It might come as a surprise, but in the cut-throat world of sports agency, the person with the most clients isn't necessarily the richest. In fact, it has more to do with the client contracts than the actual number on the agent's roster.
Agents such as Mark Bartelstein negotiated a singular contract, a claim to sports agency fame that earned his NBA client $26.5 million a year, a sum which attracted many other professional basketball players, expanding his clientele. With a select skill set that includes stellar negotiation tactics, there's a reason these agents are among the richest in the world.
Nez Balelo Negotiated Around $3 Billion In Active Contracts
After a devastating injury took him from playing infielder for the MLB, Nez Baleo began working for the Atlanta Braves in a Hybrid development program in a consulting and scouting role. Ten years later, Balelo left the Braves organization to start his own agency, taking players he developed during those years as a jumping-off point.
Fast forward three years, and Balelo is one of the leading MLB agents in the world. Now co-head of CAA Sports' baseball division, Balelo represents 49 MLB players, including Adam Jones, Jean Segura, and Ryan Braun. In 2019, he negotiated around $3 billion in contracts, earning him an annual commission of $29.6 million.
Constantin Dumitrascu's Annual Commission Is $107 Million
Working for the Mondial Sports Management, Romanian sports agent Constantin Dumitrascu is known for his quiet, business-like approach to contract negotiations, which has helped him gain many professional sports clubs' trust. Specializing in professional football (soccer) contracts, Dumitrascu's player contracts are valued at a little over one billion dollars.
His roster currently includes 87 clients, including Phillipe Coutinho, Nemanja Matic, Kante N'Gol, Edinson Cavani, and Douglas Costa. Dumitrascu's annual commission is around $107 million, making him one of the highest-earning sports agents in the world, not to mention one of the best in the eyes of management and clubs.
Jorge Mendes' Client Contracts Total $770 Million
Football (soccer) agent Jorge Mendes is one of the best in the world, being voted the FIFA's Agent of the Year by his peers at the Globe Soccer Awards for ten consecutive years. As head of the GestiFute company, Mendes specializes solely in Portuguese players, dropping his annual commission down significantly from that of Scott Boras and Constantin Dumitrascu.
Even so, the "super-agent" has 102 clients, including huge names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa, Bernardo Silva, and Angel Di Maria. In total, his clients are under contract with their teams for just under $770 million a year, giving Mendes an annual commission of $77 million.
Sam And Seth Levinson's Combined Commission Is $67 Million
Behind one of baseball's most powerful sports agencies, ACES, is the dynamic brother duo of Sam and Seth Levinson. Privately owned and operated for more than 30 years, the brothers' agency manages 68 active MLB clients, totaling over one billion dollars, as of 2019.
Some of their top deals include a $155 million, six-year contract with Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, and a $110 million, eight-year contract with Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Annually, the brothers' combined commission totals around $67 million.
Drew Rosenhaus Earns Around $34.5 Million In Commissions
Becoming a registered sports agent at the young age of 22, Drew Rosenhaus has made quite a reputation over the years, running his Miami-based Rosenhaus Sports agency with an iron fist and earning the nickname "The Shark."
Specializing in professional American football players, Rosenhaus represents more than 170 NFL players and has negotiated around $8 billion worth of active contracts, as of 2019. Some of his major clients include Rob Gronkowski, Frank Gore, Joe Haden, and T.Y. Hilton. With his high-profile clients' hefty salaries, in 2019, Rosenhaus saw $34.5 million in commissions.
Todd France Brought In $44.8 Million
As of 2020, sports agent Todd France decided to leave Creative Artists Agency, joining the team of the Laguna Hills, California-based sports agency Athletes First. Representing 70 NFL players, France is planning on bringing his clients with him to the new agency, potentially changing the agency game across the league, according to Sports Business Journal.
As of 2019, France has personally negotiated over $1 billion in contracts for players such as Dak Prescott, Aaron Rodgers, and DeAndre Hopkins. From the total sum of those contracts, France brought in $44.8 million in commissions.
Greg Genske Earns Around $48.6 Million
Since 2004, Greg Genske has been part-owner and CEO of LS Legacy Sports Group, specializing in baseball players coming from Central and South American countries. As the agency's head negotiator for client contracts, Genske has proven to be one of the best. One of his more notable deals was record-breaking.
In 2008, Genske negotiated a seven-year contract for former Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia for $116 million. At the time, it was the largest pitcher contract in MLB history. Now, Genske represents 103 clients, earning $48.6 million from his clients' $593 million contracts.
Scott Boras Has A Net Worth Of $450 Million
Since 2013, Forbes magazine has named Scott Boras the "Most Powerful Sports Agent in the World." Specializing in baseball, Boras holds individual contracts of roughly 175 players in the MLB. Some of his more prizes clients include Jacoby Ellsbury, Prince Fielder, Stephen Strasburg, and Chris Davis.
Boras is a lawyer, a trade that has helped him amass around two billion dollars worth of contractual agreements. In December 2019 alone, Boras' clients' contracts totaled a billion dollars, an astounding sum. The self-employed sports agent accrues around $108 million in commission per year. As of 2020, Boras has a net worth of $450 million.
Don Meehan Earned $33.38 In Commission In 2018
Former McGill University football player Don Meehan decided to turn down a partnership offer from Toronto law firm Blaney, Pasternak, in favor of opening a sports agency. In 1981, Meehan founded Newport Sports Management Inc., an agency that focuses on professional hockey players. The agency now represents over 100 players, with 40 under Meehan.
Ranked as the No. 2 hockey agent in the world in 2018, Meehan negotiated $802.7 million in active contracts in 2018, including the contracts of Henrik Lundqvist, Zach Parise, Steven Stamkos, and Phil Kessell. The total active contracts earned Meehan a commission of $33.38 million in 2018.
Tom Condon Earned $46.6 Million In Commission In 2019
In 2006, Sporting News named Tom Condon, the most powerful agent in American football. Earning a law degree from the University of Baltimore during the off-season, this former Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman began representing teammates while still playing on the field.
Now heading the football division at the Creative Artists Agency, the former NFL player represents huge names in the league, including Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, J.J. Watt, and recently retired Eli Manning. Even though he's not considered one of the "top ten agents," Condon's negotiating skills have his clients' contracts totaling over $1.7 billion, earning him around $46.6 million in commission in 2019.
Casey Close Rakes In $65 Million On Commission Alone
One year after becoming associated with the famous IMG agency, in 1993, Casey Close began representing former Yankee's shortstop Derek Jeter. Now working for the baseball division at Excel Sports Management, Close is considered one of the leading sports agents in the MLB, representing 47 clients for a total of $1.3 billion in contracts.
Even with a smaller handful of clients, Close still negotiates high salaries for his all-star players. Some of his more high-profile clients include Clayton Kershaw, Dexter Fowler, Paul Goldschmidt, Masahiro Tanaka, and Zack Greinke. With his clients' high contractual salaries, Close rakes in around $65 million on commission alone.
Jeff Schwartz Walks Away With $72.5 Million Annually
Beginning his career in the tennis division at IMG in 1993, Jeff Schwartz has become one of the world's leading NBA sports agents. Founding Excel Sports Management in 2002, Schwartz now represents 53 clients, including big names such as Andre Drummond, Kevin Love, and Blake Griffin.
As of 2020, Schwartz has negotiated more than $1.8 billion in contracts, including client endorsement deals with huge brand names such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, and Red Bull, to name a few. From his clients' contracts, Schwartz walks away with $72.5 million per year.
In 2019, Jonathan Barnett Had $1.75 Billion In Possible Commissions
According to Forbes, Jonathan Barnett is the world's most powerful sports agent. Specializing in football (soccer), Barnett is the founder and now a chairman of the Stellar Group Limited and has represented some of the top names in football for the past two decades.
With over 200 clients, Barnett has negotiated some of the biggest football contracts, including Welsh winger Gareth Bale's whopping $33 million per year contract with Real Madrid. In 2019, Barnett closed $37.5 billion in player contracts, giving him a possible total commission of $1.75 billion for the year.
In 2019, Pat Brisson Earned $42.9 Million In Commission
Co-head and agent for the Hockey Division of Creative Artists Agency, Forbes named Pat Brisson the 9th most powerful agent in 2017. Now, a few years later, he's still one of the leading professional hockey agents around, representing high-clientele throughout his career, such as Hall of Fame inductees Chris Chelios and Luc Robitaille.
As of Forbes' 2019 agents list, Brisson has negotiated over $1 billion in active NHL contracts, including the $104 million, 12-year deal for Sidney Crosby with the Pittsburg Penguins. With his total contracts, Brisson raked in $42.9 million in commission for 2019.
Joel Segal's Negotiated $1 Billion In Active Contracts
Before becoming one of the most prominent sports agents in the world of football, Joel Segal graduated magna cum laude from George Washington University and earned his Juris Doctorate from Hofstra Law School, making him a top negotiator for his high-profile clientele.
As head of the head of Lagardère Sports' football division, Segal's negotiated around $1 billion in active contracts for NFL stars such as Trumaine Johnson, Khalil Mack, Kawann Short, and multiple first-round picks for the past 14 consecutive years. According to Forbes, in 2019, Segal brought in $35.5 million in yearly commission.
Mino Raiola Earns $43.5 In Commission
Founder and owner of his own agency, Mino Raiola has represented some of football's biggest names (soccer) after a brief stint as a player himself. How he manages his 55 high-profile clients is a mystery, but one that has a high payout.
Negotiating $434.7 million in contracts for players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Marco Verratti, Raiola has raked in around $43.5 million per year in commissions alone. His well-established career has made Raiola one of the world's premier football agents.
Volker Struth -- $43.7 Million In Commission
Head of the Bundesliga agency giant SportsTotal, Volker Struth, is considered Germany's leading football (soccer) agent. In 2018, he was named one of the top eight most successful agents in the world by Forbes, a station Struth believes he came across due to the fact that he doesn't see himself as just a manager, but a transmitter of values since he came from very humble beginnings.
Struth is now among one of the world's richest sports agents, representing 89 clients and negotiating $437.3 million in active contracts in 2019. With his clients' contracts, Struth earned $43.7 million in commissions that year.
In 2019, Mark Bartelstein's Annual Commission Was $34.7 Million
Unlike other agents on this list, Mark Bartelstein didn't go to law school; rather, he's an investment banker. Founding Priority Sports agency in 1985, Bartelstein made a name for running one of the world's premier NFL and NBA agencies.
His claim to fame is the contract he negotiated for Cleveland Cavaliers John Williams, a sixth man who wound up with a seven-year contract for $26.5 million per year. The deal attracted many NBA stars to Barelstein's agency, including Gordon Hayward, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Bradley Beal. In 2019, Barelstein negotiated $850 million in active NBA contracts, raking in an annual commission of $34.7 million.
Joel Wolfe Earned A 2019 Commission Of $50.8 Million
Former minor league baseball player Joel Wolfe set aside his cleats and became the Executive Vice President of the Wasserman sports agency. Specializing in baseball, Wolfe represents 47 clients, including high-profile players such as Brandon Crawford, Kyle Hendricks, and Giancarlo Stanton.
Currently, Wolfe's claim to sports agency fame is the contract he negotiated for New York Yankees' player Giancarlo Stanton, 13-years for $325 million, the largest deal in MLB history, at the time. Wolfe's 2019 commission of $50.8 million came from his clients' contract total of more than $1 billion.
Dan Lozano Raked In $40.1 Million In 2019
Even after 23 years as a professional sports agent, Dan Lozano is still one of the most mysterious men in the business, although he has made some of the biggest deals in MLB history. Specializing in baseball, Lozano negotiated Manny Machado's ten-year, $300 million deal with the Padres organization as well as Cincinnati Red's player Joey Votto's $225 million extension.
Working for MVP Sports Group, Lozano represents a small group of MLB players, 13. Even so, he still brings in the big bucks. In 2019, Lozano raked in $40.1 million in commissions from the $803 million he negotiated in active contracts.