Infographic Seeks To Show Interested Sports Agents The Money In The Business

Ask any current aspiring sports business professional what his/her “dream job” is and chances are you will receive the standard ‘sports agent’ response.  From an outsider witnessing the glitz and the glamour, it is a no-brainer job to desire.  What individuals fail to realize is the not-so-sexy aspects of the industry.

Sports Degree Management Hub recently broke down the role (good and bad) of being a sports agent in this informative infographic titled, ‘Show Me The Money…So You Want To Be A Sports Agent’?

According to the graphic, sports agents have existed for the last 80-plus years, with one of the first agents being Charles Pyle; Pyle represented Red Grange of the Chicago Bears in 1933 and negotiated his $3,000/game contract.

The current role of the sports agent includes all sorts of services including legal advisor, contract negotiation, public relations, career planning, and more.  Agents’ fees vary per sport, with commissions for representing Major League Baseball players totaling between $16,000 and $1.3 million compared to the monies received for having a Canadian Football League player as a client ($1,290 – $15,000).  Yet, even through offering a laundry list of services, clients can still unfortunately terminate a representation agreement at-will.

In order to become a sports agent in the NFL, you must pass a certification exam.  The NFL Players Association also requires an applicant to obtain both an undergraduate and graduate degree.  Suggested concentrations for a Master’s degree include finance, business, public relations, and communications.  A law degree is also a recommended route if you want to become a sports agent.

The infographic concludes its analysis by listing out some of the past and current agents who have transcended the industry — for better or worse.

Some of the more notable veteran agents include David Falk, who is arguably best known for representing superstar Michael Jordan and securing the former North Carolina Tar Heel’s endorsement deal with Nike.  Others include Scott Boras, the “Most Feared Man In Baseball,” who negotiated Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers, and Rob Pelinka, who recently secured Kobe Bryant a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakes through 2016.

Finally, the world’s top five sports agencies are listed, with Creative Artists Agency ($5.3 billion) and Octagon ($2 billion) coming in at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

  • Isabelle Azam

    What many “aspiring” agents fail to realize is that it may seem cool to hang out with the athletes, but it is a JOB! You get paid to work for them and as mentioned, you can be giving your clients 150% of your time, they can go elsewhere in a split second. They are not your cool friends, they are clients and there are no feelings involved when it comes to money. It is not a 9 to 5 job and you spent most of your weekends running around, in airports, freezing around a field, or in the rain as many sports are not as glamorous as football or basketball, but still need agents…
    As for the legal side of the job, you can very well manage without being a lawyer and working with one for the contracts. You certainly learn a lot about legal matters, but all that matters are the contractual parts of the contract to negotiate, the writing of the contract can be left to the experts. You obviously need to know your sport(s) laws and regulations by heart to avoid conflicting situations.
    Speaking different languages also helps, especially in sports other than NFL, NBA and NBL (although Spanish is certainly a plus) and individual sports.
    Last but not least, a foot in the door is usually the best way to get started…. Good luck!

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