Courtesy of Boras Corp
Named for founder and powerful MLB agent Scott Boras (left, with client Juan Soto), the agency continued to lift the fortunes of baseball players and all professional athletes by negotiating multiple blockbuster deals. Boras Corp. negotiated $640 million in deals before the MLB lockout, accounting for more than one-third of the $1.7 billion spent in November. Boras, who has broken numerous records for his clients at different levels of the game over the past few decades, broke another by negotiating the highest average annual salary for an MLB player — $43.3 million for pitcher Max Scherzer. Boras holds the record for the first $50 million, $100 million, $200 million and $330 million contracts.
CAA Sports negotiated record-breaking deals for clients and emerged as a leader in the new business of name, image and likeness, negotiating nearly seven figures in deals for Alabama quarterback Bryce Young before he took a snap in college football. In pro football, the agency represented 17 players on the NFL’s top 100 list and negotiated Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s six-year, $258 million deal. CAA Sports also made Angels pitcher/slugger Shohei Ohtani (right) arguably the most marketed player in MLB by negotiating long-term partnerships with nearly a dozen companies, including Asics, Japan Airlines, Seiko, Descente, Oakley, Topps, Hugo Boss, New Era, Panini, and Nishikawa Co.
Courtesy of Excel Sports Management
Excel Sports Management
Among the best young athletes in sports that Excel Sports Management signed was No. 1 NBA Draft pick Cade Cunningham for work both on and off the court, in addition to Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 NFL Draft pick for off-the-field work. The agency also represented NFL Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert for marketing and NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, while watching respective Hall of Fame inductions for longtime clients Derek Jeter (above), Peyton Manning and Paul Pierce. The agency launched Excel Media and was involved in securing documentaries for Jeter (“The Captain”) and Joe Montana (“Cool Under Pressure”).
Courtesy of Adidas
Klutch Sports Group
Klutch Sports Group continued to solidify its prominent NBA and NFL player representation businesses while expanding into new areas, including representing WNBA players and launching a media and content company, Klutch Originals, that serves as the agency’s production arm. Klutch represented six NBA All-Stars, including LeBron James and Trae Young (above). It negotiated multiple endorsements for clients, including Young’s signature shoe deal, the Adidas Trae Young 1, as well as partnerships with eBay, Pepsi and FedEx for client Chase Young, the NFL defensive rookie of the year.
Octagon was crowned the winner in this space last year and continues to prove itself as the thought leader when it comes to talent representation. The agency represents athletes across sports including icons like gymnast Simone Biles( right), and NBA stars Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo in a variety of roles. Octagon negotiated multiple endorsements for Biles going into the Tokyo Olympics, including a deal in which she switched from Nike to Athleta. In basketball, Octagon doubled endorsement deals for 2021 NBA Finals MVP Antetokounmpo and negotiated a $215 million, four-year playing contract for Curry, making him the first player in league history with two $200 million-plus deals.
Courtesy of Wasserman
Wasserman innovated its representation of athletes by being an early entrant in representing players in the new name, image and likeness space while growing its overall business. Wasserman’s NIL clients included Paige Bueckers (left), Sedona Prince, Isaiah Mobley, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Cameron Brink and Sarah Fuller, among others. Wasserman’s growth throughout 2021 was highlighted by the acquisitions of Paradigm Music (rebranded as Wasserman Music) and The Montag Group. The addition of The Montag Group bolsters Wasserman’s existing sports media and broadcasting roster, adding world-class executives, agents and services. At the Tokyo Olympics, meanwhile, Wasserman clients won a total of 37 medals — 17 gold, two silver, and 17 bronze.