The numbers are staggering. What you make in a year could be spent at a nightclub on a random Tuesday night if you were one of the few gifted enough to warrant a superstar-level sports contract. Soccer’s Lionel Messi leads all comers with a four-year, $673 million contract while the NFL’s Patrick Mahomes recently landed in that rarified air, inking a 12-year pact worth over half a billion dollars. The list goes on and on but let’s not forget that oftentimes an athlete’s salary is dwarfed by the money he receives in endorsements.
We can also find top betting sites offer prop bets on all of the games these superstars play and the increased interest in sports betting has fueled the ratings which, in turn, drives up the contracts and allows the owners of these professional sports franchises to pay stunning amounts of money because they are getting richer too. As sports gambling becomes more and more mainstream, the leagues will benefit from a brand-new revenue stream that was unavailable before the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 – aka PASPA – in 2018 led by the state of New Jersey.
Everyone wins financially except the fans who provide all of the loot. However, they don’t mind because it is a welcome diversion from their ordinary lives and their passion was never so evident as when the global pandemic shut everything down, including their beloved sporting events. But it should be noted that these leagues don’t stop making money just because they aren’t in season. Quite the contrary, and below we will discuss how these leagues keep on filling up their coffers even when their locker rooms are empty.
Sports leagues make hundreds of millions of dollars on everything from bobbleheads to jerseys to baseball caps. If the team logo is emblazoned anywhere on the item, the team gets a cut except if it is a knock-off. The counterfeit merchandise is imported and some of it is remarkably similar to the original. But anyone who deals in sports memorabilia will spot the telltale signs immediately, and although these fakes can be bought for much less than the originals, they will never fetch anything on the collectibles market in the future.
Big business is the gift that keeps giving year-round and the NFL has become a corporate behemoth itself because of it. Here are the numbers below from some of the NFL’s biggest corporate sponsors and this revenue stream is not peculiar to only the National Football League but to the NBA, NHL, and MLB as well.
- Verizon–$300 million
- Anheuser-Busch–$230 million
- Nike–$120 million
- Pepsi–$100 million
- Oakley–$75 million
- Amazon–$75 million
We keep referring to the NFL because it is the king of North American Sports despite baseball still referred to as America’s Pastime. The quintessential sports video game is undoubtedly the Madden NFL franchise. It has sold hundreds of millions of copies since its inception way back in 1988 on an MS-DOS pc platform and Apple II.
Last year was another record-breaker for Electronic Arts, the publisher of the Madden NFL series.
"After the most successful year in franchise history, fans are now playing more Madden than ever before. In the last weeks, players have shown their passion for Madden with a lot of great feedback and stellar engagement in Madden NFL 21," said executive producer Seann Graddy.
"We truly appreciate the fans who have been playing Madden NFL 21 and we are excited to bring new improvements, content, and experiences with our live service updates throughout the year."
Hockey has its NHL series, the NBA has its 2K franchise, and Major League Baseball has enjoyed record numbers of sales from this year’s, MLB The Show 20.
The NFL Draft
Television ratings have skyrocketed in recent years for the NFL Draft, a three-day event with the first-round televised live on the last Thursday in April with rounds two through seven being broadcast the following Friday and Saturday.
It has become a financial boon to the NFL as it is shown on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and the NFL Network. It is the bridge between nearly three months of football darkness to the advent of the new season and the fans absolutely love it!
The only other league that garners any interest in their draft is the NBA, as the athletes in that league and the NFL are hoping to make an immediate impact in the upcoming season. Most players drafted in the NHL and MLB will be groomed for several years before showing up on a big-league roster which is why the interest is tepid at best in those draft events.