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Major Sports Championship Prize Monies

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On Tuesday, Madame X blogged about the increases in prize money at Wimbledon this year and I thought it’d be fun to check out all the purses at all the major American sports from football to baseball to golf to tennis. I managed to catch the final set between Federer and Nadal and it was amazing. Madame X, if you though there were some crazy shots in the beginning, the fifth set was unreal. What’s even more surprising is that the champ takes home nearly a million and a half dollars, I didn’t know the prize money was that big.

Unless otherwise indicated, the prize money listed is for 2008 and the conversions were done through Google just a few minutes ago. I was surprised that many sports don’t have a guaranteed championship winning prize payout. Many of them simply share a bit of the gate receipts (or something similar) with the players, though I imagine in those sports there are rich contract incentives.

Football – The Super Bowl

The players on the winning team will each receive $64,000 for winning the game. That pay day doesn’t include the championship ring each of the players will receive or any contract bonuses they may have. New York Giants players were each given 1.5 karat diamond rings that cost $5,500 and are valued at $25,000.

Hockey – Stanley Cup

In hockey, according to WikiAnswers, there is no cash payday for the players on the winning team unless it’s specifically written into their contract.

Baseball – World Series

Again, like in hockey, unless its written in the contract, players don’t get anything extra outside of a share of the gate receipts. You can read more about the shares at Baseball Almanac.

Basketball – NBA Championship

According to the Wages of Win Journal, the payout for a championship win is a little trickier to calculate. Player salaries are all paid out in the regular season and bonuses are paid to each team during the post-season. The winning team of the NBA Finals takes home $1.77M split amongst all the players and coaching staff. WOW did the math and found that, assuming the winner sweeps every series and plays only 16 games, they get only $9,342 (versus around $50k in the regular season on average) if it was split across the players alone.

Golf Majors

Men’s:

  • Masters: 1,350,000
  • U.S. Open: $1,350,000
  • The Open Championship: $1,542,450 (2007)
  • PGA Championship: $1,260,000 (2007)

Women’s:

  • Kraft Nabisco Championship: $300,000
  • LPGA Championship: $300,000
  • Women’s British Open: $320,512 (2007)
  • U.S. Women’s Open: $560,000 (2007)

Tennis Majors

Australian Open:

  • Men’s Singles – A$1,370,000 (~$1,302,596)
  • Women’s Singles – A$1,370,000 (~$1,302,596)

French Open:

  • Men’s Singles – €1,000,000 (~$1,566,900)
  • Women’s Singles – €1,000,000 (~$1,566,900)

Wimbledon:

  • Men’s Singles – £750,000 (~$1,477,650)
  • Women’s Singles – £750,000 (~$1,477,650)

US Open:

  • Men’s Singles (2007) – $1,400,000
  • Women’s Singles (2007) – $1,400,000

Of course, we all know that salary and prizes don’t tell the whole story, the richest sports athletes rely heavily on endorsements. I’m still waiting for mine. :)

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5 Responses to “Major Sports Championship Prize Monies”

  1. EN says:

    I. love. this. post.

    haha….just because I’m a hardcore tennis nut and have been following Wimbledon every second for the last two weeks.

    When I saw the picture in my feed, I thought it was one of the tennis sites I subscribed to but it turned out to be yours!

    You’re right about athletes making the big bucks from endorsements rather than prize money.

    Maria Sharapova made a “mere” few millions in prize money a couple of years ago but made close to 25 MILLION DOLLARS in endorsement. =O

  2. I know that these athletes are great players with great talent and spend countless hours practicing and what not…but how in the world can you justify winning some of those numbers!!!

  3. Christy says:

    I don’t know how much money the hockey players make, but they do get some extra change in the postseason. There’s a playoff pool of money and the further a team goes, the more of that pool they make. The two final teams, my Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins, will get the most and split it among the players this year.

  4. Madame X says:

    Wow! In my post, I was surmising that Wimbledon prizes were higher than other tennis tournaments, but obviously I was wrong, at least with today’s currency rates!

    I’m also surprised that the gender discrepancy is so large in golf… but I guess golf is never known for its progressive attitudes in matters of race, sex, etc., Tiger Woods notwithstanding!

    And hopefully I will catch a re-run of that fifth set someday…

  5. myth buster says:

    That share of the gate receipts is a $50+ million prize pool, of which 36% goes to the World Series champion, easily making baseball the team sport with the highest championship payout.


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