Girl Bosses Who Make Money Playing Sports
When it comes to female athletes, gender discrimination is a harsh reality. Nonetheless, while there is still much work to be done to solve the issue, many female athletes are absolutely killing it when it comes to making money. Some of them have become wealthy simply from playing sports, but the most successful female athletes use their celebrity status to open multiple streams of revenue. These women earn money through everything from endorsements to investing, and nothing can keep them down.
Ariya Jutanugarn is a professional golfer from Thailand who made $5.3 million in 2019 alone. Golf tournaments have monetary prizes, so a skilled golfer can rack up a lot of cash in a year simply from playing in them. When Jutanugarn won the LPGA Tour's Race to the CME Globe, she took home a $1 million dollar prize.
Of the $5.5 million that P.V. Sindhu earned in 2019, only half a million of that total comes from winnings. Badminton may not be the most popular sport internationally, but it is all the rage in India.
Garbiñe Muguruza is a comeback queen! A few years ago, the professional tennis player sat at the top of world rankings until a string of bad matches sent her plummeting down the list. Still, she is a fan favorite, and she is slowly rising right back to the top.
Alina Zagitova is a Russian professional figure skater who finished first in the 2019 ISU World Championships. That victory meant that the teenager earned a minimum of $21,000 in prize money that year, not to mention the estimated $1 million she made from endorsements.
When Elina Svitolina won the 2018 WTA Finals, she triggered a chain reaction of financial rewards. She won not just the prize money for earning the title, but also bonuses from her sponsors, Wilson and Nike. Now she is in the top five in the tennis world rankings, so more endorsement deals are likely to be coming her way.
Ronda Rousey is a professional fighter, who recently made a huge career move. Although she's still fighting, she switched from competing in the UFC to the WWE. This move has paid off by giving her even greater notoriety with the public.
Caroline Wozniacki is an incredibly successful tennis player who has earned $7.5 million in 2019. She spent nearly 70 weeks at the top of the WTA world rankings. Babolat, Rolex and Adidas are a few of Wozniacki's major sponsors, and she is heavily involved with The Players’ Tribune, a media company that tells stories for athletes by athletes.
Allyson Felix is an Olympic sprinter who continuously shatters records. Over the course of her career, she has earned six Olympic gold medals. She is one of relatively few Athleta-sponsored athletes. Felix was previously sponsored by Nike, but she famously left the company after they cut her monthly salary when she was pregnant.
At 26 years old, Sloane Stephens is younger than many of the biggest female tennis stars, but she has already surpassed her more renowned counterparts in terms of income. In a single year, Stephens earned $9.6 million.
Marta Vieira da Silva
Marta Vieira da Silva (often called simply ‘Marta’) is a Brazillian soccer star who played for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League. Although Marta's annual salary for playing soccer is just shy of half a million per season, Marta makes a lot more money through endorsements and various marketing deals. For instance, she has an endorsement deal with and often models for Puma.
Angelique Kerber is one of tennis's most talented stars, and she's got both the stats and the endorsement deals to prove it. In 2018, Kerber won the coveted Wimbledon title, which resulted in a windfall payday from both prize winnings and contract bonuses.
With $29.2 million in earnings, Serena Williams was the highest-paid female athlete of 2019. Wilson, Gatorade and JP Morgan Chase are just a few of her many endorsement deals. In that year alone, endorsements earned her $25 million.
Danica Patrick came in third in the Indy 500 in 2008 and still earned nearly $8 million in 2019. Although she has officially retired from racing, she still makes money in the sports industry.
Ada Hegerberg is a star player for Olympique Lyonnais, a team renowned for having some of the highest salaries in the world of women's soccer. Hers is 400,000 euro, which makes her the highest-paid female soccer player on earth. (Other players make more from endorsements.)
Paige VanZant is one of the most well-compensated fights in the UFC even after injuries in 2019 kept her temporarily out of the game. Why? VanZant has built quite a lucrative career as an Instagram influencer. She also works in broadcasting, and she's an author.
Victoria Azarenka made more than $1 million in prize money from professional tennis in 2019. Her career total of $30 million in winnings puts her in seventh place for the highest-winning tennis player to date. American Express, Citizen Watch and Nike are a few of her current sponsors.
Although Lindsey Vonn retired in the winter of 2019, she still ranks among the highest-paid female athletes of that year. She’s earned 140 medals, with three from the Winter Olympics.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Saina Nehwal earned a gold medal for badminton. She is the biggest competitor of fellow Indian badminton star P.V. Sandhu and often earns an average of $300,000 in competition prizes alone.
Megan Rapinoe has always been an important member of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT), but winning the 2019 Women's World Cup caused Rapinoe’s career and income to skyrocket to new heights. According to some estimates, she may have earned up to $3 million in 2019.
Naomi Osaka is one of the biggest names in world tennis and has consistently prevailed over players with decades more experience than her. She is also very popular in the media, and she has appeared on several late-night talk shows.
Tessa Virtue is an Olympic figure skater. She famously danced with her long-time skating partner, Scott Moir, for the last time on December 7, 2019. Over the course of her career, she won 11 titles. In September of 2019, she officially retired from professional ice dancing.
Simona Halep was the top-ranked female tennis player in the Women’s Tennis Association world rankings for two years until her streak was broken by Ashleigh Barty. When it comes to prize money, Halep achieved the fifth-highest career earnings of any tennis player, male or female.
Michelle Wie is an American professional golfer who competes in LPGA tournaments. Although Wie has had an impressive career, 2019 was a disappointing year for her. She had to withdraw from major competitions because of ongoing injury.
Maria Sharapova is one of the world's top tennis players, but she is also an extremely successful entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of a candy brand called Sugarpova and has also made significant investments in Supergoop, a skincare line and the UFC.
Simone Biles is an Olympic gymnast with four gold medals. As an Olympic athlete, she makes money slightly differently than her professional peers Usually, sponsorships and endorsements deals cover monthly income year in and year out.
Karolina Pliskova proves that you can bring home the bacon even if you don't win everything. Grand Slams are a big deal for tennis stars, but she hasn't been in a Grand Slam final for the past three years. Still, Pliskova has remains victorious in smaller competitions.
Venus Williams is one of the biggest tennis stars of the 21st century. Shemade around $1 million in winnings in 2019 alone, and she makes five times as much from endorsements.
Fu Yuanhui is an Olympic swimmer and viral star who is heavily compensated for her talent. Many swimmers appear calm and stoic during media appearances, but Yuanhui unabashedly expresses her feelings. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she won the hearts of new fans all over the world.
Throughout her career, Alex Morgan has established herself as one of the key figures of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. She made around $6 million in 2019, the overwhelming majority of which came from lucrative endorsement deals.
Madison Keys is a rising tennis star who just keeps getting better and better. Despite a lucrative victory at the Charlestown Open in 2019, she still made over half of her $5.5 million in earnings from endorsements deals. Keys is endorsed by both Nike and Wilson, two of the biggest sponsors of tennis athletes.