TrackIsGood
How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 4:47PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was having a conversation today with someone who aspires to become a professional track athlete and I was trying to explain that doing track as a professional sport without a side job is going to be a tough slog because track is not a salaried sport like say playing in the NFL and you only earn money when you compete and do well on the circuit. I know of course that many of the top athletes have sizable endorsements deals that outweigh circuit earnings but does anyone know what athletes get paid for running at the various meets? Its funny for many pro sports you can go easily go online and find information like the top earners in the sport but not so for track. It would be nice to be able to see that for track & field - top earners - both with and without endorsement deals. But even for those athletes who can secure a shoe/apparel contract I suspect that the shoe companies may not be paying out as much money as they did in past years.
JimmyL
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 4:56PM - in reply to TrackIsGood Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Tell him to get a rabbiting gig. It's stabler and more lucrative.
ciego no más
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 5:58PM - in reply to TrackIsGood Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The key determining factor is their potential to make World and Olympic teams. If there's not a realistic shot at them doing that, they're better off trying to make extra cash on the roads.

Some sponsored athletes have contracts as low as $10-40,000, while others will have base pays in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then there are incentives for rankings, performances, medals, etc.
hsmiler16
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 6:42PM - in reply to ciego no más Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

ciego no más wrote:

The key determining factor is their potential to make World and Olympic teams. If there's not a realistic shot at them doing that, they're better off trying to make extra cash on the roads.

Some sponsored athletes have contracts as low as $10-40,000, while others will have base pays in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then there are incentives for rankings, performances, medals, etc.

Really? That's a lot more than I expected, but I believe you. What times qualify you for those different salaries? Are they mostly marathoners, or road racers, or milers?
ciego no más
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 6:56PM - in reply to hsmiler16 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Again, it comes down to their potential to make World and Olympic teams. Certainly there's more money in some events (the sprints) than others (steeplechase).
TrackIsGood
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 7:31PM - in reply to ciego no más Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thanks for the responses. I actually found something online just now but this is from 2004. It lists top men and womens earnings for that year. The numbers are much lower than I expected even accounting for the fact that it is six years ago.

http://www.trackprofile.com/prizemoney/2004.html
ciego no más
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 7:42PM - in reply to TrackIsGood Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If you have to worry about prize money, then you're not making much at all.
TrackIsGood
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 8:09PM - in reply to ciego no más Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Well my thing is why should the pro track athlete HAVE to rely on endorsements to get by. Few professional sports work that way - not basketball, football, baseball, tennis, golf or soccer. Sure many of those athletes have huge endorsement contracts that dwarf direct earning from the sport but my point is they do not need it to survive when they can make a decent income from actually playing the sport. If you look at golf for instance even pro golfers who finish way down the pack make good money.
yeamane
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 8:29PM - in reply to TrackIsGood Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
First of all nobody likes distance running it is painfully boring and a DUMB all around sport. Second, Americans don't even deserve the joke of the salary they get. They provide nothing to society. At least other athletes have fame and can use it to be a role model. Runners are too shy/skinny/lacking social skills/insecure. Third, americans are so SLOW. They should work at Denny's along with struggling actors who have yet to truly break in.
hat trick
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 8:38PM - in reply to yeamane Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

yeamane wrote:

Third, americans are so SLOW. They should work at Denny's along with struggling actors who have yet to truly break in.


YOu must live in that America only made up of white people. I call it Letsrun America.
Dwight K. Schrute
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 8:52PM - in reply to TrackIsGood Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I would say a generous $40,000/yr after all expenses etc...
Derson, Pamela Anne
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 8:56PM - in reply to yeamane Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

yeamane wrote:

... They provide nothing to society. At least other athletes have fame and can use it to be a role model. Runners are too shy/skinny/lacking social skills/insecure...


I would beg to differ about athletes providing us with role models. They don't. Tiger Woods? Barry Bonds? Steve Bertuzzi? Andre Agassi? Mike Tyson? Michael Vick? A-Rod? Marion Jones? Floyd Landis? Off the top of my head, I could list way more disgraced athletes, but you get my point. The thing that athletes DO provide society with is ENTERTAINMENT. THAT'S their value. And the thing about (distance) running is that most people don't find it entertaining to watch, so they're not willing to pay to watch it. Personally I would rather stare at a wall for 5 hours than watch NASCAR, but lots of people love it, so they pay to see it and the "athletes" get paid accordingly. Increase the entertainment value of running, the athletes will get paid more. Simple as that.
anotheropinion
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 9:08PM - in reply to Derson, Pamela Anne Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Derson, Pamela Anne wrote:


yeamane wrote:

... They provide nothing to society. At least other athletes have fame and can use it to be a role model. Runners are too shy/skinny/lacking social skills/insecure...


I would beg to differ about athletes providing us with role models. They don't. Tiger Woods? Barry Bonds? Steve Bertuzzi? Andre Agassi? Mike Tyson? Michael Vick? A-Rod? Marion Jones? Floyd Landis? Off the top of my head, I could list way more disgraced athletes, but you get my point. The thing that athletes DO provide society with is ENTERTAINMENT. THAT'S their value. And the thing about (distance) running is that most people don't find it entertaining to watch, so they're not willing to pay to watch it. Personally I would rather stare at a wall for 5 hours than watch NASCAR, but lots of people love it, so they pay to see it and the "athletes" get paid accordingly. Increase the entertainment value of running, the athletes will get paid more. Simple as that.



But along the same lines of those athletes being disgraced with crazy personal lifes, it is actually entertaining to hear about sometimes. Those athletes you listed often spurr controversy, and that i in itself entertainment. Running is just so boring especially because their are no real teams and you don't hear about who doesn't get along with who and so on and so forth. And runners as individuals are insanely boring.
TrackIsGood
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 9:20PM - in reply to anotheropinion Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
This is why I thought it was so insane when people started criticising Bolt in the Olympics for showboating. The guy provides an iconic moment for track and field that get people talking who would not normally talk about the sport and people here criticise him for it.

And what is more boring than golf on TV? Yet pro golfers make more than guys who do track. Something is wrong with compensation in our sport.
anotheropinion
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 9:23PM - in reply to TrackIsGood Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
No, I have way more respect for golfers than runners.
ciego no más
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/14/2010 9:49PM - in reply to TrackIsGood Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

TrackIsGood wrote:

Well my thing is why should the pro track athlete HAVE to rely on endorsements to get by. Few professional sports work that way - not basketball, football, baseball, tennis, golf or soccer. Sure many of those athletes have huge endorsement contracts that dwarf direct earning from the sport but my point is they do not need it to survive when they can make a decent income from actually playing the sport. If you look at golf for instance even pro golfers who finish way down the pack make good money.


Basketball, football, baseball and soccer players all have leagues, which pay them a set amount of money for a specified period of time, just as a shoe sponsor does for a professional track athlete. The Yankees offer a contract to a player to play for their club for three years for $9 million, just as New Balance offers a potential US Olympic star a five year contract for $200,000, in exchange for representing New Balance in all of the athlete's competitions.

Very few players in those major team sports of shoe contracts of any considerable size, because they're in their team uniforms nearly 100% of the time. How much does Nike get out of Rajon Rondo, given that he's in the official NBA gear (by adidas) whenever he's playing?

Pro golfers do have endorsement deals, though I can't say how much they are. There is so much more prize money in golf, and it's so deep that a guy way down on the list can come away with a significant dollar amount. It's also a bit different, in that every golfer (correct me if I'm wrong) is playing for the same thing in every tournament, whereas we have marathoners at this marathon or that marathon, and sprinters at this meet, and hammer throwers at Ostrava, etc.
runn
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/15/2010 5:24AM - in reply to JimmyL Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I know two people who signed shoe contracts- one for $50,000 and one for $4000. I've also known people who signed for just shoes, clothing and were on their own to win prize money.
I think there is a wide range.
Chair Jordan
RE: How Much Do Track Athletes Make ? 3/15/2010 7:19AM - in reply to runn Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I understand that some track athletes make a pretty good living if that have a decent enough day job.