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Commissioners Cashed In Despite Pandemic

  • The executives have benefited from an influx of bonuses, incentives, and benefits packages.
  • Between 2019 and 2020, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made $128 million.
Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Commissioners throughout professional sports took pay cuts during the pandemic, but some were handsomely rewarded as their overall compensation reached new heights. 

The executives have benefited from an influx of bonuses, incentives, and benefits packages. 

In 2020, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took a significant pay cut amid financial uncertainty due to the pandemic. Goodell, who became commissioner in 2006, had a salary of $0 in 2020. 

Yet the 63-year-old still pocketed $63.9 million that year from bonuses and other benefits. 

Between 2019 and 2020, Goodell made $128 million. The earnings were fueled by the NFL’s $113 billion in media deals with CBS, NBC, Disney, Fox, and Amazon. 

Goodell also benefited from a new collective bargaining agreement approved in 2020. 

  • PGA commissioner Jay Monahan also didn’t take a salary in 2020.
  • But he still earned $14.1 million in 2020 — Monahan’s largest compensation package to date. 

The PGA also awarded its staff — including executives —  $130.5 million in 2020, up from $123.3 million a year prior. 

Leading the Pack 

Goodell stands to increase his earning potential with the recent financial success of America’s most popular professional sports league. 

The NFL reportedly generated $11.1 billion in revenue during the 2021 season, totaling $343.75 million in revenue for each of the league’s 32 franchises. The results represented a 12% increase compared to the 2020 season thanks to a 23% increase in sponsorship revenue.

The league hopes to boost its revenue to $25 billion annually by 2027.

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