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Data: Forbes; Table: Axios Visuals

The pandemic may have upended the sports world, but business is booming for its top agencies.

By the numbers: The 40 most valuable sports agencies in the world negotiated deals worth over $56 billion in 2020 and brought in commissions worth $2.9 billion — a 10% rise from 2019 and a 55% gain since 2015, per Forbes.

  • Creative Artists Agency tops the rankings for 2020 and was the top agency by commissions in the NFL and NBA, second in the NHL and fourth in MLB.
  • Klutch Sports Group — founded by LeBron James' agent Rich Paul — had the best year, jumping all the way to No. 8 in terms of contracts negotiated.

Top agents: MLB superagent Scott Boras sits atop the list after negotiating $3.2 billion worth of contracts and bringing in $161.1 million in commissions.

  • Rounding out the top five are three soccer agents — Jonathan Barnett, Jorge Mendes and Mino Raiola — and NBA agent Jeff Schwartz.
  • The rest of the top 10 features three MLB agents — Casey Close, Joel Wolfe, and Sam and Seth Levinson — plus Paul and NFL agent David Mulugheta.

Go deeper

Jan 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Exclusive: Forbes launches massive expansion of paid newsletters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forbes is launching a newsletter platform that will allow journalists to launch their own paid newsletters and split the revenue with the 103-year-old publisher, executives tell Axios.

The big picture: Forbes will hire 20-30 writers with big followings to help get the platform up and running. It later plans to add some of its existing editorial verticals to the platform and make the offering available to its 2,800-person contributor network.

27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

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