As Women’s History Month is underway, it’s time to celebrate the achievements of female athletes who have broken barriers and made history in the world of sports. Over the years, women have fought tirelessly for equal recognition and opportunities in sports, paving the way for the rising stars of today.
Some of the female athletes of the past who have made their mark include Billie Jean King, who famously defeated Bobby Riggs in the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, and Wilma Rudolph, who overcame polio to become a track and field legend, winning three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics.
Highest Earning Women in 2022
Today, Naomi Osaka stands out as the top-earning woman in sports, according to Forbes. In 2022, Osaka earned an impressive $51.1 million, the majority of which came from endorsements with top brands like Nike, Nissan, and Louis Vuitton.
With four Grand Slam titles to her name, Osaka has proven to be a formidable force on the court and a powerful advocate for social justice and mental health awareness.
Following closely behind Osaka is Serena Williams, who earned $41.3 million almost entirely from off-court endorsements with companies like Nike, Gatorade, and JPMorgan Chase. Williams has a storied career, including 23 Grand Slam singles titles, four Olympic gold medals, and many other notable achievements.
Her influence extends far beyond tennis, with her activism and advocacy inspiring future generations of women to pursue their dreams.
Eileen Gu, a golf professional from China, rounds out the top three highest-earning women in sports with $20.1 million, the majority of which also came from endorsements. Gu’s career includes several major victories, including the 2019 Japan Women’s Open.
Other notable women on the list include Emma Raducanu, the 2021 US Open champion who has become a highly marketable athlete, with endorsement deals from Tiffany & Co. and Beats by Dre. Coco Gauff, who reached the French Open final in 2022 at just 18 years old, is another rising star to watch, alongside four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.
Tennis Rules the Roost
It’s worth noting that the majority of the top-earning women in sports are tennis players, and their income primarily comes from off-court endorsements. This highlights the ongoing disparities in pay and sponsorship opportunities for women in other sports. However, it’s important to acknowledge the incredible potential of female athletes and the need for continued investment and support in women’s athletics.
Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the incredible achievements of women in all areas of life, including sports. From Osaka and Williams to Raducanu and Biles, these women have demonstrated their talent and drive, breaking barriers and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.
Women’s sports are an essential part of our world, and we must continue to support and uplift female athletes on and off the field.