Priority Sports just had a very successful NFL Draft, but the company also has an extremely strong basketball division. One of its top basketball agents is Brad Ames, who along with Mark Bartelstein and Aaron Mintz represent players worth more than $300 million altogether in money remaining on their contracts. Ames is the primary agent for a lot of Priority’s overseas clients and recently talked with a foreign website about a variety of topics, including the business of being a sports agent. Here’s a taste…
heinnews: Maybe talk about how you became an agent and what someone needs to do the job.
Ames: I was fortunate to start working with Priority Sports while I was in college, and joining a growing company allowed me to choose which aspect of the business I wanted to pursue after getting exposure to the basketball, football, and marketing operations. When I started, Kurt Warner had just won his first Super Bowl, which gave the agency a lot of recognition. I’ve been here for 8 years, and Kurt Warner just went to another Super Bowl. Our basketball division has grown a lot during that time.
Representing players is obviously a people-oriented business. Good interpersonal and presentation skills are necessary, and organization is important. You have to be able to develop meaningful business and personal relationships with people from all walks of life. It’s helpful to love basketball and to enjoy playing a part in helping people reach their goals.
heinnews: The NBA used to be ruled by guys like big agents like David Falk. How has the power shifted in the world of agents?
Ames: There are still a handful of agents who are considered the power players in the NBA. There are major differences between them, and with consolidation, buy-outs, mergers, and agents getting in and out of the business, it is a constantly changing dynamic. Some of the top agencies put a major emphasis on recruiting and representing as many draft picks as they can at the expense of providing the right level of service to each player. Our focus is to find the players who fit our culture and we can develop long term relationships with.