THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL SPORTS AGENTS 2016
Try as you might, it’s nearly impossible to talk about professional athletes without acknowledging the people working behind the scenes. For if sports is a business, it’s up to sports agents to make sure their clients get paid. Here are the most powerful
Scott Boras ($132.3 million)
Scott Boras, quite literally a oneman corporation, is the top sports agent in the world. A native Californian and lawyer by trade, Boras is the only sports agent in the world with more than $2 billion in active player contracts. Both respected and feared by general managers and those who must negotiate against him, Boras has established himself as the most successful athlete advocate in the history of sports.
Jorge Mendes ($72.7 million)
Jorge Mendes has thrice been recognised as the very best— Fifa’s ‘Agent of the Year’ award— by his peers. Mendes, who once worked as a DJ after his soccer career ended prematurely, began his career focused primarily on Portuguese players. Currently, Mendes’ active client contracts are worth nearly $1 billion, headlined by Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sam & Seth Levinson ($55.4 million)
The Brothers Levinson are based (From left) Scott Boras; and Jorge Mendes out of Brooklyn, New York. A.C.E.S., the brainchild of the Levinsons, hosts nearly $900,000,000 in contracts of active Major League Baseball players. Recently, Sam and Seth Levinson architected Jon Lester’s contract with Chicago Cubs.
Casey Close ($55.1 million)
Although his career playing for the Yankees didn’t pan out the way he thought it would, Casey did go on to represent one of the players to wear Pinstripes—Derek Jeter. Following a career in the minors, Close joined IMG’s baseball division before eventually moving to CAA and then Excel Sports, where he now represents the likes of Freddie Freeman, Zach Greinke and Masahiro Tanaka.
Jeff Schwartz ($52.1 million)
Founder and president of Excel Sports, Jeff Schwartz has spent more than a decade as one of basketball’s top sports agents. Schwartz’s masterful negotiation of Kevin Love’s recent $109-m extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers has helped firmly cement Schwartz and Excel as leaders in sports representation and marketing.
Greg Genske ($47.6 million)
Greg Genske is one of the most dynamic agents in baseball. An international agent extraordinaire, Genske’s Newport Beach office serves as a home base for his extensive South and Latin American contacts. Genske’s clients include Jose Reyes, Maicer Izturis, and Angel Pagan.
Pat Brisson ($40.2 million)
CAA hockey co-head Brisson is one of the most prolific agents in the sport. Brisson has represented five number one NHL draft picks over the last decade, including Sidney Crosby, for whom be negotiated a 12-year, $104.4-million extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tom Condon ($39.6 million)
Tom Condon, a former offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs, is one of the most dynamic agents in all of sports. Condon earned his law degree during the offseason and even represented fellow teammates as an active player. Condon served as the president of the NFLPA from 1984-1986.
Jonathan Barnett ($37.6 million)
While Barnett’s first client was legendary cricket player Brian Lara, he has made a name for himself since then representing some of the world’s best soccer players. Representing well over 100 players throughout dozens of global leagues, Barnett manages the largest roster of clients of any single agent in the Forbes Top 50. Barnett is also often given credit for introducing Lennox Lewis into professional boxing.
Mino Raiola ($35.6 million)
The enigmatic Raiola has made a name for himself representing the world’s most elite soccer players. While not much is known about his methods, Raiola has attracted a stable of clients who have not only great skills, but enormous popularity among fans. Included among those are Italian striker Mario Balotelli and the salty Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.