Sports Agent Earning Potential

Sports agents are responsible for finding athletes and selling them on the idea that they should represent them.

Once you have secured a client, there may be all sorts of options out there for them. It is the agent’s job to convince business executives to take a chance on their clients and to convince the client to endorse a product they may not like or may never have heard of.

An agent has to be resilient, motivating and pressure and push until he can’t push anymore. Remember, an agent does not get paid until the client is signed to a deal.


Sports agents may begin their career as former athletes, coaches or die hard sports fans that are business savvy and develop a reputation for success.

The first step is to get a degree. Each sports agent must have a college degree, but there are options as to what degree including:

  • Marketing
  • Business Administration
  • Sports Administration
  • Sports Management
  • Law


Agents typically have one of four methods to earn their income.

  • A Percentage of Players Contract Value
  • Charge by The Hour
  • Flat Fee
  • Combination of These

Taking a percentage of the player’s contract value is usually the most popular and typically amounts to anywhere from 3 percent to 5 percent.

Some agents, specifically those who have a law degree, charge by the hour. $400 an hour is standard for this method.

Depending on what the athlete is looking for, services may also be provided for a flat fee. This is usually the case when an athlete only needs short-term representation.

The fourth option is to use a combination of these three methods. For example, an agent may charge a standard percentage of the contract value for the base wage, and an hourly fee or flat fee to negotiate additional services such as product endorsement or public appearances.


As rewarding as it may sound, less than 5% of sports agents earn over $100,000 a year. In addition, it usually takes several years as an agent to build up the clientele and reputation to earn enough money to live on.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for a sports agent is about $87,000.

However, being a sports agent does have its perks. Some of the fun perks you would have as a sports agent is free admission to many sporting events including:

  • The League Draft
  • The Playoffs And Championship Games
  • All-Star Games
  • Player Award Ceremonies

Being a sports agent is highly competitive, and there are no promises that you will succeed. Around 50% of all certified sports agents do not have a single client and no clients means no income.


In the National Football League, as of the 2012 season, players get contracts anywhere in the range of $390,000 to $18 million.

An NFL agent can not charge more then 3% of the players salary, so the agent has the chance to earn anywhere from $11,700 to $540,000 for one contract negotiation.

This is strictly for the players’ annual salary and does include signing bonuses or any additional product endorsements or public appearance income. Agents usually charge anywhere from 5%-25% for these services.

The highest-paying organized sport in the U.S. is the NBA. Agents with clients in the NBA can make anywhere from $15,400 to $1,120,000 for a single players contract.

Players who earn more than the league’s minimum salary are allowed to pay an agent 4% of the total value of their contract.

For player endorsements an NBA sports agent’s commission usually varies between 4% and 10% of the athlete’s total income.

In Major League Baseball, the agent may charge whatever they wish for their services, but once an agent’s fee is subtracted, the player’s take-home pay must be more than the league minimum salary of $480,000.

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