What is a Sports Agent?

Authority to act on behalf of pro athletes

A sports agent is someone who is given authority to transact business for a professional athlete. A contract between a sports agent and an athlete forms the basis of agreement regarding both compensation for the agent and the nature of the agent’s authority to act on behalf of the athlete. The nature of compensation and scope of authority varies, depending on the particular contract.


Wearing many different hats

A sports agent is always changing or adapting to its circumstances. Sports agents have to be well versed in many different trades. Sports agents have various different backgrounds and academic credentials: some are lawyers, business managers, coaches, former players, family members, or close friends. Anyone can become a sports agent, but a sports agent must be able to wear many different hats.


Ability to successfully scout and recruit clients

Sports agents should have the ability to scout and recruit an athlete. This may mean traveling to various cities around the world to see them perform against various levels of competition. By recruiting, a sports agent must have a unique senses of salesmanship, to allow people to “buy into” why the athlete should choose him or her.

Possess contract negotiation skills
and basic knowledge of player contracts

The most essential part of the standard player-agent contract is the sports agent’s obligation to negotiate a contract. Implied in this obligation is the understanding that the sports agent possesses the necessary background, skills, experiences, and expertise to perform this task to a degree that corresponds with the skills and knowledge that are standard to the profession.

By virtue of contract law, a sports agent must be able to read and comprehend a player contract to assist his or her client in critical life-playing decisions. Negotiation skills are equally important when trying to close a deal or sign a player to commit to an agency or individual. Rudimentary math skills are important as well to a sports agent because they need to have an understanding on how the salary cap works and the tax implications of the deal ramification.

A wide array of services

Marketing and public relations are also skills that a sports agent needs to have which will allow him or her to assist in building a player’s brand and facilitate a player’s image within the market. Sports agents also connect their athlete(s) to various professionals such as accountants, financial managers, business managers, personal assistants, and lawyers. The number of functions that a sports agent can perform is limited only by the sports agent’s imagination. The list of functions that might be covered include:

  • Contracts
  • Investments
  • Endorsements & marketing
  • Insurance & risk management
  • Travel management
  • Income tax preparation
  • Physical training consultations
  • Sports medicine consultations
  • Legal consultations
  • Luxury item services
  • Financial planning
  • Incorporation
  • Personal development counseling
  • Real estate & mortgages
  • Many other services
  • Money management
  • Estate planning
  • Post-career development
  • Transportation management
Working with sports agents

Just like any other professional, sports agents need a team of professionals that they can count on. Statistics do not bode well for professional athletes in terms of them being properly advised in terms of management. What this means is an opportunity for professionals with the proper skill-set to help professional athletes.

Sports agents are gatekeepers and facilitate appropriate matters to individuals that are experts in their respective profession. By knowing the business and connecting with sports agents, professionals can expand the scope of their business and help serve an under-serviced market.

By no means is the sports agent industry saturated with enough qualified individuals and professionals, the market awaits willing participants who can connect and collaborate with sports agents. One of the main benefits of working with sports agents unlike any other industry, is that the sports space is recession proof. Every year new talent is drafted into all of the major respective leagues, allowing for qualified professionals to seek new clients.

Whether you are an accountant, financial manager, lawyer, real estate professional or recent graduate, connecting with sports agents is not easy, but with the help of the database, willing participants can network and learn who the major players are within the sports agent industry — connect, collaborate, communicate, conquer.