Should A Sports Agency Charge Internship Applicants A Fee?
Last night, I asked the following question to my followers on Twitter: Would you apply for an internship w/a sports agency if you had to pay a $25 “application fee”? I thank all of you who contributed to the large number of replies. There was a mix of yes and no answers. A few said that it depends on the agency and whether or not it the intern(s) selected would be paid by the agency.
Here are some of the replies:
@DarrenHeitner Fantastic question. It would sure be the first step to demonstrating commitment.
— Night Train Veeck (@VeeckAsInWreck) February 2, 2012
@DarrenHeitner it’d be a lot tougher for us broke college kids if we had to do it for every agency. Maybe 1 or 2 premiere agencies
— Ryan McKenna (@RMcKenna32) February 2, 2012
@DarrenHeitner absolutely. Every professional opportunity u get involved with should be 4 the long run.$25 is nothing compared 2 that.
— Shawn (@Shawn_930) February 2, 2012
@DarrenHeitner It’s not a good sports agency if a) needs extra cash from interns, b) cannot handle a large volume of documents sent thru.
— Robert T. B?aszczak (@RobertBlaszczak) February 2, 2012
Knowing that many of my Twitter followers are individuals interested in breaking into the sports agency profession, I figured I had the perfect audience for the question. And I was genuinely interested in the responses. I asked, because I was recently forwarded an internship application letter from an established and respected agency that is charging a $25 application fee; something I had never heard of being done in the sports agency business.
The agency charging the fee is Platinum Sports & Entertainment Management, a St., Saint Charles, Missouri-based baseball agency. Their internship application letter says that they receive over one thousand intern applications each year. If they can convince those applicants to pay the $25 fee, they will make over $25,000 on application fees alone. Sounds like a decent side business. By the way, the internships are unpaid.
The internship application letter is embedded, below.
Nick Brockmeyer of Platinum Sports & Entertainment Management has responded to this article with the following: We were getting over 1000 applicants a year from students that just thought the industry sounded “cool” and we wanted a way to narrow it down to those who were serious about the internship and had really thought through moving to St. Louis for an unpaid internship. Through this process we have done just that. We now have a much smaller selection of applicants to sort through and they have all thought about this thoroughly before applying. By no means was it set up to be a money making plan, nor has it turned out that way. We went from 1000 frivolous applicants each year to approximately 20 very good applicants. There are thousands of examples of entities in life that make one pay an application fee (including the colleges these students are coming from)….no one says a word about that. I can give you a list of every intern that has ever interned for Platinum and you can interview them all. They would have nothing but good things to say about our internship program. Many of our past interns are currently working for us right now. If someone doesn’t want to pay the application fee and go through our process I respect that decision and we will move forward with no shortage of intern applicants.