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Sports as a career for financial rewards is real. The only catch is…

Sports as a career for financial rewards is real. The only catch is…

Another very interesting visual from a site I love to visit a lot. (click to view all their stuffs) Today, we look at how much athletes earn when they play and when they do not play. Do not be surprised that for some sports, the earnings can be higher when the athlete is not playing!

The top 10 paid athletes

Now for the top 10, we have a MMA athlete Conor McGregor as 1st place, followed by footballers Messi and Ronaldo, American football player Prescott, basketball player Le Bron James, footballer Neymar, tennis player Roger Federer, F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, American football player Tom Brady and rounding up the top 10 would be another basketball player Kevin Durant.

More earnings on-field or off-field?

Look very closely and you would realise that many of these elite athletes earn a lot more money when they are not playing. Means when they are walking around the mall… when they are in some talkshows… when they are relaxing by the poolside and well even when they are sleeping. These are the endorsements which they get as brand ambassadors or payments they get from non-playing times

Ranking the Highest-Paid Athletes in 2021
Image source:

It’s the same for most of the top 50 earners

Yes, most of these athletes earn more money from off the field versus on the field (when they play). If we look at the world we live in today, most money is earned by the owner of the brand and not the manufacturer of the product for the brand. Apple earns by far higher profit margin than the manufacturers who are manufacturing iPhones or Macbooks.

By the way, the football teams earn a lot of money when they sell jerseys of their star players yeah. This is the reason why they kept signing up players for ever higher amount. It’s not solely because these players are the best.

Play a sports where the attention is huge

Beyond just earning more by becoming the best in the scene, we need to realise that not all sports are made equal. Sports with a lot more attention or even attention from a wealthier group tend to give a higher earning to the athlete. Oh yeah, no athletes can be playing forever. However, their titles won, that is with them and that’s the valuable part after they stop playing.

As a parent, I do not intend to discourage my children if they really prefer to play sports for a living. I would encourage and is willing to spend money, time and effort to be with them along the way too. What I would do different however is to give them support in the sport which could eventually become a career and not just one where they give all their time, effort and I spend all my money and in the end, the only get a scholarship to study sports science in a university.

Income is needed even if they played for the love of the game

Unfortunately, I could not be with them forever and they definitely still need to have sufficient money to sustain their life too. Well, happy understanding that the best athletes in the world (for some sports) do have a career which is by far better than even the top 20% income earners in most countries yeah. Just need to aim at the right one.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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