The following guest contribution was written by Jonathan Gordon, a junior at the University of Notre Dame with plans of attending law school. The founder of Sports Analytics Blog, Jonathan invites you to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Last summer, I was fortunate enough to work with Steve Caric of Caric Sports Management (CSM). Based out of Las Vegas, Steve (for the most part) runs a one-man show, handling most of the business operations. Below, I share my experiences and thoughts from the summer. For confidentiality reasons, I won’t get too specific about my work or Steve and his agency. For what it’s worth, I will say that Steve is a great agent and a tremendous mentor. Additionally, while my experience may be different from experiences in other agencies, I hope it sheds some light onto the industry.
How I Got the Job
I spent a fair amount of my time reading all the interviews on Sports Agent Blog. I’m pretty sure I read a majority, if not all, of them (Steve was not one of the agents interviewed). I emailed several of the agents I read about and asked for internships and any volunteer work I could do. If they responded, it was usually with a “Sorry, nothing is available right now.” If something was available, it simply didn’t work for me logistically. Essentially, I got told “No” a lot. But, I got told “Yes” once.
After a simple Google search, I learned Caric Sports Management was based out of Las Vegas, my hometown. This made the logistics work easily and presented a hopeful opportunity. After several email exchanges and a meeting over breakfast, I was set to work for Steve and CSM.
What I Did
When agents say “No day is the same,” they mean it. During my months with CSM, I did the following:
-Book housing for clients to live in during preseason;
-Generate marketing ideas and potential sponsorship opportunities for clients;
-Reach out to businesses for marketing proposals;
-Create extensive databases on Excel;
-Research and analyze client performance;
-Research potential recruits; and
-Research legal issues pertaining to certain clients.
Lesson #1: “It’s Always the CSM Guys.”
The only “interview question” Steve asked me via email (in addition to asking for my resume) was “Who’s better: Kiko Alonso or Manti Teo? Zach Ertz or Tyler Eifert?” Alsonso and Ertz are CSM clients.
He said: “If you answer correctly, we can plan on doing something this summer.”
I did not answer correctly. As a Notre Dame student, I couldn’t find it in me to pick against the Irish. I still remember the email Steve sent back.
“Wrong answer. Lesson 1 – It’s always the CSM guys.”
[I honestly thought I blew my chance at working with Steve. Fortunately, he was just having some fun with me and we carried on with the rest of the emails.]
But, the lesson stuck with me for the rest of the summer and continues to stick with me today. When you represent athletes, you are their biggest supporter. You support them, you believe in them, you rise and fall with them.
Lesson #2 – #10
(2) If you get knocked down, get up again: Had I stopped trying after hearing “NO” from other agents, I never would have the opportunity to work with Steve. If you get knocked down, get up again.
(3) Look local: Local internships are great opportunities for various reasons. For one, you don’t have to pay for housing. However, arguably more important, local people are more willing to help other locals – especially students.
(4) You can do big things with small agencies: In terms of employees, CSM is very small. Ran and operated by Steve, it’s a one-man business. However, by working with small businesses like this, you are able to make more of an impact. Unrestricted by the bureaucracies found in larger businesses, I was able to actively participate with the agent himself – not just his assistant or secretary.
(5) Say “YES” to everything: Whether it be huge spreadsheets or minor research, no task is too big or too small.
(6) Call businesses, don’t email: If you’re looking to talk with businesses about marketing opportunities, call them. You are much likely to talk with someone if you call over the phone. If you’re timid or nervous about phone calls, start practicing.
(7) Stay in touch: Many times, agents can be travelling or extremely busy. While it may seem that they don’t have anything for you to do or don’t need your assistance, that’s usually not the case. They simply don’t have much time to talk with you. Shoot him/her an email so you can help.
(8) Listen: Whether it be listening to new instructions or listening to advice, do not forget the importance of listening. If you’re given a new task, make sure you completely understand what is expected.
(9) Learn: This goes along with Number 8. However, you can also learn by watching how the agent conducts himself. Notice how he talks, what he does, etc.
(10) “It’s always the [insert your agency here] guys.”