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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A sports agent is a person who procures and negotiates employment and endorsement deals for a player. In return, the agent receives a commission that is usually between four and ten percent of the contract, although this figure varies.

Contents

Role

A sports agent is a person who helps market athletes or products associated with that athlete to promote an athlete's career. Agents are responsible for all communications with team owners, managers, coaches and other individuals to help promote an athlete's career. Primarily, agents are used to broker and negotiate contracts for their clients. Also, they are responsible for making recommendations in regards to their options. In addition to finding incoming sources, agents often handle public relations matters for their clients. In some large sports agencies, such as IMG and Octagon, agents deal with all aspects of a client's finances, from investment to filing taxes.

Sports agents may be relied upon by their clients for guidance in all business aspects of life, and sometimes even more broadly. For example, hockey agents start recruiting clients as young as 15, allowing the agent to guide the athlete's career before the NHL draft, which happens usually at 18 years of age.

Due to the large and complicated contracts, many sports agents are lawyers or have a experience in contractual law. Agents are expected to be knowledgeable about finance, business management, financial and risk analysis, as well as sports. It is important for sports agent to follow the trends in sports. Other skills an agent must possess is excellent communication and negotiation skils. Agents must be highly motivated, willing to work long hours, and have the ability to multitask. It is very common for agents to be in negotiations with several clients at one time. [1]

Some agents are part of large companies and some are on their own. The number of clients an individual agent can handle and how many his or her employing agency can handle in total are interdependent variables.

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In Association Football

Prior to the 1990s, most football players did not use agents. Instead, they used their father as agents. Due to most parents naivety about the football business, these young footballers were often roped into less-than stellar contracts by football clubs, which yielded lower salaries than they deserved.[2] In Sweden, there were only three licensed agents in 1995. [3] Today, there are 33. As per FIFA, there are 5187 licensed football agents world-wide with 600 agents in Italy alone. [4] Since 2001, agents have not been licensed by FIFA. Instead, agents are licensed directly by each association.

Media depiction

The popularity of television shows Entourage and Arliss have help glamorize the profession. Prior to that, movies such as Jerry McGuire and Any Given Sunday have depicted the sports agents. In England, ITV's Footballers Wives put a new spin on sports agents by casting a no holds-bar female agent Hazel Bailey.

Due to the popularity of these works, there has been increase of attention in the profession. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair's son has decided to become a football agent.[5]

Sports Agency Groups

There have been some efforts to transform the sports agency business from an individual, entrepreneurial business, to more of a corporate structure. These experiments have met with varying degrees of longevity and success.

Notable sports agents - by sport

American Football

Australian Football

Baseball

Basketball

European Basketball

Association Football (Soccer)

Golf and Tennis

Ice hockey

Horse racing

Auto Racing - NASCAR

See also

Further reading

  • The Business of Sports Agents, by Kenneth L. Shropshire, Timothy Davis, 2008, University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 978-0812240849
  • License to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent, by Jerry Crasnick, 2005, Rodale Books, ISBN 978-1594860249
  • An Athlete's Guide to Agents: 5th Edition, by Bob Ruxin with Darren Heitner, 2009, Jones and Bartlett, ISBN 978-0763776114

References

  1. ^ Job Profiles.org - description of roles of sports agent and some educational programs to prepare for the field
  2. ^ "The Big Interview: Neil Webb" Sunday Times, Nov. 28, 2004, interview with soccer/football player
  3. ^ "Market Saturation of Agents"-May 23, 2002, note: source can be translated into English on the website
  4. ^ FIFA - Players' agents list - by country
  5. ^ "Blair's son to become a football agent" Nov. 28, 2009, The Independent
  6. ^ "Crash Landing"- ESPN the magazine, by Peter Keating, article about Leigh Steinberg
  7. ^ "These Drafts Come and Go, and So Do Agents' Fortunes" New York Times, April 28, 2003
  8. ^ "Steinberg Sells Sports Firm" New York Times October 28, 1999.
  9. ^ a b "Top 10 Sports Agents -Ask Men.com
  10. ^ Butler, Steve (March 3, 2008); Show me the money, Ricky Nixon; Realfooty.com.au; Retrieved on March 14, 2009
  11. ^ "Agents again at forefront of NBA labor dispute", CNN/SI, December 28, 1998, accessed June 16, 2007.
  12. ^ Migala, Dan. "Career Spotlight: David Falk", WorkInSports.com, June 4, 2001, accessed June 30, 2007.
  13. ^ "HoopsHype.com Agents". http://www.hoopshype.com/agents.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  14. ^ "How Tiger's Top Man is Managing the Crisis", Wall Street Journal, Dec 8, 2009, Wall Street Journal - subscription and fee may be required to access older articles
  15. ^ "Colleen Howe, 'Mrs. Hockey', dies at 76". The Associated Press. 6 March 2009. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jgebG1zi1hYb3JbMJJZS4PpQuH6AD96OQDA00. Retrieved 7 March 2009. 
  16. ^ Wall Street Journal, Jan 25, 2010, "Heard on the Field", page B10

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