Authored by Geoff Vaughan in Careers and Employment
Published on 02-04-2009
With the rise of popular television shows like Entourage and hit movies such as Jerry Maguire (show me the money!), a career field that is rising in popularity is that of being an agent. The way these programs portray the life of an agent would make anyone aspire to this line of work, as they all seem to drive fast cars and have beautiful members of the opposite sex at their beckon call. One type of this exciting career that many dream of having is to be a sports agent. The duties of this time-demanding job are to represent professional and amateur athletes to the media and general public, and negotiating the salaries of their professional clients.
There are actually no set requirements to be a sports agent, as far as education is concerned. If you have completed the certification process to become an agent, then bingo, you’re a sports agent! But it’s definitely necessary to prepare yourself so you can meet the needs of this demanding career. And to do this, it’s a good idea to earn a degree in sports management at a college or university. There are hundreds of very good schools out there that offer this type of program, so you will have no problems finding a decent college at which to major in this field. While one doesn’t necessarily have to have this degree, it would certainly help to have it when trying to attract clients. Also, if you’re going to apply to be a staff member at an agency, unless you walk in with some big-name clients, a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management or equivalent is a necessity.
The next step in the process is to decide if you want to go it alone, or if you do indeed want to join an agency. If you’re just starting out in the field, you should probably begin your career at an agency in order to gain some valuable experience. You can find agencies in the local area by searching online or by asking other agents. Once you’ve found these places, you can apply to them by submitting a resume that details your education and past work experience. If you have no experience in the field, make sure to highlight your Sports Management education in your resume as opposed to your past jobs.
In most cases, you will then have to go through a certification process in order to represent professional athletes. For example, to represent a National Football League player in contract negotiations, an agent has to be certified by the NFL Players Association. This usually involves taking one or more tests and paying some fees.
If you have worked at an agency for a while and have built up your chops in the industry, you may then decide to start your own management company. With a few clients and a lot of hard work, it’s possible to build a full-fledged agency to the point where you can hire up-and-coming agents like you used to be.
The life of a sports agent may not always be as glamorous as it’s portrayed on TV and in movies, but it can be an exciting career field for those who have the burning desire to make it happen and who are willing to work hard. With an outgoing personality and a lot of gumption, it’s possible that you can become an agent as well.