I am considered one of the new guys to this site, but I have already noticed that many people view the site for a variety of different reasons. Some are just interested in what we have to say and like reading the articles, some have a strong interest in the agent business and would like to know more about it, and some are even in the business.

I happened to be the guy who would check out this site because of the interest I had in the business. I consider myself lucky to be part of such a great team, and everyone has a ton of good information to share (Editors Note: Some have not contributed as much lately due to bar exam studying…no fears, though. They will be back contributing shortly). This article is for those who have an interest in the business (particularly being an NFL representative), but are not quite sure how to get a foot in the door or where to start.

When I was in the same boat as most of you who did not know where to start, I decided that the first thing I would do was research the industry. For months, I did research on the web, emailed and spoke with agents throughout the NFL, and read a few books on the business of sports. Once I felt I had a pretty good grasp of the business and its requirements, I enrolled at Manhattanville College to earn a Masters Degree in sports business management. One requirement the NFL has to become a player representative is a post-graduate degree. This can be satisfied with an MBA, masters degree, or law degree. I personally did not believe law school was for me, and that a masters degree would open a lot more doors in the sports business world as a whole. To go along with the post-graduate degree, the NFLPA also requires that you pass a certification test, which from what I hear, is a lot tougher now than what it used to be. Last, you must pay a certification fee which may differ state to state.

Those are all MUSTS if you want to become an agent in the NFL. Here are some of the little things that can go a very long way in producing long and successful career. First thing is networking. Constantly work to get your name out. Call agents, email agents, join groups; whatever gets your name to the right people. That is one reason why I feel so fortunate to be included on this blog team. At the surface it is just a few guys writing posts on topics they can relate to. Looking deeper, it happens to be a great networking tool. One of the members of SportsAgentBlog.com may become a friend, fellow agent, or even partner. That is the way I look at being a member of this great site. Who knows, maybe even a reader of this post plays a role in my future as an agent. Look at the BIG picture. Next, it is essential to get an internship with an agent or firm. This step is the most common way of getting your foot in the door. Not only do you have a foot in the door, but after soaking up all the knowledge and experiencing the industry first hand, you may finish your internship experience with your whole body through the door and a job waiting for you. My one regret is that I have yet to have an internship with an agent or firm. Thankfully, one is required for my masters degree and I have already spent over a year lining up a summer internship for next summer.

With that said, I would like to leave you with this very informative site: www.sportslinkscentral.com. It can help you get in contact with firms, provides links to good post-graduate programs, and has some good books to read up on (Editors Note: It has not been updated since February 2, 2004. Make sure to check out our own links to agencies and books on the Links tab at the top of this page). If anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

-Paul Schackman