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Professional Athletes, Team Sports

Earnings

Today, professional athletes who are members of top-level teams earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money at professional competitions; the top players or athletes in each sport earn as much or more in endorsements and advertising, usually for sports-related products and services, but increasingly for products or services completely unrelated to their sport. Such salaries and other incomes are not representative of the whole field of professional athletes, but are only indicative of the fantastic revenues a few rare athletes with extraordinary talent can hope to earn. According to Forbes, tennis player Roger Federer was the world's highest-paid athlete in 2020, with earnings of $106.3 million including endorsements, followed by soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million) and Lionel Messi ($104 million). According to Statista, the average NBA player earned $8.32 million annually in 2019–20. MLB players earned an average of $4.03 million, and NFL players averaged $3.26 million. Average annual earnings in the NHL were the lowest among the four leagues, at $2.69 million.

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