Sports are a uniting factor for many of us. Most of us have participated in youth or school sports at one point in our lives. We have all watched a collegiate or professional level game, too. 

Sports provide entertainment and might even create an undeniable amount of stress depending on which team you are rooting for. There are more ways than you may realize for athletes to make money. 

Alternate revenue streams are essential for athletes who may be looking to retire, so creating strong connections and sources of income while at peak performance can allow athletes to establish more valuable partnerships. 

The most apparent source of income for athletes is their salary tied to the sport they play. Here are five other ways athletes are making extra money.


Fans love to rock the latest swag their favorites are representing. They especially love exclusive merchandise created by or for their favorite player. 

A shirt with the player's best-known phrase or a design created by the athlete can sell out quickly, depending on the athlete. A merchandise line could be a great introduction into the world of sales metrics and business for life off of the court.


Another commonly thought source of money for athletes comes from sponsorships and endorsements. We often see athletes as spokespeople for a particular shoe or clothing brand, drink, or even food. 

Companies know that having a famous athlete speak for their product can boost sales, especially when they are at their prime. 

Sponsorships can include wearing the products, posting about the brand or company on social media, and being photographed or recorded for commercials and other marketing materials.


Young players aspire to be like their role models. Skills camps and lessons are ways for athletes to spend time teaching the youth the skills of their game and make extra money. Clinics and camps will draw in tons of kids. 

Big-name athletes may not need to market as much, but with enough promotion, almost any professional athlete can get great attendance. 

These young kids are often looking for guidance and fine-tuning of the skills that professional athletes possess. Finding ways to incorporate training drills and solid advice for training, school, dedication, and career paths can significantly help these hopeful youth athletes.


Public speaking events are another excellent way for athletes to earn extra money. An athlete who has overcome adversity or can share a beneficial message will be highly desired as a motivational speaker. 

Engagements can include schools, camps, conferences, and many other events. Coordinating for these events may be a challenge, and many individuals choose to focus on this after retirement or during the offseason. 

Topics such as sacrifice, adversity, triumphs, and fame can all be covered. Public speaking may be a source of anxiety for many, but some will thrive with the chance to captivate a crowd.

Social media has led to ways for people to make money posting videos on platforms such as YouTube. The greater the exposure of the material created by an athlete, the more profitable it becomes. 

Some may even consider making their streaming channel if their fanbase is loyal and their videos gain enough interest.


Stars with a particularly compelling story or impressive career may be able to get a book deal. Fans love to read books about their favorite athletes' lives, struggles, successes, and careers. 

Often, the individual pairs with an author to co-write a book based on facts and stories. Greats such as Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Abby Wambach, and Andre Agassi have all written autobiographies that have gained major notoriety from readers.


Opportunities for athletes do not exist solely on the field or court. Capitalizing on additional chances as they arise, especially at the peak of an athletic career, can yield monetary benefits for years to come. 

There are many avenues worth exploring to help diversify your income aside from the sports salary. Thinking ahead, planning well, and taking advantage of unique and beneficial chances as they arise can provide financial stability for the future.


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