Sports agents' salaries range widely based on a number of factors. Agents are paid on a commission basis, so earnings are dependent upon the salaries of their clients. Salaries also depend on whether the agent works for a marketing firm or represents his or her own clients.
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Agents that work for a marketing firm often receive a base salary in addition to perks and incentives. According to Pay Scale, the average base salary ranges from £25,740 to £52,902 a year.
Agents representing a firm often receive a bonus for various performance benchmarks. These bonuses can be based on meeting certain salary thresholds for clients, client retention or simply longevity. The average bonus, according to PayScale, ranges from £1,300 to £9,100 annually.
In addition to base salary and bonuses, agents working for firms also receive commissions. These commissions are paid either by a flat stipend per client or a percentage of negotiated earnings for clients. PayScale reports the annual average for commissions to range from £27,300 to £91,000.
Sports agents, or their firms, are paid based on a percentage of an athlete's salary. Most athletes share an industry standard 4 per cent of their salary and performance bonuses. This means an agent or his firm would be paid £26,000 for every £0.6 million earned. However, the NFL Players Association mandates agents receive a maximum of 3 per cent. Agents of NFL players earn anywhere from £4,387 to £390,000. Major League Baseball agents earn between £7,800 to £572,000 a year. NBA agents earn between £10,010 and £728,000, while NHL agents earn £9,100 to £260,000. Because each league sets different minimum salaries for their athletes, and the highest salaries differ from league to league, agents or their firms make differing amounts from the various sports.
In addition to salaries, agents (or their firms) are compensated a percentage of endorsements of professional athletes. While the percentage can range anywhere from 5 per cent to 80 per cent of the endorsement deal, typically agents earn 15 per cent to 20 per cent. An endorsement of £6 million would mean £1.0 million to £1.3 million paid to the agent.
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