Sports Agents

What We Really Learnt From Jerry Maguire

Can an agent blog really exist without a story that relates back to Jerry Maguire? I didn’t think so and decided to break in the blog with some inspirational words from the most famous agent to ever hit the big screen.

First off, does it seem like every big time football agent claims that he was the basis for the Jerry Maguire character? Both Rosenhaus and Steinberg have made such claims publicly and many others have also claimed to have been consulted on the role.

In a previous post I was talking about research and how it is readily available. One of the more interesting reads you might find is something that you most likely wouldn’t actually call research until you read it.

It comes straight from the movie. Jerry’s mission statement: The things we think and do not say. Believe it or not, you can find the entire thing here:

What do we learn from this so called “mission statement”? It focuses on personal attention. Something that most agents think they do really well, but most fail at. To be honest, there have been times in my career when I take a step back and ask myself how many clients I can really handle and if they would be getting better service if I reduced my client base.

I’ll take a quick second to talk about selecting¬Ě the right clients once again. Here’s what typically happens to a young agent. Young agent signs 5-6 decent clients who have a shot at playing professionally. Then, he signs a few more and a few more. During this process he’s signing just about any player that he can get his hands on – making promises along the way.

Now, the greatest moment comes along – You sign a player with real pro potential and he becomes your highlight client. You sit back and wish that all of your clients were like this, but they aren’t. The new star client gets all the attention, but the rest of your clients don’t.

My advice – don’t be that agent.

Don’t be the agent who can’t remain loyal to the clients that were once loyal to him. You’ll want to boast about client retention – not fear the question.

Most agents have that “Jerry Maguire Moment” late in their career. I’m warning you to prepare for it. You’re operating off of a clean slate.

When I was a young agent, General Managers would always ask “who do you represent?” I always thought that I’d need to produce some laundry list of clients to them to seem important. You’ll find out soon enough that producing a long list of players that aren’t prospects only diminishes your chances of earning their respect.

The hardest part about being an agent is getting the respect of the key personnel decision makers. In essence, signing clients is the easiest step. A polished sales pitch to a client and he’s yours. Getting a key personnel decision maker on the phone is hard enough!

How can you impress a decision maker? I’ll take a minute to mention that a law degree will do little to impress at this point. Just needed to make sure we were all on the same page. However, an understanding of the league, the CBA, and your client will go a long way.

For example, I’ve heard all the horror stories. An agent calling a specific team with a player that they just don’t need. Or better yet, missing the boat on a potential opening for a client because you weren’t dialed in to a specific situation. A good agent spends hours monitoring the transaction wire and speaking to his other clients about possible roster movements.

Typically by the time a move is publicly announced its old news and some other agent has already filled the void. When a GM is quoted in the paper saying that his team is “looking for a new punter”, he likely already has a few punters in town already working out for him. By the time you place your call offering your clients services, it’s simply too late.

-Darren Gill

3 replies on “What We Really Learnt From Jerry Maguire”


Thanks for taking the time this week to enlighten some of the readers of this great website. Still, you come across a little arrogant and presumptuous considering that you represent a few CFL players. Some of what you say is informative, but what really makes your job rewarding (possiblylet the readers know how a CFL agent recruits and makets his clients, and how a CFL agent makes his money). Keep up the hard work, and maybe I’ll see you at law school someday.

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