Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes


In the eight years since he became the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time, much has changed for Cristiano Ronaldo. The 39-year-old Portuguese soccer star went from lighting up the Bernabéu with Real Madrid to stints with Juventus and Manchester United, until finally landing at his current home, Al Nassr of the Saudi Pro League. But no matter the location, one thing has remained constant—Ronaldo is still drawing outsized paydays.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. Who is the highest-paid athlete in the world?
  2. Which sports have the most athletes on this year’s list of highest-paid athletes?
  3. Why do you think those sports feature the most represented athletes?
  4. The list shares earnings from both “on-the-field” and “off-the-field.” What is the difference between the two?
  5. Which athletes on this list earned the most off-the-field?
  6. Why do you think they were popular for brands wanting to sign an athlete to an endorsement deal?
  7. What is an expense in team sports?
  8. What is profitability?
  9. How do athlete salaries in team sports impact profitability?
  10. How many female athletes are on the list of highest-paid athletes?
  11. Why do you think that is?
  12. How can the industry level the playing field to ensure women are compensated equally? Why is that important?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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