Book Review: Representing the Professional Athlete
It is highly enjoyable to read books by sports agents that highlight their life experiences (see: A Shark Never Sleeps, License to Deal, Taking Shots, etc. I also like to hear negotiating tips from those in the business who have had immense success in their careers (see: Winning With Integrity, Never Make the First Offer). But my absolute favorite type of book is the sports agent niche-specific one that provides insights into how to be a sports agent. It is great to learn about what agents have done to get to where they are today, or how a contract should be negotiated so that your client is properly valued, but I bet that many of you want to know how to draft a proper Standard Representation Agreement between agent and client, terms that should go into a Product Endorsement Agreement, what to do if that particular agreement is breached, the negotiation and drafting of license agreements, etc. The information just discussed has not been readily available for public consumption. However, Peter Carfagna changed that.
Should someone who wants to be a sports agent go to law school? Sure, if you have the time and finances to do so. But if not, you will need a quick crash course on legal documents. Whether or not you go to law school, Peter Carfagna’s Representing the Professional Athlete, is something that EVERYBODY looking to break into the sports agent industry should read. It discusses all of the topics mentioned above.
Peter Carfagna is a professor at Harvard Law School. In Spring 2010, Carfagna will teach the popular Sports and the Law: Representing the Professional Athlete class, which is really a live in-person discussion of all of the items covered in his book, Representing the Professional Athlete. For a fraction of the cost of his Harvard course, you can gain a wealth of the knowledge that Carfagna exposes to his students during the semester.
I really enjoy Representing the Professional Athlete, because it does not only touch on negotiating skills, like many other books of this genre. Instead, it does its due diligence in covering negotiation, but also fully explores the world of drafting and litigating agreements in the context of representation of professional athletes. Another very helpful section deals with employment contracts between agencies and its agents. It gives some helpful reminders about the importance of including particular clauses, like the very important non-competition paragraph.
At 146 pages (including hypotheticals for the reader to work out), Representing the Professional Athlete is an extremely easy read; however, you may find that you will be taking plenty of notes as you turn the pages. The text is very applicable for CEOs of mega-agencies or the current intern who hopes to one day have an entry level job at one of those big name agencies.