There's no doubt that sports are big business in America. Most major athletes and their coaches bring in six-figure salaries. Basketball and baseball are amongst the highest paying sports, with athletes earning on average $4.9 million and $3.82 million per year, respectively. It's not surprising, then, that most sports agencies operate out of luxurious skyscrapers in New York or sprawling beachfront compounds in California.
However, it's not all West Coast mansions and East Coast tower blocks for the sports agency scene. Many smaller sports outfits are spread across the country. Here, we look at some of the nation's top sports agencies by state and find out where the best athletes make a living.
Top Sports Agencies by State
Home to the two most successful sports agencies in America, California is the country's leading state when it comes to sports management.
Based in Los Angeles, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) is the largest in the country, boasting a massive 828 clients and paying out $419.3 million in commissions per year. CAA manages a whopping $8.86 billion in contracts and is home to 11 of the top 50 sports agents in the country, including Aaron Mintz, Tom Condon, and Pat Brisson.1
Coming in a close second is Wasserman, another LA-based agency with $331.4 million in commissions and 727 clients. Wasserman has been on a drive recently to buy up smaller agencies like Key Sports and Acme World, helping it to compete for first place in Forbes’ rankings.2 Wasserman focuses on a wide range of sports such as basketball, baseball, football, hockey, golf, and soccer, and has top agents including Doug Hendrickson, Adam Katz, and Joel Wolfe.2
Outside of LA, in Newport Beach, you'll find the state's third-largest agency, Boras Corporation, founded by America's leading sports agent Scott Boras. Despite only holding 81 clients, the agency added almost a billion dollars to its contract value in 2020, paying out $161 million in commissions.3
New York City is host to the state's largest sports agency, Excel Sports Management, with 183 clients and $191.9 million in annual commissions. The agency deals in basketball, baseball, and golf, managing stars like Tiger Woods, Kevin Love, and Jason Heyward. With 183 clients and almost $4 billion in contract value, Excel Sports Management is the country's third-largest sports agency.4
In Brooklyn, New York, you'll find famous baseball agency ACES, a smaller outfit with only 91 clients and just under a billion dollars in contracts. Led by brothers Sam and Seth Levinson, ACES paid out $45.8 million in commissions last year, managing top players like Dustin Pedroia and Charlie Blackmon.5
Rosenhaus Sports Representation (RSR) is the sunshine state's leading sports agency, with 103 clients and just over $1 billion in contracts. Led by one of the nation's leading and most controversial agents, Drew Rosenhaus, RSR is based in Miami Beach and manages top NFL athletes like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Rob Gronkowski and the Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill.6
Based in Weston, Florida, Sports Capital Group (SCG) is an upcoming sports agency representing football stars like JR Reed of the Philadelphia Eagles, Andre Hall of the Houston Texans, and the Dallas Cowboys' Oliver Hoyte. Founded by leading agent Jonathan Kline in 2002, SCG currently has 13 clients and has reported annual revenue of approximately $270,000, so far, in 2021.7
Select Sports Group, based out of Houston, Texas, is a football sports agency representing the likes of Chicago Bears linebacker Robert Quinn, Frank Clark of the Chiefs, and Bucs guard Ali Marpet.
With 87 clients across the country, Select Sports Group secured $991 million worth of contracts in 2020, paying out $29.7 million in commissions. Led by three top agents, it's the 31st largest sports agency in America with contracts for over 50 Super Bowl players and 30 Pro Bowlers.8
Priority Sports and Entertainment, based in Chicago, Illinois, is the 24th largest sports agency in the US. With $1.17 billion in contracts across 83 clients, the agency focuses on basketball and football. Top clients include basketball players Gordon Hayward of the Charlotte Hornets, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, and NFL quarterback Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings.9
Based in Orland Park, Chicago, Integrity Sports Agency (ISA) is one of the largest sports agencies in Illinois and has a main focus on basketball players. Led by certified sports agent Anthony Fletcher, its aim is to ensure that athletes receive honest representation and guidance. ISA's core principles are based on Fletcher's stated commitment to “F.A.I.T.H”: forthrightness, accountability, integrity, trust, and honesty.10
Secure your place in America's athletic future.
Getting your foot in the door at one of these leading agencies requires more than just experience. If you want to upgrade your sports management acumen and improve the quality of jobs available to you, an online master's in sport management will separate you from the competition. Many of the country’s leading sports management firms look for experience combined with top-quality education to ensure they get the best agents caring for their clients.
The University of Kansas offers a convenient master's in sport management* that can be completed from the comfort and safety of your own home. As a university that is globally recognized as an athletic powerhouse, a master's from KU will set you up for the best management positions at the country's leading sports agencies.
*This program is a Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in health, sport management, and exercise science with an emphasis in sport management.
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from forbes.com/sports-agencies/list/
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from forbes.com/companies/wasserman/?list=sports-agencies&sh=aa167884813f
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from forbes.com/sites/jasonbelzer/2020/12/22/the-worlds-most-powerful-sports-agents-2020-scott-boras-shows-his-clients-the-money
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from forbes.com/companies/excel-sports-management/
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from forbes.com/profile/sam-seth-levinson/
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drew_Rosenhaus
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from dnb.com/business-directory/company-profiles.sports_capital_group_inc.b9fdbfe842707c05b3684e73eb3c4131.html
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from ssgfootball.com/who-we-are
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from prioritysports.biz/basketball/contracts/
- Retrieved on April 25, 2021, from integritysportsagency.com/f-a-i-t-h/