerable sum of cash.   

  1. Cricket:

Followed by about 2.5 billion fans majorly from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and India, this is a sport with vast global reach. The women dominated cricket has been on the rise in popularity though the male dominated cricket receives more attention. With the highest paid player receiving over $20 million annually, cricketers enjoy huge paychecks and a good number of endorsement deals especially from bat making brands. 

  1. Hockey:

The world’s most popular sports include both ice and field hockey with over 2 billion fans especially the National Hockey League. Ice hockey receives a lot of attention majorly from US and Canada. Gatorade and Reebok among others are willing to sign sponsorship deals with these teams with both male and female hockey receiving considerable attention. Annually, the highest paid player receives about $16 million in salary. 

  1. Volleyball:

Compared to other top rated sports, Volleyball is less televised but attracts more than 900 million fans. Standing out currently as one of the fastest emerging sports, it’s popularity among both genders is on the rise. Every season the players receive as much as $1 million supported by brands like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Mikasa. 

  1. American Football:

This is one of the popular sports in the United States also known as Gridiron with estimated 400 million fans. To improve the popularity of this sport, the Super Bowl greatly helps and most of the fans reside heavily in the US. From top brands such as Bud Light, Gatorade and Verizon in sponsored deals, it receives tremendous support and enjoys a good following on social media. In salaries and endorsements, the highest paid player in the National Football League(NFL) received as much as $78 million per annum as of 2020. 

  1. Baseball:

Globally, this sport has about 500 million estimated fans with male players grossly dominating. Chevrolet, Papa John’s and MasterCard are the brands that sponsor them basically. Yearly, $38 million is the amount received by the highest paid player.

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