A pro bowler makes an average of $40,000 to $50,000 yearly. However, while that is an average, some professionals can make much more than that, especially if they win prize money. Along with a salary and prize money, professional bowlers can earn more through endorsements and other marketing activities during the year, which raises their annual earnings.
So, how much does the average PBA bowler make, and how does prize money factor in potential earnings? Who are some of the highest-paid pro-bowler of all time? How much do you win in a PBA tournament, and how much do they earn in sponsorships? Finally, what is the salary and earnings breakdown between men and women professional bowlers?
Here is how much professional bowlers make and more!
How Much Does the Average PBA bowler Make?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average professional bowling salary is around $50k. The average salary depends on numerous factors, but location is one of the biggest reasons for higher or lower compensation. For example, according to that same breakdown from ZipRecruiter, New York City yields the highest annual salary.
However, like any average, there are always outliers in the sport. For instance, Norm Duke is one of the most famous professional bowlers in the sport. His net worth is around $4 million from his winning prize money, player of the year awards, sponsorships, and more throughout their career.
Do Professional Bowlers Earn More Now or Less Today?
The current day salary of a professional bowler is around $50k. However, it is a drastic decrease from what many would call professional bowling’s “golden age “during the 1970s and 80s, when some players made more money than players in the NFL. This “golden age” was when bowling salaries were easily in the six-figure digits.
However, wages have decreased with the decline in popularity and significant sponsors moving on to different sports and their professional athletes.
Who is the Highest Paid Pro Bowler of All-time?
The highest-paid pro-bowler is Walter Ray Williams Jr, who has the most titles in PBA history with 47, and in total, as of 2019, has made $4.9 million.
What are the Top 5 Salaries in PBA?
Bowlers on the PBA tours are the top pro bowlers across the country, so they would get the majority of sponsorship opportunities and be some of the highest-paid bowlers. As for the top 5 salaries for players with PBA memberships after the 2022 season.
- Jason Belmonte – $302,525
- Anthony Simonsen – $274,975
- Kris Pather – $222,750
- Kyle Troup – $213,950
- Dom Barrett – $201,595
How Much Do You Win in a PBA Tournament?
Aside from sponsorship and endorsement deals, winning PBA tournaments are the primary way players make money. The more players win tournaments, the more money they make. When a player gets first place in some of the more high-profile PBA tournament events, they can win up to $100,000. However, if it is a small-scale event with little attention, a player will earn around $30,000.
In addition, the runner-up usually wins about half of what the winner wins.
How Much Do Professional Bowlers Make in Sponsorships?
Every bowler at the professional level can make money from sponsorships. How much money they make from sponsorship deals often depends on their skill level and how often they win. This way, the player can ask more in return for using the company’s logo on their shirt and any other marketing activity.
How Much Do Women Pro Bowlers Make Compared to Men?
Professional bowlers earn around $45,000 – $50,000, according to Zip Recruiter, typically without sponsorships or endorsements. Meanwhile, some top male bowlers can make a few hundred thousand dollars a season. According to PWBA, the highest earnings tend to be less than a hundred thousand dollars for women, which puts it far below what men make, along with the average salary.
Is the Sport Growing in TV Viewership to Gain More Sponsors?
One of the ways bowlers look to make more money is through sponsors, and sponsors look for ways to advertise to a large audience. One popular way to promote to a large audience is through TV viewership, which is why sponsors constantly look at TV ratings for professional bowling (and other sport) matches.
For example, according to Newsday.com, the USBC Masters had just under 900k viewers tune in for it. Those viewers were up almost 40% from a year ago, which is positive for the sport. Sponsors will look at trends like this over a long sample size to see if they should invest in PBA more, which would only help professional bowlers make even more money for their skillset.
Conclusion: How Much Do Pro Bowlers Make?
Bowlers in the professional bowler’s association are some of the country’s top performers and average around $50,000 in annual salary. Bowlers back in the 1960’s made more due to the sport being more popular, but today, the attention on the sport could be better, which decreases earning potential. Still, it can be a lucrative sport with the help of sponsors if a bowler can secure them, which can help raise their salary.
Winning events on bowling tours can also bring in a substantial amount of money. That is how people like Jason Belmonte were able to be on the top of the list for the 2022 season and how Walter Ray Williams Jr was able to make so much money throughout his career.
Unfortunately, women in bowling tend to make far less than men. Part of the reason for fewer earnings is the attention the PWBA can yield with sponsors and TV deals. With less attention on the league, professional bowlers’ profits in PWBA tend to be far less than men.