Who are Sports Agents?

In an era when salaries and endorsements for professional athletes have skyrocketed, agents are becoming essential players in the multi-billion dollar industry. Being a sports agent means working with famous sports stars and getting front row access to the biggest sporting event. But it isn’t all perks and glamour to be an agent. So what are the job descriptions, qualifications, and how much does an agent earn?

Let’s find out:

Sports agents are basically legal representatives for professional athletes and coaches. Their job is to handle the business deals for their respective clients, negotiate contracts, and help to manage their money. In some cases, agents work as financial managers, legal representatives, and public relation officer. Apart from connecting players to the client, an agent’s job is to respond to press inquiries, arrange interviews and media appearances as well.  

Pogba with his agent Mino Raiola Source: NDTV.sports

In addition, agents organize the whole life of their athletes, from finding a rare pair of shoes to booking the next holiday for them in an exotic location. Being a sports agent is a difficult job since one has to sacrifice personal life and travel extensively to fill the role missing from an athlete’s life. 

So what are the set of skills you need to bring to the table to be a sports agent?  A key job of an agent is to attend events to find talents that you can work on, represent and take to the next level. Therefore, a connection to the sports world is vital to becoming an agent. If you are from an athletic background it becomes easy to form a bond with the athletes you want to work with. 

However, it is not mandatory for you to have an athletic background. More importantly, one must have the ability to understand things from the inside and have excellent networking, relationship management skills. The work gets tough after finding a client since the agent has to continuously be in contact with clubs, media, and leading sports publications.

Cristiano with his agent Jorge Mendes Source: Juvefc

Only a good network mechanism can provide the best services to an athlete and be a real competitive advantage. Only a competent agent can help the athletes to earn more. 

Nowadays due to the popularity of agents, one can easily take a degree in law, business administration, and sports management. Although a degree is not necessary to be an agent one must acquire a license from the national sports association of specific sports. 

Zlatan with his agent Mina Raiola Source: Sky sports

So how much does an agent earn? Agents are usually paid on a commission basis so it is in their favor to get their client more money than they can. An agent can generally earn between 4%  to 10 % of the athletes playing contract and 10% to 20 % of endorsement contract. Although these figures may vary from sports to sports depending upon the law and rules it associates.