The following “Six Questions” short interview with Ashley Millerick, NFL Player Agent with Willis & Woy Sports Group, was conducted by Belmont University Law School student and aspiring sports/entertainment agent Mark J. Burns. Connect with Ashley on Twitter and Linkedin.
1. You have your law degree (Texas Tech, ’12), and you’re also certified as an agent with the NFLPA. How much of your time is spent practicing law versus acting in your capacity as an agent?
I’m not acting as a lawyer on a daily basis. However, there are a lot of aspects of the business that allow me to use the knowledge I gained throughout law school. I use my legal skills most often when dealing with contract negotiations. They are also useful when putting together marketing and endorsement agreements for clients. In addition, when players or their families contact me with their personal issues, having a law degree helps resolve some of their issues quickly and succinctly.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to become a sports agent? As a follow-up, why did you decide to pursue that career?
I realized I wanted to be an agent after my first summer interning with Jordan [Woy]. I saw that the sports agent business was very competitive and difficult. However, after getting to work with Jordan I was motivated by his success as an agent. The agent business is nearly impossible to enter on your own as a young, new agent. People underestimate the expenses of being an agent and difficulty of forming the relationships necessary to be able assist players as their agent. Once I had proven myself to Jordan, he took an interest in my career and mentoring me. I then knew that I was in a very exceptional position and had a great opportunity in front of me. Once I had a full time position at Willis & Woy and I was working side by side with Jordan, I decided to concentrate specifically on pursuing a career as an agent.
3. How has social media helped you in your career progression?
I’m active on social media and it is helpful with keeping up with transactions and breaking news stories that are happening in the NFL. It is also beneficial in getting information out on our clients and company.
4. You work at Wills & Woy Sports Group in Dallas. What has it been like learning from Jordan Woy, an agent who has worked in the industry for 25-plus years?
One thing I have observed in this business is that there are a lot of agents who are very good at recruiting players from a sales side. However, there are very few agents who have vast experience on the business side of negotiating contracts, dealing with front offices executives and truly knowing the ins and outs of being an agent. Jordan is one of the select few who know that side of the business and getting that insight from him is invaluable.
5. What is the most difficult part about being a female agent in the male-dominated sports agency industry?
I don’t feel there are any major difficulties I face due to being a woman. There is the obstacle of overcoming the stereotype that being a sports agent is only a male’s job. On the other hand, I feel there are several advantages to being a woman in a male-dominated industry. In a mainly male profession you do standout and tend to be remembered since you are one of few women. You can bring a female prospective to advising player clients that I believe can be very helpful.
6. In 140 characters or less, what advice would you give to aspiring sports/entertainment business professionals who want to work in the agency world?
It is a tough business. You have to have passion and focus. There are highs and lows so you have to be ready for the successes as well as the rejections.