There has long been a gender pay gap in the world, and professional sports stars are no stranger to that gap either. Despite often making much less than the male athletes, these women prove that they can be just as much of a commercial success as any guy. These are the top paid female athletes in sports history who prove it.
Danica Patrick – Net worth $60 million
Being really fast on the track is paying well for motor racing star Danica Patrick. She might not always be declared the winner, but through a combination of her prize money and endorsements, Patrick is worth an estimated 60 million.
Patrick was the first woman to win an IndyCar race back in 2008, which eventually saw her move to NASCAR in 2013. One of the biggest endorsements deals that Patrick was able to strike was with GoDaddy, and she has almost become synonymous with the web hosting company.
Venus Williams – Net worth $95 million
Venus Williams is really great at tennis and is always a tough match for anyone who faces her. She is a little older than her sister Serena so made it onto the tour before her. That allowed Venus the chance to haul in some Grand Slam trophies before Serena came along and completely dominated the sport. Venus is still a big name in tennis after 25 years at the top of the game. The star has won over $36 million in prize money during her career which contributes to her net worth of $95 million.
Alexis DeJoria – Net worth $100 million
Drag racing might not be the household sport that everyone knows, but it pays really well if you’re good at it. Alexis DeJoria risks her life any time she gets behind the wheel of her drag car, but that doesn’t stop her from having as much fun as possible.
She has won several races in the National Hot Rod Association, but a lot of her fortune actually comes from her father. DeJoria is the heiress to billionaire John Paul DeJoria, who founded Patron Tequila and John Paul Mitchell Systems, and is worth an estimated $100 million. She puts that wealth to good use, and she owns her own racing team, Stealth Motorsports.
Maria Sharapova – Net worth $135 million
Tennis is one of the most lucrative sports for female athletes. Players are in charge of their own destinies, and any success on the court can reap huge financial benefits. Maria Sharapova burst onto the scene when she was just 17 as she won the Wimbledon title. That made her a huge star for many years to come, and after winning over $36 million in prize money, she is the second-most valuable female sportswoman of all time.
Serena Williams – Net worth $180 million
Serena Williams has dominated the world of tennis for a very long time, and she is not showing many signs of slowing down. She has 23 singles Grand Slams to her name already, and we’d bet she’ll add a few more to that list before she retires.
Being so good at winning has brought in stack loads of cash for Serena, whose net worth is estimated to be worth $180 million. It’s not just prize money making up her considerable wealth though, and her endorsement deal with Nike puts her head and shoulders above any other female for earning power.
These women have risen to the top of their sports and been paid handsomely for it. Not only do they make millions from prize money, but they’re a hit with the sponsors too and have become the top paid female athletes in history.