Jul
20

Where Do I Start: Getting into the Sport Agent Business

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

  • Levi

    Good post!!!.. I was wondering what else you may have heard about how hard the test may be. I’m taking it in a week, I’ve been studying for awhile, but it never hurts to get an edge if I can.. Thanks!!

  • Paul

    I have not heard any specifics, but I would like to know what material you decided to use to prepair for the test. Also what state are you taking the test in. Goodluck with everything

  • Levi

    After you submit an app. and have been approved by the NFLPA, they send a source binder with the study info. The test is given in Washington, DC July 26-27, on the second day the test is given. I was interested in the post because you mentioned that it was harder now than before.

  • JD

    From what I hear the seminar will cover the test so we should be fine

  • Ben

    I went to law school, and it was solely for the purpose of becoming an agent. After not being able to land an internship or secure a job in the industry, I have moved into another field, with the sports agent dream simply put on the back burner. If any of you guys know somehwere/someone in Chicago to get startd, I am all ears.

    I enjoyed the post, Paul, thanks for the insight. Quick question, how does one apply for the NFL agent test? And, if you pass, how much more valuable does that make you to hiring agencies/firms?

  • http://Jonesonthenba.blogspot.com JONESONTHENBA

    Also, CSMG’s Henry Thomas is Chicago Based

    http://www.fastpitchnetworking.com/profiles3/CSMG-Henry-Thomas.html

  • http://Jonesonthenba.blogspot.com JONESONTHENBA

    Ben, for some reason the Priority Sports comment didn’t post: But here’s their Chicago info:

    325 N. LaSalle
    Suite 650 | Chicago, IL 60610
    PHONE 312.664.7700 | FAX 312.664.5172

  • Ben

    Jones, what is the Priority Sports comment? Thanks for the other info. I know CSMG is in town, but it seems like they don’t acknowledge emails. I’ve sent them my resume probably about 10 times now, and have yet to hear anything back.

  • Levi

    @ Ben

    You can apply via the NFLPA website, click on the agent certification tab. They start taking apps. the beginning of each year with the deadline being Jan.31, and it has to be submitted electronically. Also the app. fee($1,650) is due at the same time. You may want to check out the agent search page aswell, one good thing is they list all the agents in a city/state and just start calling. Good Luck!!! I hope this helps a little..

  • http://www.sportsagentblog.com pauls

    Levi what firm will you be joining or what are your plans after certification if you dont mind me asking.

  • Levi

    I don’t mind.. I’m not joining a firm, its a three man team.. They have a few connections in the industry that may help but I know it will be an uphill battle.. I would love to work for a firm… but for now we are just going to do the best we can do..

  • Ben

    Re: Levi

    Thanks for the info. Is your firm looking to hire a 4th (partially joking). If anyone on here ever knows of someone looking for an agent or intern, please post it. Thanks again to all for your help.

  • Matthew Vuckovich

    Ben:

    You might also want to try Masterplan Group International (http://www.masterplangroup.com). You might have better luck with a smaller agency. Good luck buddy.

  • Josh Adams

    I have been lurking on this site for a couple months, and also emailed Darren once (Thanks Darren!).

    At any rate, this is a great thread. I am an attorney in Illinois, and want to become an agent. I’ve been trying to get my name out there, as well as networking with some agents in the area.
    As for CSMG, I have had the same experience with them. THey don’t return emails. Keep plugging away!

    I look forward to talking with everyone here.

    Josh

  • Dave Griff

    I’ve been looking into agent work and starting in the industry but I’m across the pnd in the UK! Does anyone have any contacts who would be worth getting in touch with over here in the UK (London preferably) with a view to getting into the industry?

    Thanks

  • Adam

    I’ve always wanted to get into the business, and right now I am an undergrad at an Ivy League school with a good gpa. I grew up in NYC and next summer I want to intern at an agency. Which are the best sports agencies in NYC and how should I go about getting an internship over next summer?

  • http://www.sportsagentblog.com pauls

    Adam the best thing to do is take a look at the list of agencies we have on our page, also going to nflpa.com then to resources you can find all the NFL certified agents in NY. I dont know if best means biggest to you but Sportstars is a very small successful agency, tough to get an internship with but thats who I will be applying to next summer as well. Best advice is to just call and and email and get your resume out as soon as possible.

    Also if you can financially get an internship out of state I would look to do that as well for NYC does not have a large amount of firms.

  • Oscar

    Hello Everyone,

    Great post indeed! This has really served as motivation and inspiration to get it together. Although I have known about a good deal of the information listed in the post, the responses and my new subscription will continue to give me more and more crucial information. Thank you.

    I am going to be attending Grad school in the Spring of ’08 with my focus on getting a Masters in Sports Business Management. I had been debating getting my degree specifically in Sports Business, because I didn’t want to limit my opportunities, in the event that it did not work out. Should I reconsider and go for an MBA? Having played collegiate football at a Div. 1A school, I am aware of the recruiting process quite a bit and considered representing myself during tryouts. What are the agent guidelines for MLB? What about the NBA? I didn’t find a lot of information on their websites, or maybe I just overlooked it. Once again, it is great to have come accross this blog.

  • http://www.sportsagentblog.com Darren
  • Oscar

    Thank you Darren!

  • Eric Bowers

    i am 15 years old and was born to be a sports agent i am about to take a class and so i can start on the right track, but I was wondering the best college for a future sports agent

  • Ben N.

    Hi Everyone,

    I know this blogsite is about a year old but it brings me so much motavation and encouragement to pursue my dream job as a sports agent. I am going into my senior year at Illinois State University as an econ major. I have been reading books and gather information on both sport agents and sport economists. I was wondering, is economics a good degree in becoming a sports agent and also do you all have any updates sport agency contact information in the Chicago-land area? Thanks in advance!

  • http://www.sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

    Ben-

    Glad to hear that you are still motivated by this post. Economics is not a BAD degree to help with becoming a successful sports agent. There is no such thing as the PROPER degree, though. Having a background in economics may definitely help…especially if you want to additionally handle your clients’ money along with representing them in contractual negotiations, etc. For Chicago based agencies, look under the Agent tab at the top of the page and search for those based in Illinois.

  • Maria

    I was very interested in this post. I’m helping my boyfriend search for ideas to get into this field. Are you familiar with any internship opportunities in either New York or New Jersey??

  • Marc

    Great post. I am a sophomore in college and, like most people on here, aspire to be a sports(baseball) agent. While I want to specialize in baseball to begin with, anything like this is helpful. Any more tips would be greatly appreciated. and Ben, I am an econ major too.

  • Patrick

    Hey guys I want to first off by saying thanks this site helps me focus in school and want to work harder to become what I want to be. My question , If anyone can help me with is, I’m a soph in college and I’m about to finish me gen classes and now I really don’t know which way to go, I don’t know what class to take and what degree to go for. I read so many sites, and post and I was hoping if someone can give me a better answer. Also if anyone can please tell me the steps u guys been doing

  • lehlohonolo lehakoe

    i want to open a sports agency company, what do i have to do.
     

  • guest

    Does anyone know of any soccer agencies?

  • Kdevonte326

    Very informative I must say, I am pursuing a career in Sports Business.