As a sports agent, you are responsible for brokering deals for clients and helping them make important career decisions. Agents generally work with professional athletes and those about to pro. In addition to helping them with contract negotiations in terms of where they play and how much money they make, you will also help them deal with sponsors and sign other types of deals. Though some agents actually go to law school and have experience with sports law, you can break into this field with a degree in another field too.
Finish Your Education
It is almost impossible to find work at an agency or to start an agency of your own without a college degree. Many agencies hire entry-level workers with a bachelor’s degree, but you’ll need to work your way up the ladder before you take on any clients of your own. Though some agents study pre-law in their undergrad years, others study business, kinesiology or sports management. Kinesiology looks at how the human body works, nutrition and types of injuries. If you study sports management, you’ll learn skills relating to coaching, running a sports complex and similar subjects as well as how to be a good agent.
Become a Sports Expert
A large number of people working as agents in today’s world have a deep understanding of sports as a whole. Leigh Steinberg highly recommends that those hoping to work as agents learn more about top sports, which help them communicate better with their clients. Many of the top agents actually played sports in their past. While you might not consider going pro after college, you should play at least one sport in high school and/or college. The more sports you play, the better understanding you will have of the rules of the game.
Do Internships and Work Experiences
College is the best time to gain more experience before you go to work. No matter what type of program you enroll in, ask your adviser about doing an internship. Sports management programs often have internships available with major athletic organizations. You can also volunteer to work with one of the teams at your school. Helping the team transport equipment, keeping track of supplies before games and assisting during practices will give you the experience that agencies look for later. Those experiences will also look good on your graduate school application.
Check Licensing Requirements
Even if you have a lot of experience and a degree in hand, you won’t necessarily find work as a sports agent. Several states only allow agents to broker deals on the behalf of their clients if they have a license first. If you want to work in a state like Florida, you need to check on the licensing requirements in place. Most states require that you pass a background check that looks at your criminal history. Certain crimes may prevent you from getting your license. Agencies will usually check to see if you have a license before extending a job offer.
Agents working in the sports industry help clients at the professional level as well as college and amateur athletes hoping to enter a professional conference. To become a sports agent and work with those clients, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, law or sports management as well as experience and a license.