How much money does a proffessional sprinter make in a year?

Hi Guys,
Just wanted to know if sprinting is a profitable proffession. How much would somebody make at the top of the 100m game(the premiere runner in the world). Just wanted to know how much guys like mo, asafa, mj and carl lewis made each year at the top of their games. :cool:


Not enough would be the answer! If you compare the effort interms of training, the dedication and commitment involved at an Elite level then compare this to another sport such as Football (Soccer) then us sprinters are heavily UNDERPAID! Here in the Uk an average non Premiership player makes about £2000-£4000 PER WEEK. Thats guaranteed…even if your team lose 10-nil or win 14-1. Thats enough money to make sure you can live and train like a fulltime sportsman, improve your game and eventually make even more money. Its alot harder in Track as you get paid on performance and times. This is what makes it harder to make money at a sub standard level. Running 10.0x - 9.9/9.8 will ensure you make money from the sport,leaving the up and coming (myself included) to fight for scraps and ‘kit deals’. I can’t pay my physio bills with this seasons new vests and lycras!

“Show me the Quarn!!” :smiley:

I always laugh whenever athletes try to justify their pay by the fact that their training is so hard and they deserve to be paid for that. I had one NFL guy trying to justify his salary by saying “Do you know how difficult it is to get out in the hot sun and practice footwork day after day?” Well it’s so difficult that I’ve got people who work a full time job and go out in the hot sun whenver they get a chance because that’s what they love to do! They would kill to be paid anythign for it. Training is easy. Hell, most of the people on this forum train because they enjoy it and if you gave them extra time they’d probably spend it training. You wanna talk about something hard talk about real work like having to get up everyday and work in a 110 degree factory for 10 hours +. I would rather go out in the hot sun and train for 4 hours and follow that up with 2 hours of weights then I would to spend even an hour in some of the jobs I’ve worked in the past digging ditches, doing construction, telemarketing, or dealing with troubled kids.

Having said that, sprinters certainly don’t compare to other athletes as far as the money they’re making at the top.

They dont make commercial athlete money if thats what you mean. The top guys do make money but after everyone gets thier cut, theres probably not much left. These guys carry a whole team of people and they have to get paid too. From what I have read in the papers and other websites, at the top they make any where from $100,000US-650,000US. But if you are an athlete at the top it can be sweet. Sneaker deals the euro circut etc. The problem is that we dont get the same media coverage as major sports do hence no commercials from corporations. This only leaves a few companies that want to sponsor the events etc…

Its amazing how spoiled these guys are. I would love to see them flipping burgers for shit money. I remember talking to this sports writer from the Assoc. press who got to know many athletes from the NBA. He told me that many of them would be lazy ass knuckle heads no matter they would be doing.

Well, when you look at what type of training guys like Lance Armstrong have to go through to be the best, I think you would agree that it’s no walk in the park.

'Mo wins = 'mo money

On that note, as a social experiment; I’d like any and all athletes here that are not sponsored to call up some banks, big business and talk to their marketing department about sponsoring you/your team. Lets see what happens.


e.g. Stephen Gerrard ?signing for Chelsea for £120,000 a week!

So basically your saying that as soon as we can get ourselves a winning athletic profile then we can approach businesses with regard to sponsorships money. So we have to sell ourselves as athletes. It’s starting to sound like a commision based sport. How would you guys recommend going about this?

Like all sports, the “real” money isn’t in the sport itself, it’s in your sponsorships.

The top guys are usually signed with a few companies, always including one of Mizuno, Nike, Reebok, or Adidas. They would get a team salary, and bonusus for performances, world records, etc… on top of meet appearances and prize lots.

I remember after Bailey set the world record he had a ton of commercials going.

OK, now, how much a medium level sprinter earn for year in USA ? When i said medium level i´m thinking those guys running under 10.6 or 10.5. I know, it´s a lot relative but that´s why i´m asking, because i believe, some of you belong this categorie.

Nothing. Too many highschoolers running in that range and college too, to make any money really (unless you are a woman of course).

Guys at that level might get a scolarship somewhere (which is worth a lot!!) but no meet money till prob around 10.10

Yeah, your gonna have to be faster than that to go anywhere. I mean, when there are juniors in high school running 10.38 and 10.43 (both here in my neck of the woods, southern california) you gotta see that the talent pool here in the US is really deep, and that you’ve got to be going pretty fast and set yourself apart to earn some money. Unfortunately, the two guys I’m talking about are both football players looking for football scholarships to college, so we’ll probably never be able to see if they could become world-class sprinters.

10.10 ?! Damn fast !! Well, better be here in my “land” so far. :smiley:

Or manchester united football player Rio Ferdinand, stalling on a contract worth £100,000 per week because he wants £120,000! And from a club who stood by him (paid him) when he served an eight month ban for failing to turn up for drug test!

I train three times aweek because i love it, and am proud to do it.

When i was younger, i used to think. Oh how much money you can make.

But now, i don’t care. As long as i could support my life, and live decent.

I know semi-professional football players, and they don’t train as hard, no where near as hard as me.

And compared to some of you people, on this site. I don’t put as much time, and effort in as you guys.

Linford Christie, said he did t because he loved it, and he was proud.

So am i and i would’nt change, the way i think. But at the end of the the, i beleave they don’t get paid enough.

But thats life, in athletics you have to make your money.

Its a battle, i like Carl lewis, when i was on his site. He stated, i want to be the best athete ever, and a millionaire.

I laugh at football players, when they say they train.

They don’t know what traning is, they play, they don’t train.

I don’t play athletics, its serious.

The true sprint superstars (Michael Johnson, Maurice Greene, etc.) probably cleared a few million a year at their peak - more in an Olympic year. Michael Johnson starred in a few national commercials in 200 as I remember. He probably got paid about as much as an elite American football player in 2000. But obviously that is very rare. I’d be surprised if Asafa Powell clears more than a few hundred thousand dollars this year. He is the WFM but he hasn’t won a gold medal yet at a WC or Olympics. His market value will rise when he wins on international television.

But sprinters are paid according to what the market will bear, especially now that making money is legal and the meet promoters have to pay the sprinters reasonably. Sprinters don’t make what a power hitter or soccer player or top quarterback makes, but that’s because their sport isn’t as popular as soccer, football or baseball.

As much as people resent Carl Lewis, they really have him to thank for the good living that many of them make today. Carl was the first person to unashamedly state that he wanted to be paid, and he was so good that promoters had to give him five figure fees and good hotels expenses paid. Carl paved the way for everyone else, and squeezed every promoter for every last dollar, as was his right. People say that he was obnoxious and arrogant (and perhaps he was) but he couldn’t just go to these people and ask nicely for $20,000 and a suite.

How much does race and ethnicity play a role in this? I have a feeling a white guy running sub 10 (hasn’t happened yet) would be making a lot more than some poor African in a small market who has run the same time.

carl lewis has to be given great respect for the fees etc.he got what he asked for and considering what other sports get its still peanuts.

not only was it for himself but for his team.wherever he went his SMTC mates followed and they got payment also.