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The highest-paying sporting events in 2023

With the global sports industry estimated to be worth more than £400 billion, it is little wonder that successful athletes and teams are laughing all the way to the bank.

Given the vast revenues floating around, we thought it would be intriguing to discover which sports currently offer the highest earning potential.

Team sports dominated proceedings, providing eight of the ten sports on the list. Only motorsports and golf bucked the trend.

These are the top 10 highest-paying sports events in 2023, taking into account the winner’s prize money without any additional bonuses.

RankSportEventWinnerWinner’s Prize Money
1MotorsportsFormula 1 championMax Verstappen£104,363,280
2FootballPremier League championManchester City£44,000,000
3BaseballMLB World Series championsTBD£28,989,800
4FootballUEFA Champions League winnersManchester City£17,000,000
5GolfFedEx CupViktor Hovland£14,909,040
6FootballUEFA Nations League winnersSpain£9,110,850
7FootballUEFA Europa League winnersSevilla£7,600,000
8American FootballSuper Bowl winnersKansas City Chiefs£6,889,039
9BasketballNBA championsDenver Nuggets£6,465,915
10RugbySix NationsIreland£6,000,000

Max Verstappen has become the dominant force in Formula 1 in recent years, winning the World Drivers’ Championship in each of the last three seasons.

Verstappen clinched his latest title in a 19-lap sprint race at the Lusail circuit in Doha to crown what has been a remarkable campaign for the Red Bull driver.

He has pocketed more than £104 million for leaving his rivals trailing in his wake following one of the most one-sided seasons in F1 history.

F1 generally does not reveal what each team earns each year, but the 2023 prize pot is estimated to be around £744.8 million.

With the Concorde Agreement guaranteeing 14 percent of this is paid to the winning driver, Verstappen will have a handy bankroll for his Christmas shopping expenses this year.

While there have been question marks over his previous two titles, no one can deny what the 26-year-old has achieved in motorsport during 2023.

Verstappen’s bumper windfall is more than double what Manchester City pocketed for romping to their third successive Premier League title last season.

City received £44m for powering clear of their rivals on the run-in and topped up that figure with another £17m for winning the Champions League.

That helped them claim second and fourth places on the list, with the winners of this year’s Major League Baseball World Series sandwiched neatly in between with almost £29m prize money.

Golf star Victor Hovland is the final entrant In the top five after collecting an eye-watering £14.9m for winning the 2023 FedEx Cup.

Buoyed by that achievement, the Norwegian was one of Europe’s standout performers as they produced a power-packed performance to defeat the United States in the recent Ryder Cup.

However, he received no prize money on that occasion, with the European team following the long-standing tradition of the captain giving personalised gifts to each player.

Team sports fill the remaining five spots in the top ten, with football taking sixth and seventh places via the UEFA Nations League and UEFA Europa League.

American Football is eighth on the highest-paying sports event list, with the Super Bowl winners receiving over £6.8m in prize money.

This was calculated by multiplying the figure quoted in the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement by 53 to reflect the number of players on the Kansas City Chiefs roster.

Basketball and rugby round off the top 10, although the latter sport’s entry is not the tournament that most people would expect to see on the list.

Ireland’s success in the Six Nations earned them a £6m payout, topping the reported £4.8m on offer to the winners of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

They are in the running to add that figure to their tally, although they must overcome New Zealand in a tough quarter-final to keep themselves in the hunt.

Cricket is a surprising omission from the highest-paying sporting events list, with no domestic or international competition making it into the top 10.

The Chennai Super Kings earned around £2.2m for winning the Indian Premier League, while the winners of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India will bank an estimated £3.25m.

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