College Football Players Sports Agents

Mark Sanchez Selects Brother To Be His Agent

Mark SanchezI am definitely biased, but I truly believe that the small percentage that one pays an agent is oftentimes more than worth it.  There are so many benefits of having representation over going at it on your own.  Myself and others at have also been critical of people acting in a sports agent capacity for their family members.  Which leads me to this story..

Mark Sanchez, former QB for USC, is being represented by his older brother Nick Sanchez, a business litigator with Theodora Oringher Miller & Richman in Costa Mesa.  Not only is Nick a family member, but he has no experience in representing professional athletes in contractual negotiations.  Do you really want to jump into that role with a family member who some believe could be the #1 overall pick before you have any experience in the industry?  To Nick’s credit, he does have a ton of work under his belt in a variety of other legal practice areas and seems to have a strong educational background.  I still seem to have an issue with a sports agent being a family member.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

26 replies on “Mark Sanchez Selects Brother To Be His Agent”

At least he is a well accomplished lawyer with contract experience and not some bozo that thinks he can be an agent because he saw Arliss back in the day. You and I both know that there have been players that have made much worse choices for representation. NFL is more complex than basketball (in terms of player contracts), so that might be a little more difficult. But this guy looks like someone who can figure it out.

I am not saying he is not qualified. And he may do an excellent job for his brother. I just feel that you want to go into a representation relationship with absolutely no biases or potential conflicts of interest.

Agreed on not choosing some one related to you, disagree for criticizing his background. He’s likely already dealt with challenges far more complex than what representing his brother will pose. But then again, I’m biased, because I’m also a commercial litigator breaking into sports and entertainment. 😉

One remaining question is whether Nick Sanchez has already gone through the lenghty NFLpa certification process. I’d have a problem if they fast-tracked him through.

Not criticizing his background, but I wouldn’t expect to be representing a potential top 5 pick as my first NFL client, either. I think he has a great background for what the job entails.

Written solely from a business standpoint, and the best chances of receiving the best deal, then it might not make sense to go with your underexperienced brother. But from the standpoint of family ties I don’t see how this is hard to fathom. Considering his brother is a professional in his own right, this family investment might be the upstart of a future business. Not only are they keeping the money in the family, Nick presumably will be able to figure out how to pull this off, will receive more clients as a result of this representation, all while Mark receives millions of dollars and the possibility of a retirement position in the business himself now that his brother is taking off. I think this is a great move!

Good points. But what happens if there is some sort of fallout? People always say, “Never go into business with your spouse.” A problem in the business relationship could destroy your marriage. Brothers often disagree and often times are stubborn to finding a resolution. What if Mark and Nick have a fallout like many agents have had with their clients. Will it affect their familial relationship? Would it be worth it?

I’m inclined to agree with the idea that players shouldn’t hire family as agents. However, it seems to be happening more often. As I understand it, Alex Ovechkin’s mother represents his son…AFTER HE FIRED DON MEEHAN. Ovechkin proceeded to sign a record-breaking deal with the Caps. Then again, Ovechkin can really sell himself when it comes to new contracts. So that begs the question: do the marquee superstars really only need business managers? I would say no. Thoughts?

There are con’s, but the fact is most new huge agents are built on something similar to this. Be it a family member or otherwise. The fact that he happens to be a HUGE land doesnt matter all that much in my opinion…

In many regards it can be argued that if he’s the #1 pick (and a quarterback), a new agent might have it easier than others. While I admit I am woefully behind on my knowledge of escalator clauses, etc. With the database open for Sanchez, he could just follow the lead with a raise over the past years for quarterbacks.

If this were some average Joe, it’d be a huge challenge… but not impossible (especially with some legal help). But for a business litigator, he has the legal knowledge to handle this on his own.

The benefit of Mark creating business for his brother is quite valuable. The chances of Nick coming out fine on this deal and blowing up in the NFL world is much higher than him crashing and burning.

If anybody on this site had a brother with the talents and marketabliity as Mark Sanchez, you would not tell him to sign with somebody else because it may ruin your brotherly relationship. You would use Mark to recruit every other Trojan that is looking for representation. Anyone who would walk away from this gift is crazy!!!

Great responses thus far. I have an open mind and actually believe that I am switching over to believing that Mark signing his brother might have been the smart move.

No, don’t cave Darren!

I would think that negotiations in sports are like most, and experience and relationships are the key.

Sanchez has no experience in the world of negotiating athletic contracts — and they are different than settling a civil litigation dispute. When you settle a business dispute, both parties generally go their own way. In this case, both parties have to work together. A contract sets expectations as much as anything else.

Also, someone who is a professional agent (and no, I’m not) is immersed in the world of contracts. They spend their time talking to other agents, they know who got what, and often how. Sanchez isn’t part of that world, so it’s all new to him.

And finally, yes, very silly to go into business arrangement with a family member. Especially when there are big dollars at stake. Let’s look at what can happen:

1. Sanchez negotiates good contract and Sanchez plays well.
2. Sanchez negotiates poor contract and Sanchez plays well. Player Sanchez mad at brother. Thanksgiving dinners at Sanchez house now no fun.
3. Sanchez negotiates good contract and Sanchez plays poorly. Agent Sanchez mad at brother for not hitting bonus marks. Christmas becomes strained occasion.

Two out of three chances it ends poorly!

An easy rule: Whatever you’re doing, hire the best you can afford.

Poor policy in doing business with family members, if you care about your familial relationships at all!

If you are Brother Sanchez, however, OF COURSE you take this opportunity. Not a good idea for Mark, however, because the potential intense personal conflicts.

One problem from Brother Sanchez’s perspective is that he will always owe this portion of his career to his QB brother, and will be left wondering whether he could have pulled it off on his own . . . when QB brother ponders this, the relationship could turn permanently weird.

Mook – Brother Sanchez appears to be a very smart guy. I am sure he understands that he would never be able to succeed so quickly in this business without Mark. I am sure Big Brother Sanchez has mentored him through all types of situations…. ie the rape charge as freshmen, sitting on the bench for 3 yrs but sticking it out at USC. I am sure Brother Sanchez has been doing research on 1st round (top 10 picks) for several months if not years by now. Don’t believe for a second that this was a snap decision.

Dynasty itself prides it self on being loyal and part of the family.. I think Brother Sanchez fits the bill.

bobby r


“One problem from Brother Sanchez’s perspective is that he will always owe this portion of his career to his QB brother, and will be left wondering whether he could have pulled it off on his own . . . when QB brother ponders this, the relationship could turn permanently weird.”

Nick Sanchez went to Yale and then SC law. If his lil brother wasn’t a football player, he would still be a successful business litigator for a firm in Costa Mesa. It’s unlikely that he would have tried to become a sports agent if his brother wasn’t a football stud. I could see your point if Nick was just some scrub off the street, but he has his own life and now is looking out for his lil bro. Good luck to him. Having those SC ties won’t hurt for future players either.

I have to agree with Darren that this is a bad idea! Not because brother Nick can’t handle the details of representing a professional athlete, but rather because mixing business with family always impacts the nature of the family relationship. There will be disagreements, fallouts, and possibly a breakdown in family matters – I don’t think it’s worth the risk. If Mark wants to get his brother started as an agent he could simply pick a big-league agency and require they provide Nick a job as part of his contract. Nick will get some good experience and Mark will get objective representation (something everyone needs in life). Also, being a lawyer myself, I don’t think Nick’s legal experience in litigation transcends the nature of representing professional athletes – it’s like being a surgeon and then being asked to do the work of a pediatrician. Yes a surgeon could become a pediatrician, but there are many things about pediatrics that surgeons will only know after practicing pediatrics for some time.

So lets take a poll –

Since most people on this site want to be some type of agent. If Mark Sanchez was your brother, would you represent him?

Another important view…

If brother Sanchez does not take Mark as a client but still wants to continue his attempts at becoming a sports agent, imagine what kind of image that gives off that his own brother doesn’t even want him representing him. Sure, he could always say it is because they didn’t want to mix family with business but many players would still shy away from being represented by brother Sanchez.

When there are so many agents out there today, the smallest risk could be enough to turn away from a certain agent. Having the image that your own brother doesn’t even trust you enough to be represented by you is not something you want in this business…

Given that, as well as a couple other things previously mentioned, brother Sanchez needs to take the opportunity and run with it. If things don’t work out, there may eventually have to be a break-up by I see that as just an unavoidable risk.

Bobby, let me be completely honest:

OF COURSE!!!! (lingering thoughts about whether “I could do it on my own” be damned . . . then again, I am an only child so I have no clue what it’s like to even have a brother)

However, in all candor, it would be a VERY difficult decision to represent one of my children.

I just heard Leigh Steinberg on Mad Dog, and he implied that he isn’t crazy about the situation, either.

Hey, I wish the Sanchez camp the best of luck, and I certainly hope that the relationships in that family are strong enough for Mark to benefit from an extremely high level of representation.

If Mark was my little bro and I went to Yale and SC law and I was a business litigator, I’d be crazy not to represent Mark.

I’d much rather trust somebody I have a close relationship with than someone I have never met before. His brother is an practicing attorney. I believe he will be fine…

We fail to mention how cut throat this industry is and how many faulty people are in this industry….

LOL – so all the naysayers who said they wouldn’t represent Sanchez because he was your brother just lost out on the chance to represent McCoy.
Nice business move!


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