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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.

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.

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