Written by:
Alex Windsor
Fact checked by:
Damjan Jugovic Spajic
Updated:
February 21, 2024

Sports Industry Revenue Statistics 2024: Expected to Reach $634 Billion by 2027

Sports Industry Revenue Statistics

While the global economy is expected to grow at 3.3% annually over the next few years, the global sports market is bucking these market trends and is expected to compound at 9.13% per year. Some of the key growth factors driving the impressive compound annual growth rate are women’s sports, Middle Eastern countries, particularly Saudi Arabia investing heavily in the global sports market, the rise of esports, the legalization of betting, and the health and wellness trend.

The rise of the professional sports industry has been insane, with the 50 most valuable sports teams worth a combined $250 billion. That’s more valuable than General Electric in 1998, when it was the biggest company in America. Below, we’ll look at more mind-blowing sports industry revenue stats and analyze what is causing it to skyrocket!

Interesting Sports Industry Revenue Stats: Quick Facts

Global Sports Market Revenue Statistics

There are 3.5 billion football fans alone spread around the world, and it’s estimated that 60% of the world’s population regularly watches sporting events. With so many eyeballs on athletes and teams, it’s no wonder that the industry is worth over $400 billion and is expected to reach over $600 billion by 2027, based on Statista’s study.

Sports teams across the world are experiencing a rise in sports viewership and advertising revenue, while player salaries have gone past the point of absurdity, with football players like Ronaldo earning in excess of $100 million per year. Things don’t look like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon, as sports organizations are providing seamless digital experiences that fans can access at any point by simply opening their phone. Sports teams are also seeing greater engagement due to the rise of sports betting, particularly in the US. And then you also have oil-rich countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia throwing cash at sports in a bid to diversify their economies and improve their international reputations.

1. 49ers Generate $136 Million Ticket Sales

Source: Sportico

The 49ers generated the highest number of ticket sales during the 2022 National Football League season. The revenue counts general and club seating but not luxury suites. The San Francisco-based NFL team successfully raised ticket prices by an average of $20, and it didn’t put the slightest dent in demand. In last place was the Arizona Cardinals, who generated just $58 million in ticket sales.

2. EPL Signs $8.45 Billion TV Rights Deal with Sky Sports and TNT Sports

Source: CNN

There is a lot of money to be made in football, and there is no better place than the EPL. The league has signed the largest sports media rights deal ever concluded in the UK worth over $8 billion. The deal will run over four years, and TNT Sports will show 52 live matches per season, while Sky Sports will broadcast 215 games.

3. Top 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams in the World Are Worth $250 Billion

Source: Forbes

Investing in professional sports leagues over the last 20 to 30 years has been an amazing investment as the valuations continue to soar. Mark Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million in 2000, and the team is now worth $3.3 billion! That’s a compound annual growth rate of over 11%, not bad considering he bought the team for fun. However, amazingly, the Mavericks don’t even make the top 10, the most valuable team is the Dallas Cowboys, worth $9 billion. In second place is the New York Yankees, worth $7.1 billion, and rounding out the top 3 is the Golden State Warriors, worth $7 billion.

Source: Visualcapitalist

4. 2022 Super Bowl Generated $578 Billion In Advertising Revenue

Source: Statista

A single sporting event in the US generated close to $600 billion in advertising revenue alone. Fox, which hosted the Super Bowl, charges up to $7 million for a 30-second ad. This just shows you the power of sports and just how much money a big game can generate, especially when there are over 100 million viewers.

5. Manchester United Sold 2.55 Million Shirts

Source: The Sports Journal

Advertising revenue and ticket sales aren’t the only way professional sports teams make money, the global sports apparel market is also big business. Manchester United football club sells over 2 million shirts every year, earning over £106.1m. Liverpool and Chelsea aren’t too far behind, selling 2.45 million and 1.85 million. However, Nottingham Forest need to lift their game, selling just over 100,000 and earning only £1.6m. Even though football shirts are incredibly pricey these days, the clubs typically only receive a 7.5% commission, and the manufacturers pocket most of the dough.

Source: The Sports Journal

Esports

The current global eSports market is worth $1.7 billion but is expected to reach $6.75 billion by 2030, which is a CAGR of 21.5%. eSports only started becoming popular around 2012, but over the last 10 years have gone mainstream, with millions tuning in to watch events and pro gamers traveling the world earning millions as they compete in front of sold-out stadiums. The rise of eSports is attracting a whole new demographic who isn’t interested in traditional sports while at the same time forcing the likes of football and basketball to beef up their digital strategy in hopes of appealing to tech-savvy young viewers.

6. There Are Over 260 Million Frequent eSports Viewers

Source: Statista

eSports, in terms of popularity, have already blown past many traditional sports, and there are, according to sports viewership statistics, now over 260 million frequent viewers and as many as 500 million fans. This number is rising rapidly, and by 2025, there will be more than 300 million frequent viewers. Who knows, in 30 years, eSports may even eclipse football when it comes to viewership.

7. League of Legends is Most eSport With 180 Million Active Players

Source: Priori Data

Just like in traditional sports, there are sports like football, which are watched by billions across the world, and there are niche sports where players struggle to get their own families to pay attention. The most popular eSport is League of Legends (LoL), which is a 5v5 MOBA with over 180 million monthly players. LoL is incredibly popular in China and has a thriving pro league, the LoL yearly World Championships is a must-watch event and features a $2 million+ prize pool.

8. 2021 The International Generates Record Prize Pool of $40 Million

Source: Liquidpedia

The biggest eSports tournament of all time was the Dota 2 World Championship in 2021, known as The International. This crazy event featured a $40 million prize pool, and the winning team, Team Spirit, pocketed over $18 million. We’ve never seen an eSport tournament prize pool this big since.

Source: Statista

9. Johan N0tail Sundstein Highest Earning Gamer With $7.1 Million in Winnings

Source: Esports Earnings

Gone are the days when gamers would play for $100 prize pools in some community center. Tournaments now take place in stadiums in front of tens of thousands of cheering fans, and there are literally millions of dollars up for grabs. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, the former Dota 2 professional hailing from Denmark, has earned the most over his career, pulling in $7.1 million thanks to back-to-back wins at The International.

Sports Betting Causes Viewership To Surge

The sports betting industry and its continual legalization and social acceptance around the world have caused interest in sports to skyrocket, and teams are benefitting from lucrative advertising deals with betting companies. According to Casey Brett, MLB’s Vice President of Gaming, “sports bettors, compared to the average fan, are 40% more likely to stream, 36% more likely to buy a ticket”.

10. NFL Sees a 20% Increase in Viewership From 2017

Source: Athelo Group

During the 2022 NFL season, 18 million viewers tuned in to watch regular season games. According to NFL facts, this represents a 20% increase from 2017. From 2018, 20+ US states have legalized sports betting, and while you can’t attribute the entire boost in NFL viewership to the legalization of sports betting, it’s clearly playing a significant role.

11. 8 EPL Clubs Have Gambling Logos On Their Shirt Worth £60 million per year

Source: ESPN

Football teams have been raking in the cash as online betting companies throw huge money at sponsoring different clubs. Currently, 8 EPL teams have massive gambling logos on the front of the shirts, and gambling companies are reportedly paying £60 million annually for the honor. Gambling sponsorship is all over stadiums, and ads are shown regularly throughout games.

12. US Sports Betting Market Predicted To Be Worth Over $40 Billion by 2030

Source: The Wise Marketer

Flutter, who owns FanDuel, Sky Betting & Gaming, Sportsbet, PokerStars, Paddy Power, and Betfair, is predicting big growth in the US sports betting market. Currently, 20+ states have legalized sports betting, but by 2030, close to the whole country should have access to regulated sports betting. The US market is currently worth just under $9 billion but will likely exceed $40 billion by the time 2030 rolls around.

13. Americans Spend Over $220 Billion On Sports Betting Over 5 Years

Source: Men’s Journal

Americans have shown a love for sports betting, as betting data shows they’ve dropping over $220 billion on sportsbooks since it was legalized in 2018. The industry is going through rapid growth as, in 2023 alone, Americans bet over $100 billion. Despite the growth, the market is heavily concentrated with DraftKings, along with FanDuel, controlling 70% of the legal sports betting market, while BetMGM has 12% of the market and Caesars 6.7%.

Sportswashing Floods Sports Industry With Cash

Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia are acutely aware that their oil reserves will eventually run out or become obsolete. That is why they’re diversifying their economies through sport and, at the same time, redefining their nation’s position on the world stage. Saudi Arabia has spent over $6 billion on sports in just two years as it plays a key role in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan.

15. Sheikh Mansour Purchases Man City for More Than £200m

Source: Washington Post

The Middle East’s takeover of sport started all the way back in 2018 when a UAE private equity fund linked to Sheikh Mansour purchased the EPL club Man City for over £200m. Since the takeover, Sheikh Mansour has spent over £2 billion in transfer fees and created a super team that has dominated the EPL and now even won the Champions League.

16. PIF Buys Newcastle United For £305m

Source: Financial Times

Saudi Arabia has definitely looked to the UAE for inspiration after the 2021 takeover of Newcastle. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund purchased an 80% stake in the EPL club for £305m. The new owners immediately caused controversy after changing the black and white kit to white and green, which looked a little too similar to Saudi Arabia’s national team jersey.

17. Qatar Hosts 2022 Football World Cup In Ultimate Sportswashing Move

Source: Newstatesman

Despite prior to the tournament many critics bashing Qatar hosting the event, the Middle Eastern nation silenced them by hosting a historic tournament that generated $7.5 billion in revenue and hosted one of the best finals in history as Messi guided Argentina to victory. It wasn’t just on the pitch where Qatar excelled, the government said that the World Cup boosted the local economy by $17 billion.

18. Cristiano Ronaldo Signs $200 Million-Per-Year Deal With Al Nassr

Source: NBC Sports

The biggest beneficiary of Saudi Arabia’s football spending splurge is none other than Ronaldo. The football legend signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Saudi club Al Nassr worth $200 million. The 38-year-old has become an ambassador of the Saudi Pro League and Saudi Arabia’s bid for the World Cup and, in the process, is taking home over $70 million per year.

Final Thoughts

Don’t expect sports industry revenues to slow down anytime soon. This sector is experiencing impressive growth, with experts predicting a CAGR of over 9% for the next few years. Don’t be surprised if the global sports industry is worth close to $700 billion by 2028 and crosses the $1 trillion mark a few years later. With eSports, sports betting, and sportswashing fueling growth, the industry looks to be in a very strong position over the next decade or so.

FAQs

  • How much is the sports industry worth worldwide?

    The sports industry worldwide is worth over $400 billion and is growing at over 9% per year.

  • Who is the highest paid athlete?

    The highest-paid athlete is Cristiano Ronaldo, who earned $136 million in 2023 thanks to his contract with Saudi club Al-Nassr FC and lucrative sponsorship deals with Nike.

  • Who is the market leader in the sports industry?

    Nike is considered the market leader in the sports industry and was rated the most recognizable brand. Nike is worth over $150 billion.

  • What is the global sports betting industry worth?
    The global sports betting industry is worth over $240 billion, and there are over 200,000 people working in the industry. The US sports betting market is expected to be worth over $40 billion by 2030.

Sources

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo signs $200 million-per-year deal with Al Nassr
  2. eSports audience size worldwide from 2020 to 2025 by type of viewers
  3. Gen Z love of sports betting is the gateway to Casino Gaming
  4. Global Sports Market Outlook [2030]
  5. League Of Legends Player Count & Stats 2024
  6. Premier League clubs agree to drop gambling sponsors from front of shirts
  7. Premier League Clubs Retail, Merchandise, Apparel & Product Licensing Revenue Data
  8. Premier League signs $8.45bn TV deal as controversial season continues to excite
  9. SPORTS BETTING LEGALIZATION: WHAT ITS BIG IMPACT MEANS FOR SPORTS
  10. Sports industry revenue worldwide in 2022, with a forecast for 2023 and 2027
  11. The Future of Sport. Forces of change that will shape the sports industry by 2030
  12. The International
  13. The World’s Highest Paid Athletes
AUTHOR
Alex Windsor

Alex is the Head of Content here at Minimum Deposit Betting Sites, leveraging his immense experience in the sports betting and iGaming industry to steer the boat and make sure all of our content is up to par and of the best possible quality.