Master of Science in Sport Management Online

4 Top Sport Managers Today

The opportunity to become a professional athlete is a career option limited to those who have been gifted with athletic prowess, had the good fortune — or good sense — to discover that ability, and the patience to develop those skills. When those aspects fall into place, the contracts these professionals land can be worth up to $400 million.

Of course, maintaining that level of athletic excellence isn’t something most sports players can do forever. Injuries happen, popularity fades, and the passage of time makes hitting the mark a little more difficult with each passing year. In the end, the average NBA player earns $24.7 million throughout his 4.8-year-long career, the average MLB player earns $17.9 million throughout his 5.6-year-long career, and the average NFL player earns $6.7 million throughout his 3.5-year-long career. It is a lot of money, but there are people behind the scenes who have the chance to make even more — sports agents.

Sports agents in the MLB earn 4 to 5 percent of their players’ salaries as a commission, but that is an average. In reality, there is little limitto what they can charge. There are limits in the NFL, where sports agents’ salaries are capped at 3 percent of a player’s contract, and in the NBA, where agent fees are limited to 4 percent of players’ contracts.

Additionally, the more people agents manage, the more commissions they get, and like any profession, sport management has its stars. Here are some important figures that students of sport management can look up to:

Scott Boras, Boras Corporation

Image via Flickr by MissChatter

Forbes lists Scott Boras as the number one sports agent for 2014. He is one of the most popular agents in the MLB and has been for over 20 years. Boras has played point on almost $2 billion in current player contracts, earning some $100 million for his efforts. An attorney by training, he is a skilled negotiator. His client list includes Barry Zito, Prince Fielder, and Matt Holliday.

Don Meehan, Newport Sports Management

Don Meehan is primarily a hockey agent. Based in Canada, this man has been a sports agent for more than three decades. Today, he represents over one hundred NHL players and has negotiated over $1 billion in current player contracts. His estimated cut is $44 million. His clients include Zach Parise, Drew Doughty, and Brad Richards.

Tom Condon, Creative Artists Agency

Tom Condon’s business is football. A former NFL player, he gets the business and has used that knowledge to negotiate roughly $1.3 billion in contracts for current players. His client list includes Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees.

Arn Tellem, Wasserman Media Group

Arn Tellem is a basketball man. He has negotiated over $1 billion in current contracts for players in the NBA. His clients include Derrick Rose, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joe Johnson, and Pau Gasol.

The best sports agents in the world command over $1 billion in player contracts and earn millions of dollars in commissions every year. Over the course of a multi-decade career, that figure can swell to more than what many players get.