Sports agents lead exciting lives filled with travel, high-powered parties and events, and of course, up close and personal access to athletes and sports teams. They have a deep understanding of sports recruiting and drafting, and they're excellent negotiators willing to take big risks for their clients. Read on for information about the life of a sports agent, the education and skills you need to land a job, and how to build a successful sports agent career.
Know what the job entails. Sports agents handle athletes' employment with a team and endorsements with corporations in exchange for a small percentage of the athlete's salary. The agent's role is to help manage the athlete's career by negotiating the best deals possible for the athlete. Agents are responsible for presenting their clients with the options available to them and using their expertise in the field to help guide the clients toward the best or most lucrative choices. Agents market their clients as candidates for teams or company endorsements. A background in marketing and communications is helpful for this purpose. Agents act as their clients' representative in dealings with team owners, coaches, and executives. In order to broker deals effectively, they must understand legal language in contracts and be aware of rules and regulations that apply to the client in a given situation. Some agents work as individuals or start their own agencies, while others work for large sports agencies.
Understand the benefits and drawbacks of a sports agent's work. Agents who represent supremely talented or famous clients receive a lot of the perks that come with fame. They may earn a hefty paycheck, have access to the movers and shakers in the professional sports domain, and travel around the world with their clients. The drawbacks include long hours, a lot of time away from family, and little guarantee of financial success. Great sports agents have the following traits: They're charismatic. Sports agents meet with team managers, coaches, owners, executives, and any number of other important people on behalf of their clients. They have to be outgoing and consistently "on" - whether that means talking people up at parties or pitching their clients' skills in a boardroom. They're willing to take risks. Most sports leagues have more agents than players, and only 5 percent of sports agents bring in over $100,000 per year. In such a competitive field, agents have to be willing to put a lot on the line for their clients. They may have to put in a few years of work before earning a steady paycheck, and the long hours can take a toll on their personal lives. They're self-directed. Sports agents are scrappy go-getters who whose livelihood depends on their ability to woo new clients. Even agents who work for large agencies are expected to bring in clients independently.
Be obsessed with sports. Sports agents know the intricacies of the recruiting and drafting process for various sports before they decide to make sports their career. They're knowledgeable about the major sports and the leagues, teams, athletes and staff that play a part in the industry.