How Much The Highest Paid Athletes of 2015 Earned Per Second

The highest paid sports stars from 10 of the world’s favourite sports earned just shy of a staggering $100, 000 collectively per second they were in active play in 2015!

This figure comes from new research by Expert Market into exactly how much your favourite athletes made per second that they were on the field/in the ring/on the track last year. Amazingly, these figures do not include any pay from endorsements, which would add hundreds of millions to the total earnings for these 10 superstars.

highest paid athletes 2015

Forbes release an annual list of the top paid athletes each year. Instead of looking at the 10 highest paid athletes overall, we wanted to look at a variety of sports and how different styles of play affect the per second earning of their stars.

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It seems that the high prize money and relatively low ring times associated with combat sports makes them the highest earners per second. Mayweather took the top position with an astonishing $65972.22 earned for every second he was in the ring in 2015. McGregor was the only athlete to come close to Mayweather in per second earnings with $31,886.79 for every second he spent in the octagon last year. Ronda Rousey, another MMA fighter, was also the highest per second earning female athlete.

Top 10 Athletes' Earnings Per Second In 2015

Rank Name Sport Earnings ($)Seconds of Active PlayEarnings per second of Active Play
1 Floyd Mayweather Boxing 285 Million 4320 $65,972.22
2 Conor McGregor MMA13.5 Million 424 $31,886.79
3 Lewis Hamilton Racing 36 Million100366 $358.69
4 Cristiano Ronaldo Soccer 52.6 Milion291600 $180.38
5 Usain Bolt Track 15 Thousand159 $94.34
6 Jon Lester Baseball 33.7 Million367200 $91.78
7 LeBron James Basketball 20.8 Million828000 $25.12
8 Roger Federer Tennis 9 Million728160 $12.36
9 Mahendra Singh Dhoni Cricket 4 Million718200 $5.57
10 Phil Mickleson Golf 2.8 Million1117800 $2.50

Earnings With Endorsements

Interestingly, adding in endorsement pay shakes the rankings up completely! Usain Bolt’s enormous endorsement paycheck and minimal time on track shoot him into first place:

Rank Name Sport Earnings with Endorsements ($)Seconds of Active PlayEarnings per second of Active Play
1 Usain Bolt Track 21 Million159 $132,075.47
2 Floyd Mayweather Boxing 300 Million 4320 $69,444.44
3 Conor McGregor MMA14.7 Million 424 $34,575.47
4 Lewis Hamilton Racing 39 Million100366 $388.58
5 Cristiano Ronaldo Soccer 79.6 Milion291600 $272.98
6 Jon Lester Baseball 34.1 Million367200 $92.86
7 Roger Federer Tennis 67 Million728160 $92.01
8 LeBron James Basketball 64.8 Million828000 $78.26
9 Phil Mickleson Golf 50.8 Million1117800 $45.45
10 Mahendra Singh Dhoni Cricket 31 Million718200 $43.16

Highest Earning Female Athletes

Female sports stars notoriously earn a lot less than their male counterparts. One of the exceptions perhaps is Tennis, where the prize pot is now the same in all major grand slam tournaments.

Unsurprisingly therefore, 6 of the top 10 highest earning female athletes are from the world of Tennis. Interestingly, as women’s tennis matches are usually shorter, this means that Sharapova earned nearly twice as much as Federer per second in their 2015 matches even though she earned $2.3 million less overall.

The table below show how the highest female earners across different sports fare against their male counterparts. It should be noted that there are only 4 female athletes from different sports to compare due to the lack of females on the Forbes richest list and the dominance of tennis amongst high earning female sports stars:

Rank Name Sport Earnings ($)Seconds of Active PlayEarnings per second of Active Play
1 Ronda Rousey MMA 3 Million107 $28,037.39
2 Danica Patrick Racing 7.9 Million 98637 $80.09
3 Serena Williams Tennis11.6 Million 329220 $35.23
4 Stacy Lewis Golf 2.4 Million1539000 $1.56

Comparison With ‘Normal' Jobs

The amount of money some athletes earned per second they actively played last year was more than many people earnt in the entire year. However, when you look at someone like Phil Mickelson, who only earned $2.50 per second (without endorsements) is it really much more than normal folk earn?

We took 5 crucial jobs; teachers, nurses, cops, firefighters and doctors, and worked out how much the average person earned per second they were actively doing their job in 2015. The results?

Firefighters earned an average of just $0.0046 per second, while the highest earning Doctors took home $0.016 per second they worked (not including overtime).

Job TitleAv. Annual Earnings ($) Av. Annual work hoursSeconds of Active WorkEarnings per second of Active Work
Doctor (GP) 175,536 300010800000 $0.016
Teacher (high school) 58,260 1332 5054400 $0.012
Nurse 21,6922080 7488000 $0.0089
Cop 54,230 20498985600 $0.006
Firefighter 47,720 288010368000 $0.0046

So don't feel too sorry for Mickelson just yet.