Priority Sports and Entertainment
Priority Sports is one of the largest independently owned sports agencies in America. It was founded in 1985 by Mark Bartelstein, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley. In 2013, Priority Sports & Entertainment was recognized as one of the top 10 World's Most Valuable Sports Agencies and the top 8 Most Valuable NFL Agencies by Forbes.In 2014, Priority Sports was recognized as the #7 World's Most Valuable Sports Agencies by Forbes with $560 Million contract value under management.In 2015, Priority sports was recognized as one of the top 20 World's Most Valuable Sports Agencies by Forbes with $947.52 Million contract value under management and $33.2 Million in commissions.
Since founding Priority Sports, Bartelstein has been rated as one of the most influential sports agents by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal. Bartelstein first gained acclaim after negotiating the contract for NBA star John "Hot Rod" Williams because it made him the highest paid player in the history of team sports at the time.
The company has represented more than 20 First Round NBA Draft picks. In the 2010 NBA Draft, Priority Sports represented four athletes who were drafted in the First Round. This was more than any other agency. In the 2015 NBA Draft, Priority Sports represented four 1st Round Picks. "Priority has represented 20 players, or 9.5 percent, of the first-round selections in the NBA draft over the past seven years. This year Priority represented No. 18 pick Sam Dekker, No. 22 pick Bobby Portis, No. 27 pick Larry Nance Jr. and No. 28 R.J. Hunter. Bartelstein and Priority agents Reggie Brown, Joel Cornette, Zach Kurtin, Kieran Piller and Andy Shiffman represent the players."
Priority Sports represents the following NBA athletes:
- Bradley Beal
- David Lee (Golden State Warriors) In 2010, Lee agreed to a sign and trade that moved him from the New York Knicks to the Warriors with a contract worth $80,000,000 over six years.
- Mo Williams (Milwaukee Bucks) In 2007, Williams signed a six-year, 100% guaranteed contract worth $52,000,000 with the Bucks before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008.
- Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz) The 9th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Hayward signed a $11,000,000 contract over four years with the Jazz.
Other NBA athletes Priority Sports represents include: Damion James, Brad Miller, Brian Grant, Joe Crawford, J.R. Giddens, Charlie Bell, Bobby Simmons, Will Bynum, Mark Blount, Brian Cardinal, Michael Dickerson, Trenton Hassell, James Posey, Charlie Bell, Jannero Pargo, and Darius Songaila.
Priority Sports has worked with NFL athletes for over twenty years. In addition to Bartelstein, partner Rick Smith (General Counsel), partner Mike McCartney, partner Deryk Gilmore, Ben Hartsock, Kyle Dolan and partner Kenny Zuckerman (President/Athlete Representation) are agents at the company.
Priority Sports represents the following NFL athletes:
- Robert Gallery (Oakland Raiders) The second pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Gallery signed a seven-year contract worth $60,000,000 and an $18,000,000 signing bonus.
- Tyson Alualu (Jacksonville Jaguars) The tenth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Alualu signed a five-year contract worth nearly $28,000,000 including over $17,000,000 in guaranteed money.
- Levi Jones (Cincinnati Bengals) A 2002 1st Round Pick, signed a six-year contract extension worth $40,095,000, including $16,295,000 in guaranteed money.
- Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals) (retired) The 1999 and 2001 [NFL MVP], [Super Bowl XXXIV] Winner & MVP signed a two-year contract worth $24,000,000 with $19,000,000 guaranteed.
- AJ Hawk (Green Bay Packers) The fifth pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, signed a six-year contract worth $40,000,000 with over $15,000,000 in guaranteed money.
- Jake Delhomme (Cleveland Browns) A 2005 Pro Bowl quarterback, Delhomme was released by the Carolina Panthers in 2010, and then signed a two-year deal worth $12,500,000 with the Browns during free agency. Because of contract language that was in his deal with Carolina, the Panthers still had to pay him $12,700,000 in guaranteed money, bringing his 2010 salary to a total of $19,700,000.
- Joe Staley (San Francisco 49ers) A first round pick in 2007, Staley signed a six-year contract extension worth $42,000,000 with $18,000,000 guaranteed after playing two years of his initial rookie contract.
- Haloti Ngata (Detroit Lions) The 12th Pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, signed a five-year contract worth $14,000,000 with over $9,000,000 in guaranteed money. Present contract is a 4 year deal worth $48,524,000 that includes a $25,000,000 signing bonus.
- Olin Kreutz (Chicago Bears) A perennial Pro Bowler, Kreutz signed a three-year contract extension for $25,000,000 with a $9,000,000 signing bonus.
- Kevin Mawae (Tennessee Titans) Currently serves as the President of the National Football League Players Association.
Other NFL athletes Priority Sports represents include: Arian Foster, Nate Kaeding, Koa Misi, Mike Pollak, Alterraun Verner, Sean Lee, and Levi Jones, Kyle Kosier, Dominic Raiola, Isaac Sopoaga, Madieu Williams, Kris Dielman, Tony Pashos, Alan Faneca, Luis Castillo.