A sports agent is the foremost representative for amateur or professional athletes. Being a sports agent is an exciting career! If this career is one of your passions, then you can certainly achieve success! Typical tasks and responsibilities include accessing media awareness for your athlete, income negotiations as well as providing career advice. Another responsibility includes contract mediation between the athlete and various sports entities as well as potential endorsers. This rewarding career requires flexibility in the agent’s schedule. Further, having superior people skills is a major attribute for this type of career. It would be worthwhile learning the steps necessary for a successful career as a sports agent.
Recommended Sports Management Programs
- BA/Sports and Recreation Management – Ashford University
- B.S. in Sports Management – Post University
- Master of Science in Sport Management – Sport Administration – Liberty University Online
Sports agents typically affiliate themselves with, or are a part of a larger sports entity. However, they can operate independently as well. They are generally the figurehead in negotiating for their athletes to generate supplemental incomes, such as public media appearances, marketing, advertising, and endorsements. Sports agents are also accountable for receiving all fees and salaries earned.
When they are not handling contracts, sports agents are mingling to promote the athletes they represent. Although it is not a requirement that sports agents have a college degree, the competitive nature of the field may dictate that sports managers earn a graduate or law degree. The following are some beneficial and strategic steps to take to become a successful sports agent:
Step 1: Earn A Sports Management Bachelor’s Degree
It would be wise to pursue an undergraduate degree in sports management. This type of degree includes courses in exercise sciences combined with business courses. Students might also be required to take classes in sports marketing, accounting and finance, kinesiology, and industry law. Various sports management degree programs will also require some internship work. Sports management degrees may be part of the exercise science departments of larger universities as well as specialized business school institutions.
Step 2: License and Registrations
Some states require sports agents to have a license, and be fully registered. Due to there being no formal or regulatory governing boards, requirements can vary from state to state. Typically, potential agents may only need to agree to a background check along with a registration application. Of course, they will also need to pay for any required registration and licensing fees associated with these courses.
You must understand that to be an athlete’s representative agent, you will need to comply with successfully fulfilling a registration process. This will include exams and the corresponding fees. The registration methods will be different in every state. Different states will require certification to represent your athletes in particular sports. You will need to maintain that certification for the duration of your business relationship with the athlete.
In-depth knowledge of the various sports you decide to represent is crucial to being a successful agent. It would be wise for you to keep abreast of the specific rules and protocols of any given sport that falls within your realm of representation.
Step 3: Proceed to earning a Master’s or Professional degree
Sports agents may also want to think about enrolling in law school. Law school will provide the technical knowledge to aid in reading the “legalese” of a contract as well as negotiating said contract on behalf of the athlete they represent. Obtaining a law degree is not a mandate for this field, but it would provide an edge in negotiations. Agents may want to consider Master’s degrees that provide actual training in sports management, such as an M.B.A. degree. With this degree, students will gain the detailed knowledge of the sports industry. For example, the program can teach you how to establish a brand for the player, and caps on salaries. The curriculum may also include the opportunity for an internship.
Athlete Management university courses are becoming more prevalent with the increasing popularity in sports. These courses offer the aspiring sporting agent the knowledge, skills, strategic plans, and the requirements needed to represent professional and amateur athletes. If you are an individual who is passionate about building a career as a sports agent in order to market clients and negotiate on their behalf, then these courses are right for you.
A helpful tip in your quest to become a sports agent or manager includes enhancing your communication skills. One of the most important aspects of this job is effectively communicating your athlete’s talents and value. Remember, you are conveying this information to various teams, companies, and charity organizations. Perhaps taking a public speaking or speech course will be of great value. Next, experience is vital to your success. Therefore, interning at a sports management organization will be quite beneficial as well as having sales experience.
If you have no law experience, you would be wise to consider hiring an attorney to handle the legal matters of being a sports agent. You should not expect a certain salary. Remember that as your clients become successful athletes, their success will drive your rising salary.
A major part of a sports agent’s responsibility is to network for their athlete. He or she will work with other individuals in the business. They will keep up-to-date with current trends. Keeping current will have a positive impact on any decision the athlete makes. Agents will also regularly keep in touch with managers, team owners, team coaches, and any other public relations personnel.
As a professional sports management agent, you would be entitled to work in many exciting industries like the National Football League (NFL), American Football League (AFL), National Hockey League (NHL), National Basket Association (NBA), Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), Olympics sports, soccer, extreme sports, tennis, bowling, golf, motor sports and mixed martial arts to name a few.
Now that you have the necessary knowledge to begin your exciting career as a sports agent, power through it and succeed. Once you have completed your formal education learning process, seek out your first job. Secure a position as a sports agent with a respectable agency. Network with successful agents, and find a potential employer in your local area. This is an exciting career and can be yours for the taking!