Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree preferred
Average Salary: $97,000
Job Outlook: Very Good
A sports agent is both a legal and a public relations representative for an athlete in almost any major sport. Most agents specialize in one sport with which they have some experience. The job of a sports agent is to seek out athletic talent and to help promote athletes both in the sports arena and in the real world, helping them gain and negotiate contracts for appearances, endorsement deals, and more.
Sports agents also act as a go-between for the team or coach and the player, ensuring that both parties are meeting contract requirements. In the best interest of the athlete he represents, a sports agent will check over the contract to ensure that the player is well-protected in the event of injury and other occurrences. Sports agents are always networking and marketing their players to ensure that they get the best possible opportunities, both on the field or in the area and out of it.
Sports agents are huge part of an athlete’s life, and many agents will see their own salaries and prestige rise along with that of clients who go from being average players to being stars in their respective sports.
Education and Training Requirements
Typically, sports agents have a bachelor’s degree in sports management or business management. Many also work with law degrees that allow them to specialize in contract negotiations for their clients. Sports agents must continue to stay on top of the latest developments in sports, and particularly in the sport their athlete or athletes play. Agents must also have keen knowledge of the ins and outs of the game, understanding just what their client offers to the team as a whole.
Getting the Job
Sports agents often start off working with sports agency firms, since it may be easier to start finding clients through these firms. Many, though, are self employed and start out by signing younger or up and coming players who haven’t made it big yet. Agents who maintain good client relations can stick with their players for years, sometimes seeing them rise to the top ranks of their sport.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Job growth in the field of sports agency is expected to be much faster than average over the next few years, although competition to sign promising players is always keen. Sports agents may go on to start their own businesses, which can be quite lucrative. As they create names for themselves in their sport, they will be able to sign bigger name players, which come with bigger salaries and more prestige, as well.
Working Conditions and Environment
Sports agents are constantly on the go, meeting with coaches, players, companies who want to sign representation deals, and more. They often travel with their player to games around the country, and they work lots of nights and weekends. Sports agents are often on call for players, as well, helping them sort through offers and potential contract problems at any time.
Salary and Benefits
The average pay for a sports agent is about $97,000, though that can vary widely. Often, sports agents charge their clients a combination of flat fees for certain services, percentages of contracts signed (usually around 3-5%), and hourly rates. Although some use just one of these options, most use a combination.
The pay of a sports agent depends on the pay of the athlete represented. Those who represent players making average salaries will make between $50,000 and $120,000 per year, mainly dependent on which sport they work in, with the NBA having the highest paid players and agents. Those who represent top level athletes will make anywhere from $300,000 to $750,000 per year, with, again, the NBA sports agents making the highest average salaries.
Sports agents who work with companies may get health care and paid vacation time, but those who work for themselves will have to provide these things on their own.
Where to Go for More Information
Association of Professional Sales Agents
Black Sports Agent Association
6100 Center Dr., Ste. 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90045
International Sports Agency
PO Box 51508
Irvine, CA 92619