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Dissecting Jerry Maguire’s Mission Statement – Part 1

I will bet that at least 95% of people who have come across this blog have seen the movie Jerry Maguire at least once in their lives. In fact, if you have basic cable, you have probably realized that it is on TV every other day. The movie has made many people in my generation interested in becoming a sports agent. The idea that the industry is full of money has given many a false impression of what the business of sports is all about.

But is there anything that we can take from the movie and learn a bit from? Apparently, yes. I have known for a while that Jerry Maguire’s Mission Statement is available on the web. It is the mission statement that Jerry worked all night creating, left a copy in each person’s mailbox before work, and subsequently got fired because of it. Director, Cameron Crowe, could have just created a title page and left the entire document blank (no one would have ever known). Instead, he actually wrote the entire Mission Statement, titled, The things we think and do not say: thoughts of a sports attorney.

I will break down the entire document over the course of this week, leaving you with a couple of highlights from the document every day. I have broken the Mission Statement into 5 sections (based on its length). If you would like to skip this segment and just read the whole document, you may do so by clicking here. Quick thanks to reader Jason Belzer for reminding me about the existence of the statement.

Here are my bullet points from Part 1:

  • “Is there any real satisfaction in a success that exists only when we push the messiness of real human contact from our lives and minds? When we learn not to care enough about the very guy we promised the world to, just to get him to sign. Or to let it bother us that a hockey player’s son is worried about his dad getting that fifth concussion.”
    • New business is important, but not at the expense of the client list that you already possess. You take a fiduciary duty to protect your clients, uphold it.
  • “I have said “later” to most anything that required true sacrifice. Later I will spend a weekend reading real books, not just magazines. Later I will visit my grandmother who is 100 and unable to really know the difference. Later I will visit the clients whose careers are over, but of course I promised to stay in touch. Later later later later. It is too easy to say “later” because we all believe our work to be too important to stop, minute to minute, for something that might interfere with the restless and relentless pursuit of forward motion. Of greater success.”
    • If you want to break into this industry, start applying for internships right now. Stop reading the blog and start perfecting your resume. Start e-mailing/calling companies. If you are an agent and you have promised your client that you would call a team/sponsor on his/her behalf, but have been putting it off, take a second right now and fulfill your obligation. We don’t have time for later.

-Darren Heitner

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

5 replies on “Dissecting Jerry Maguire’s Mission Statement – Part 1”

Please tell me that I’m not the only one, that upon saying, “I want to be a sports agent”, I hear the following reply verbatim, time and time again, never fail: “Oh, like Jerry Maguire?”

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