Blog Article | 7 December 2016

Men vs Women: Money in Sport

We know that gender inequality still exists globally today, with many women facing the consequences of this inequality in the form of prejudice, sexism, violence and harassment.

In the UK and abroad, we can also see inequality in the perpetuation of gender stereotypes in marketing; the levels of sexual harassment and sexism in the workplace, and even in the way the media reports on female athletes.

One area which women also often face inequality is financially. More specifically, in the sporting world.

A study by the BBC revealed that men get more prize money than women in 30% of professional sports.

We recently heard from freelance designer James Smith, who has put together a unique piece for UK SAYS NO MORE alongside a staggering infographic on the topic of money in sport: men vs women. Read James’ blog & see the infographic below:

Lots of us love sitting down and losing ourselves in our favourite sports, but do we really give much consideration to what’s going on behind the scenes?

Equality in the workplace has been championed as a concept for decades, so it’s only natural the same mentality has crossed over into sport.

But has it done so successfully? Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent sports in the world and compare the average earnings for both sexes.


Most people cite tennis as the perfect example of equality in sport – with equal prize money given out at most major tournaments to both males and females since the 1973 US Open.

At Wimbledon last year both winners received £1.9m for their victory, implying a genuine parity between the sexes.

However, delve beneath the surface and the stark reality shows there’s still a real contrast between net earnings. Roger Federer earned just £2.7m in prize money in 2014, but still finished the year with a total of £35.8m thanks to sponsorship deals.

Contrast that with Serena Williams – who earned £7m in prize money alone, but tallied up just £14m for the entire season. In this instance the sport itself is attempting to create an equal playing field, only for commercial markets to have an adverse impact.


Things are very different in football; where a player like Wayne Rooney can earn £300k a week, compared to the highest played female player, Marta – who brings in £4.9k every seven days.

Prize money is also incredibly varied, with the figures highlighting a massive difference between the male and female game:

  • World Cup – £22m for male winners, £600k for female
  • Champions League – £8.3m for male winners, £200k for female
  • FA Cup – £1.5m for male winners, £5k for female
  • Premier League – £97.5m for male winners, no prize money for female

Many say the revenue-factor of male football is the key reason for this massive difference in price. In truth, there’s a strong argument in that regard, with Premier League income estimated to reach over £5 billion in the men’s game between 2016-2019.


The same is true in boxing, where numbers reach silly levels for individuals in the men’s discipline, but are significantly lower for female fighters.

Floyd Mayweather has an estimated net worth of a staggering £409.5m, while the highest paid woman boxer, Lucia Rijker, has a total of just £27.3k to her name.

Again, the grossing factor plays a part here – with Mayweather’s world famous fight with Manny Pacquiao said to have brought in £254.5m from TV alone. Mayweather walked away with £133m for the bout.

Other Sports

This trend is fairly similar across the board, with all of the following seeing men get more than their female counterparts:

  • Cliff Diving – males (£13k), females (£3k)
  • Cricket World Cup – males (£2.6m), females (£47k)
  • Darts BDO – males (£100k), females (£12k)
  • Snooker World Championships – male (£300k), females (£2k)
  • Surfing ASP World Championships – male (£63k), females (£38k)

The contrast in figures can be attributed to a series of different things, but primarily comes as a result of the level of interest from spectators. While male sports continue to outmatch female ones, this disparity will continue.

Check out this amazing infographic for more info:

Men vs Women: Money in Sport


picAbout the author: James is a freelance graphic designer originally from Edinburgh, now living in London. He left the comfortable surroundings of his hometown for the bright lights of London 2 years ago and is now a fully fledged participant in the rat race. When he is not designing infographics he enjoys cycling around the city, as well as catching up with friends and drinking mainly in the Brixton area. With London being such a pricey place to live, he is always hunting for ways to save money, which is one of the reasons why he enjoys working with companies like vouchercloud.


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