How To Be A Great Sports Agent

from Forbes

When I started my career in sports law in 1975 by signing the first pick in the NFL Draft — Steve Bartkowski, quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons — to the largest rookie contract in football history, sports representation was in its infancy.

Most athletes represented themselves or had their fathers help them, and teams were under no obligation to interact with agents. Owners such as Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals would simply announce, “We don’t deal with agents,” and hang up the phone.

The two expansion franchises that entered the league in 1976 had purchase prices of $16.5 million. Each team received $2 million as its share of the national television contract, and the average player salary was $30,000. There has been a revolution in agentry and economics in the past 36 years. The average NFL franchise is worth a billion dollars, teams receive $130 million from national television and the average salary exceeds $2 million.

 More here.

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50 Responses to How To Be A Great Sports Agent

  1. Andrés Linares January 23, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    Being a Sports Agent, is one of the hardest jobs in the sport industry, and one of the most underrated too. In any sport, the work of an agent is hard. People in the sport industrie is never friends of agents, teams and players are not fans of having agents. Some people has made the agents look as untrusted business men. Agents are just the connection between an athlete and a sports franchise for a contract.

    Even though people sometimes feel that sports agent work in a ‘dirty’ way’, the reality is that they do, but the ‘dirty’ of it is i the way they work to get a player, and between them. Let me explain. An example of this is, every athlete can just sign with an agent a contract of one year, and they will have to renew their contract every year. When one is an agent of a rising star, the most wanted by every team and agents, this kids are still not earning money as an actual start, so, when their contract with their agent is about to end, some random presents start to arrive to their home. Agents that want to sign them for the next year are willing to do everything for this kids, even buying them houses for the family or cars for their parents. They do it this way so other agents can not press charges against them, to the federation they are licensed to, when talking about ‘Fair Play’.

    When a scout is negotiating with a team, his work is just based in getting the best contract for his athlete. The is not dirty work, in the daily life of every person, you always try to get the best of every deal. For example, when you go to buy a car, you are always trying to get amenities for free, or just get a better deal for the car, is business. The teams, say they do not like agents because they work dirty, but the reality is that the dirty work is done by the teams, most of times by the most powerful teams, to win a contract. Many leagues, mostly in the US, have always a maximum salary they can not overpass when signing a new player, so they will give them many things, not registered as their salary in order to sign them, houses, cars, etc, making it look as a ‘sponsor’ from the team.

    Sport world has always been corrupt, but is not the agents who are corrupt or do the dirty work, is everyone in the sports world who do the dirty work. Everyone is always going to look for the best deal. As an agent, or as a player, and as a team.

  2. Joe Iuliano January 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    Sports agents started to become popular in the 70s. Before as the article states that athletes were represented by their fathers or no one at all. States became so strict with sports agents to the point where if they went against the law they would end up jail. A sports agent is someone who negotiates contracts and deals with teams and different companies. They try to get as much money to their client as possible.
    When Leigh Steinberg started his career in 1975 he signed a first round pick for the Atlanta Falcons in which it was the highest paid rookie ever in NFL history. As nice as it looks on paper, there was so much arguing going back and forth to get Steve Bartkowski the money he thought he deserved. The way they made this possible was by Steinberg representing him. Sports agents became more and more popular over the years that almost every athlete is represented by one. Some teams even require it. The agent also serves as a “second father” because they have seen athletes succeed as well as failed during their career so it is up to them to make sure their future clients don’t make the mistakes past clients have. Agents have many jobs when representing an athlete because they are helping set the future up for their client. So many different factors are being dealt with when getting the athlete the proper money and making sure the athlete is conducting themselves properly on and off the court or field.

  3. Brendan Lloyd January 28, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    At times in sports when dealing with agents I feel as though the agent sometimes makes it all about himself and not about the player he is representing. In some cases I feel as though the agent is asking for way too much money from a particular team just to make his return bigger. Since neither the agent nor the team can agree on the price, the player is the one who winds up paying in the end because in the time they are arguing over the deal, the athlete is missing out on all the better situations that would better suit him. It is up for the athlete to be on the same page which either other and for them to have a strong bond so they know what they are looking for not only in each other but in the team they are looking to sign with. And it is not always the agents fault either. At times players ask for way too much money as well putting the agent in a tight situation and then getting the blame when a deal can’t be reached. If I were an athlete I would rather have an agent that that a few clients and knows them personally rather than a guy who has tons and barely knows anything about any of them. The better relationship I have with my agent and the more comfortable we are with each other the more likely we will get a deal much faster and quicker and one we both agree on.
    In sports you do not hear the names of many agents other than a select few. Those select few that you hear of would not be the ones that I would want representing me other than one or two of them. The reason for this is that when talking about deals with players the player should be the one getting the more attention and not the agent himself. Yes I understand the agent will be mentioned once or twice when referring to the deal but there are too many agents out there who let their ego get in the way and that is not fair to the player which is a shame. The fans out there want to see their favorite player on their favorite team and at times the agents get in the way and avoid that from happening. When searching for an agent it is up to the athlete to pick the best one that is similar to them and may share similar interests as well. If you respect and help your agent he will return the favor.

  4. Guillermo Garcia January 28, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    This article was very interesting and opened my eyes up to that career. I have always heard of sports agents obviously but never from a former agent himself. I like the fact that he truly cared about his clients and was really helping his players achieve what they wanted on the field, but as well he set the bar high and had them thinking about life after football and was pushing them to have to deal with life after football, by making them look into careers in the off season.

    I have always heard of agents that ripped players off, or players that lead players in the wrong direction for their own secret agenda. Stories of Marcus Dupree, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, players that have been lead in the wrong direction or players that have been ripped off by their agents. These stories are horrible and unjust. These players put in all that time and effort into something they love and they deserve everything they have coming to them. Unfortunately a lot of people are ready to do whatever to take advantage or abuse people success.

    It was good to hear of an agent that cared, and did not just live off his client, but actually tried to better and empower his client to do bigger and better things during his career and after his career.

  5. Alan Vartabedian February 6, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    As an avid sports fan, I found this article particularly interesting, as it gave me the more positive perspective on the infamous world of sports agents. Growing up in a time where athletes’ salaries and scandals have become legal issues and for ample amounts of money on the line, I have always seen sports agents in a negative view. When I think of sports agents, I think of guys like Scott Boris, who represents some of the top athletes on Earth, that take ridiculous amounts of money from players in order to represent them as an agent. Yet, I was relieved to see that Steinberg offered a positive image for agents in the sports world.
    I was very impressed by Steinberg’s care for the athlete as a professional and a human being rather than just an investment to make them money. I liked how he sat with his athletes and would discuss long-term goals and how to reach them in addition to preparing his clients for life after sports. He noted of helping NFL players such as Troy Aikman for a career in broadcasting after his time in the NFL was done. This really gave me a sense of comfort and trust in this man representing athletes, as he established a system that has proven to work with professionals such as Aikman and Steve Young. I think if the sports world it going to become less scandalous, it is time for the men in the suits to fix their act up, or else no one will.

  6. Daniel Hernandez March 20, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    As a fan of professional sports and the movie “Jerry Maguire”, I was thrilled to stumble upon this article on forbes.com titled “How To Be A Great Sports Agent”. It seems as if there is a record-breaking contract every off-season in professional sports. I do not follow football or basketball as much as baseball, so I cannot informatively refer to a current agent in those sports. In baseball the most popular sports agent is Scott Boras. Boras seems to have a knack for signing his clients to these amazingly exorbitant contracts every single year. People continue to doubt his abilities, but he consistently gets his players exactly what they are looking for.

    Sports agents were not always popular according to Leigh Steinberg. Steinberg, a contributing writer on forbes.com and the inspiration behind the movie “Jerry Maguire”, states that in 1975 “sports representation was in its infancy”. He explains that at that time many players represented themselves, and some had their father’s help. Sports was a different world back then, and even while reading this article, I continue to learn that sports just was not as important to society as it is today. Over the decades, society has definitely evolved to include sports. More and more people continue to attend games; sponsors continue to pony up huge money for advertisement; and players’ salaries continue to increase.

    In this article, Steinberg explains to his readers what the requirements are to become a sports agent. Most sports have player associations which certify agents who want to represent professional athletes. Certain regulation requirements actually vary by state, with Florida and Texas having “requirements so stringent that agents have been sent to jail”. As someone who was a sports agent for such a long time, Steinberg is a credible and qualified source to discuss the requirements of the career. Steinberg also lends some advice about how to break into the industry.

    Steinberg states that “agents have distorted their real purpose by narrowly focusing on simply stacking more dollars into a player’s bankbook and publicizing themselves in bitter public negotiations”. He believes that prospective agents should know that “quality representation focuses on a holistic approach” since something such as an unfortunate injury can occur, shortening their careers. He encourages asking questions to truly get an understanding of what your client needs, and give them the proper guidance and advice they need. One of Steinberg’s tactics is asking every client to “be a role model”. It is also imperative that agents do not forget that the sport in which they represent players is as much theirs as the athletes. As a sports agent, do what you can to maintain its integrity, and do not focus on yourself – your client is your priority.

  7. Dylan Walko April 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    The role of an agent has changed substantially over the past 5 decades or so. Back in the late 70’s agents had little to no relevance in the sports world, that role was handled either by the player or someone close to them in their life like their father. Most teams would not even deal with agents either, which was clearly stated by the Bengals coach.
    But as time grew it was essential for players to receive better representation since they truly were getting the short end of the stick which is comical in today’s world. They were not making hundreds of millions dollars, more in the realm of $30,000. It is much more than simply negotiating a contract too now a days. Agents create a true relationship with their clients, not only valuing them at the highest possible price but also learning about their long term financial expectations.
    Good agents also realize the importance of their role in society, they are not just athletes, and they have to be active citizens in the community. Showing face at events, and being a positive role model holds a lot of importance. It is not all about the money at the end of the day because the game only lasts for so long.

  8. Haoliang Pan April 30, 2015 at 11:28 pm #

    Most athletes represented themselves or had their fathers help them, and teams were under no obligation to interact with agents. But someone wont deal with agents. The author has spoken on more than 75 campuses to many schools and programs. He really tries hard to show his experience right here. But certain states such as Florida and Texas have state regulation requirements so stringent that agents have been sent to jail. California has a state program to regulate athletes.
    He asked many times daily how someone could break into the field. So basically he was saying agents have distorted their real purpose by narrowly focusing on simply stacking more dollars into a player’s bankbook and publicizing themselves in bitter public negotiations.
    I think this guy basically use this essay to sell him out. But rather we can say that he is pretty good at sport agent. But anyway, I am not really interesting in what he is saying.

  9. Jonathan Yohanan May 1, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    The sports agent role has been behind the scenes work for many years. But now it has become an idolized role, viewed in movies such as Jerry Miguire, and on ESPN when they interviewed Scott Boras about his everyday life with players. About forty years ago the role of a sports agent was irrelevant and not even a serious field. Now in this day and age with hundreds of millions of dollars being thrown around at players. The role of an agent is all the more important now than it ever was. Athletes were never making the millions of dollars that they are today, they were making the average salary of about 25,000 dollars.

    But a good agent is not all about just making money for yourself and your player. It is about knowing where your client is going to be able to succeed. He could not be set for the lime light like the city of New York. So maybe it would be best to start him in a small market city of Milwaukee, or maybe Oklahoma City, if we are talking basketball. Being an agent can be a full filling job, and is not something I personally would like to shy away from as an option for my future.

  10. Alfred Valli May 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    Being a sports fan this article was very interesting to read. We never really see the agents and they are usually behind the scenes. Although we don’t see them in the spotlight they are very important and play a huge role in athletes careers and have a big impact on the sport. It was interesting for this article to note that about forty years ago agents weren’t very big and didn’t have an impact. He even wrote that there were teams that would not deal with agents and only wanted to deal with players who did not have agents. This was very interesting. Another interesting fact was that years ago in around the 1970s the athletes average salary was only 30,000. Back then that was pretty good money but today athletes now make an average of 2 million dollars. When these players began to make more money they need help and guidance and a representative to deal with teams on their behalf.

    The down side to agents is that people think they are only out to make themselves, and the athletes the most money possible. And although this may be true sometimes most of the agents are looking out for their clients best interest and want them to have as good and as healthy and successful a career as possible, not necessarily just make a lot of money. Now a days with some pro athletes making as much as 20 or 25 million dollars a year the money has expanded and is a huge incentive to become an agent. A lot of these players however have the same agents and it winds up that a few big name agents wind up representing the star athletes and making a lot of money. However agents should not be in the game to make money they should do it to make the game safer and better for the athletes and to work for their clients not to make themselves rich.

  11. CPA September 29, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    The perspective Steinberg gave within the article was refreshing due to the lack of care many agents have provided their clients outside of where their next paycheck will come from. While many agents recently such as notorious mega-agent Scott Boras (who represents MLB stars such as future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre, young, marketable stars like Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, and Stephen Strasburg, and top prospects Mark Appel, Erick Fedde, Billy McKinney, and Julio Urias) and Jeff Wechsler (former agent for NBA champion Harrison Barnes) have caught flack for trying to get the largest contract for their clients, their self-interests have become clear in the form of agent compensation, which typically ranges from 4-7% of a player’s contract. Wechsler in particular, a definitively inferior name in the sports agent world, was fired by Barnes a mere twelve days ago due to him failing to agree on taking an approximate 1% cut in agent compensation before Barnes signs a lucrative extension with the Golden State Warriors at some point in the next month, which could be a potential loss upwards of $1 million. The short-term interest agents show in their negotiations with teams over rookie scale contracts, free agency contracts, and even upper management contracts outshines the potential impact they can have in maturing these young athletes into making decisions that could prolong their careers outside of their playing days.
    Part of any great business is its philanthropic impact within the community it serves, as demonstrated by initiatives such as the Play 60 in the NFL that encourages children to exercise with some help from local professional football players to build new, custom playgrounds and run daily exercise regiments. Other than donating time and money, I believe the social impact a sports agent can have for the players they are hired to advise includes career advice, simple financial dos and don’ts, and even that of a counselor or therapist when tough times arise. Rider University basketball great and current Golden State Warrior power forward Jason Thompson recently went through a broadcasting program run by the NBA Players’ Association (more information can be found on Thompson’s blog here) not only to take advantage of the TV/radio broadcasting degree he earned through his four years, but to establish a post-basketball career he could make a comfortable living off of. Along with that, Thompson was a community standard with his former Sacramento Kings, where he donated Thanksgiving essentials for each of his seven seasons to those in need. These acts have set Thompson up for a successful future thanks to the long-term plans he and his agent have set up. If agents acknowledge the reasoning that if they stay committed to planning long-term success with their clients, they will eventually garner the respect of the industry, fellow players, and earn an annual paycheck that reflects that commitment versus fighting for the spotlight i.e. Drew Rosenhaus.

  12. Nick M. October 3, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    The occupation of the sports agent has a very bad reputation in today’s society. We only hear about sports agents in the media when an agent does wrong by a player by violating a contract or illegally acting without the player’s knowledge, or when a player is “holding out” because the multi-millions that they are making isn’t enough to “feed their families.” I remember watching the broadcast of Terrell Owens doing crunches in his driveway after being suspended from training camp because of a bad attitude. The $7.5M he was making wasn’t enough to feed his family, and this newfound greed was believed to come from the infamous agent he hired a few months before: Drew Rosenhaus. Owens went from a hero to a villain in a matter of minutes in Philadelphia as he repeatedly responded “no comment” to media questions as he curled weights in his driveway. Standing behind him throughout this whole circus, literally and figuratively, was Drew Rosenhaus, and the public image of sports agents took yet another hit.

    Rosenhaus is regarded as a fantastic agent, continuously “taking care of his players” by squeezing everything he can out of the player’s respective organization before he signs on the dotted line. But according to former sports agent and Forbes.com contributor Leigh Steinberg, Rosenhaus does not meet the criteria to be deemed a successful agent in his mind. He highlights the importance of not damaging the relationship between the public and the player, stating that the average family income in California is $43,000, so there will be little sympathy shown for players trying to get $10M when they are currently making $7M. Additionally, Steinberg continuously prepared his players for a potential career in broadcasting, business and coaching after their football careers were over, even if they weren’t sure that was the path they wanted to take, while highlighting the importance of keeping that relationship with the public clean. I doubt many high school, college, or professional coaches would want to add Terrell Owens to their coaching staff after a career filled with ticking-off the general public with his antics. After five years of retirement, Owens has not landed a broadcasting gig, but he, appropriately so, has landed a reality TV gig. While Rosenhaus was certainly a great short-term agent, there is a long-term element to being a successful agent that most agents often forget about.

    Steinberg talked about ranking priorities with his clients to add clarity to how he could “help me, help you.” These priorities that should be ranked include: short-term economic gain, long-term economic gain, family, geographic location – weather, urban/rural lifestyle, profile and endorsements, starting on the team, being on a winning team, coaching, system, the playing surface and their facilities. This is a great list of priorities, as players certainly have different needs/wants, and creating your own blue print of “demands” will certainly make the relationship the player and agent have more successful and prosperous. You wonder if Rosenhaus discussed any of these priorities with Owens, or if he just wanted to create short-term money to fill his own pockets. Terrell Owens is widely regarded as one of the most successful receivers in NFL history, and will undoubtedly find himself in Canton, Ohio one day as a Hall-of-Famer. However, this historic player has ticked-off every fan base he has had a chance to play for. San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Dallas have mixed emotions about Owens, making him a bit of a social pariah.

  13. A. Palm October 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    I find it interesting because in today’s day and age, the title of sports agent is not as glorious as it seems. A lot of them are seen as the people who try to get whatever they can out of the talented, young, up-and-coming player they fight other agents to represent. Being an avid sports fan, I feel as if I get this point of view because agents do so much behind the scenes work that the public does not hear about all the good things agents do, only the scandals they get caught up with.
    For example, as stated in an article on wralSPORTSfan.com, sports agent Terry Watson is being brought up on 14 counts felony counts related to the University of North Carolina scandal. In this scandal, it was said that Watson gave gifts, cash, and perks to current players of the collegiate football team in order to get those players to sign with him when they were done playing football for the school. The UNC Uniform Athlete Act was created to deter agents trying to lure athletes, who have eligibility left, into signing professional contracts. Stories such as these are heard throughout the media very often.

  14. A. Palm October 8, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    I find it interesting because in today’s day and age, the title of sports agent is not as glorious as it seems. A lot of them are seen as the people who try to get whatever they can out of the talented, young, up-and-coming player they fight other agents to represent. Being an avid sports fan, I feel as if I get this point of view because agents do so much behind the scenes work that the public does not hear about all the good things agents do, only the scandals they get caught up with.
    For example, an article of wralSPORTfan, posted on October 8th, 2013, by Cullen Browder, sports agent Terry Watson is being brought up on 14 counts felony counts related to the University of North Carolina scandal. In this scandal, it was said that Watson gave gifts, cash, and perks to current players of the collegiate football team in order to get those players to sign with him when they were done playing football for the school. The UNC Uniform Athlete Act was created to deter agents trying to lure athletes, who have eligibility left, into signing professional contracts

  15. Justin Amelio November 5, 2015 at 12:52 am #

    Being a sports agent has got to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. There are many things that you have to be aware of when dealing with the sports market. It takes a long time in order to get a degree that will make you qualified to be a sports agent. I can also imagine that becoming a sports agent is very difficult unless you know somebody or know someone who knows someone in the field. Getting your name out to athletes is another aspect of being a sports agent that is very challenging. How are you going to get an athlete to want you to be responsible for their career if they have no idea who you are? Sports agents in the past have taken heat for stealing some of their athletes money throughout their careers. It is very easy for an agent to do this because the athlete does not know much about money which is why they hire agents to keep them on the right track. Crummy sports agents have contributed to many former star athletes going broke.

    Former NFL star Terell Owens has gone broke since retiring because of his agent who suggested to him to invest his money and it did not work out. His agent also stole money from him throughout his career without him knowing. Athletes are aware that sports agents are known from stealing money from athletes so when it comes to choosing a sports agent athletes have to choose someone that they can trust. One of the biggest things an athlete looks for in a sports agent is contract negotiation ability. Athletes want to be able to make the most amount of money possible and if an agent cannot provide this for an athlete then they will not get hired. Another big part of being a sports agent is being able to get an athlete out of legal trouble. With being a star in a professional sport comes many opportunities to mess up because there is a tremendous amount of pressure on you at all times. Athletes are always under the spotlight of the media because of how famous they are and the amount of money they are making. If an agent is able to protect athletes from the legal part of the sport then they will be successful. A sport agent is a dream job for most of us who watch sports it takes a long time to gain the qualifications but once you do it is one of the most high paying jobs in the world and a lot of benefits come with it. There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a sport agent as well but if you can handle all of them it can be the biggest opportunity of your lifetime.

  16. Marquise Moseley November 5, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

    The idea of being a sports agent in this era is something that is hard to come by. In today’s world I feel as though there are only a few sports agents with big names that athletes go to if they want to make it big, and the only way they go with the no name agent is if they were friends back in the day before the athlete became talented enough make it big. To become a sports agent it is so much hard work that it is not even funny. You have to learn so many intricate details to the law, the economy, the sports market, and other things along those lines just to get the technical part of being an agent down. What people do not realize is that the journey does not stop there. After you get the technical part down you need to get the mental part down, and that is where this article comes into play.
    In this article “How To Be A Great Sports Agent” by Leigh Steinberg he makes being a sports agent sound easy. In the article he goes through kind of just giving some background behind how to be a sports agent, and waits until the end to give his tips. From what I read I feel as though the main point he was trying to make was that you can not be corrupt when trying to be a sports agent. Most sports agents today just try to get their client the most money possible without really caring about them. The agent usually just cares about putting more money in their clients hand that way they get more money put into their hands. Steinberg goes on to say that he believes you should worry about your clients introspect and their internal goals in priorities when dealing with them and their contracts. He preaches that you put your client first, and worry about things like the money second. Of course the money is important, but the idea of your client being happy with the move that is made is more important.
    Once you are able to incorporate these tips into your training you are on your way to being a good sports agent. Every kid today that majors in business and enjoys sports is most likely looking to be a sports agent. The idea of being a sports agent in today’s world is a dream job. Just like every athlete dreams of making it to the pros and making it big, if that falls through the idea of being an agent is just as good. That way even if you can not make the league yourself you are still around the game, and you can be doing something you love while being paid for it. I know personally that when I was growing up and realized that I did not have to talent to make it big in basketball that the next thing I wanted to do was be around the game as much as possible. That is why I was originally going to enter college as a sports management major. I think the idea of being around something you love while making money is what it all comes down to in life.

  17. Kayla James November 5, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    This article was very appealing to me as I am in pursuit of becoming a sport agent. Like Steinberg stated, sports have changed drastically over the years. Careers in sports are desired by students all over the United States and are they taking the necessary steps to become successful. I completely agree with Steinberg in his statement that “Quality representation focuses on a holistic approach to second career and life skills.” Prospective sports agents should understand that joining the industry is all about the athlete and how you, the agent, can help them maximize their short athletic career.
    I think potential sports agents should try to get as broad of an education as possible. Not only do agents require a background in management, but it builds on foundations of public relations, ethics, legal studies, marketing, health and fitness, and finance. It would only be helpful for the agent have some knowledge or a basic understanding of these backgrounds to make their clients appealing in the industry. Not only can the agent give perspective from the business point of view, but can be the voice of reason for the fans that can make or break an athlete’s career. The agent will get to know the athlete and their expectations better than anyone else. Agents can then make decisions that benefit (or try too) all parties involved.

  18. Andrew Lentini November 5, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    Working in sports is something many young people aspire to do. It seems like the “cool” job growing up and it really is the cool job but getting a job in sports is one of the hardest things to do. I am majoring in Sports management and marketing so during my little experience in sports I see how hard it is to get a job. Already so far I have had a job that I worked 10 hours a day at and did not get paid one penny. This summer it sucked a whole lot to do this but I know in the future it will be well worth it. In sports there is many positions that you can have and a sports agent is one of them. Starting off as an agent is something that is very difficult because you have to get players to trust you when trying to negotiate a contract with them. Sports agents have been not been around for all that long, many NFL owners in the 70’s would say “we don’t deal with agents” and hang up the phone. Many players were represented by their father or by they would negotiate a contract on their own. Contracts themselves have grown tremendously over the years with players in 1976 making an average of 30,000. For a professional athlete now a days most professional leagues have their minimum player salary at 500,000. Many years later the average NFL salary is now up to 2 million dollars. Being an agent is a very competitive job in any league where thousands of men and women try and sign all of the rookies to their agency. The players are protected by the league when it comes to their agents, all agents must pass background checks and agree to be bound by the leagues ethical standards. One scary thing to note is that financial planners are not subject to these rules and restrictions. I disagree with this practice because these are the people who are handing the money of the athletes and you do not want anyone taking any money from them without them knowing. Many athletes go poor after they retire because they simply do not know how to slow down their spending habits. This is a problem in all major sports but especially in the NBA where many players lose everything they have only a couple years after the checks stop coming in. Agents are so crazy trying to find their athletes that states like Florida and Texas have set up state regulation requirements for these people to follow and the states have sent agents to jail before for breaking the rules. In order for an athlete to get the biggest contract and the most money they can they need to role models to the youth in the community. As the author notes this will paint a very positive image of the player and the team will like him more which will make them want to keep him around. An important skill an agent must also have is being able to set up his client for the future, weather it has to do with endorsements or a career in broadcasting the agent is responsible for making sure there is money to be made in the future. The author says that being an agent is a very fun job that requires a lot of patience and also has a lot of pressure to it.

  19. Laure Walker November 8, 2015 at 12:28 am #

    The article title immediately grabbed my attention because in the future I want to be a sports agent. The reason I want to be a sports agent is because I enjoy watching sports, and I want to represent people. I am also getting my degree in Accounting, which will help me with the financial aspect of being a sports agent. The article gives some important information about the history of sports agents. For example, prior to reading this piece, I did not know that years ago players represented themselves or had their fathers advise them.

    The piece also gives some crucial advice about being a good sports agent. The author suggests that as a sports agent, you have to understand the goal of the athletes you want to represent. In my opinion, this is extremely important because you cannot represent someone without knowing exactly what they want out of a contract. The author also mentions some requests that he has for his clients. This makes his clients not only look better to the fans and the public, but it also ignites a sense of value in themselves. All in all, I found significance in this piece because it gave me insight on tips that I should use when I become a sports agent.

  20. Matthew Ehrhardt January 28, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

    I found this article very interesting considering that this is the profession that I wish to pursue after college. Even as an athlete I was always more interested in the moves made off the field in professional sports, and I find great amazement in the negotiation process in determining a players worth and livelihood. Of course the money is the main subject of all negotiations, it is nice to see a very big agent write about involving morals and ethics to the world of sports related business. Now he claims that agents have to have this bigger effect on the game through their players which I think is kind of extreme, but other than that he does raise some valid points. Obviously agents are supposed to get their clients whatever they want, and some want more than others, but it is clear that there are other factors that play into an agent getting a client what he wants besides the big dollar signs.
    For example, Cliff Lee won the Cy Young Award (the award given in the American and National league in the MLB for the best pitcher in the league) in 2008. Even leading up to that season he was very successful, and with the use of advanced analytic statistics (which is very prevalent in sports today) it was clear that he was one of the most consistent pitchers in the MLB at that time. Now in 2009 he was traded to Philadelphia where he led them to the World Series only to lose to the New York Yankees. Then he was a free agent and signed just a one year deal with the Seattle Mariners. In the middle of that first year contract he was traded to Texas, and then at the conclusion of that season he was a free agent again. Now he is even more proven than he was in his first round of free agency and was expecting a big pay day from the Yankees, but he surprisingly signed back with the Phillies for less years and less money. Why? Well in this article Steinberg’s list of necessities for players does include more than just money. When Lee became public about the signing he said that he enjoyed his time with Philadelphia in 2009 and that his family had their primary home their after his trade in 2009. He said his kids felt comfortable there and that it was the best choice for him and his family. You could read more about that controversial signing here: http://m.mlb.com/news/article/16314600/
    The biggest thing brought up by Steinberg that I most thoroughly enjoyed was his small section about leadership in player’s actions in becoming a role model. Having the players go back to their hometowns or old schools doesn’t just look good for themselves, but it also looks good for their team, and their sport. Athletes are usually criticized in the media for their faults or indecencies so it it very rare to see a player reported for giving back. Now all leagues have awards for giving back and giving your all both on and off the field. The Yankees organization even dedicates each day in a specific week each season to give back and honor those in need in an effort called hope week.
    This off the field morals doesn’t just concern itself with charity but also with criminal activity. As an agent it is obviously favorable for you to negotiate with a team without having to talk about problems your player is having off the field. Teams are not going to risk millions of guaranteed dollars on a social time bomb that is just waiting to set off in any organization. Especially being the agent of that player makes you, the agent, look like a terrible person. Michael Vick was the premier quarter back in the NFL in the early 2000’s. He could do it all: he could run if the pocket broke down, he had amazing QB ratings, and a hell of an arm for a slim quarter back. When he went to jail for illegal dog fighting everyone gave up on him. When he came out of jail however, he made it clear he wanted to play in the NFL. Teams knew he still had talent, but were very skeptical of the stigma that came with Vick on the squad. This most likely made the signing process for his agent a living hell. Instilling good ethical behavior off the field is a good idea for the interests of both the player and his agent.
    Steinberg seems more qualified than anyone to talk about this issue and I think he raised valid points to those trying to enter the field by opening the door to other possibilities to think about when getting a deal. Will this make for more kind hearted agents in the future? Probably not, but it is something that should definitely be spread around.

  21. Tommy Rinaldi January 29, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    In the world of sports many things are apparent. Before a professional career starts, a player must worry about what happens if they do not make it as a profession player of their respective sport. They must think of what they could do immediately in place of playing their respective sport. That is why some college sports make it a rule to stay in college a certain amount of years. Also before a player starts their professional career. They have to think of whether or not they can be a starter in the next step. There have been many cases of where a player is amazing in college but terrible in their respective profession sport (i.e. Jamarcus Russell, Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf, Adam Morrison). Their are numerous lists online that show how hard it is to make the transition from collegiate superstar to professional starter, nevertheless star. This is also one of the struggles of when a player does go professional. They may never breakout to become a star or they will have one good year and never do well again. Injury is another important factor a player must think about. The chances of injury may be going down from league to league due to new rules and regulations to protect players. However, it only takes a split second, wrong angle, bad fall, or feat of bad luck for a player’s career to end. After a player’s career is over, whether they played well or not. They must figure out what to do after they retire for which ever reason. Some become coaches of the sports they love. Others become analysts for ESPN. Others do not find a job after they retire and have to budget the money they made as a player. Some regular people think that these players will be fine because they made millions upon millions of dollars. On the contrary, there are dozens of former players who have gone bankrupt after retiring from their respective sport (i.e. Allen Iverson, Mike Tyson, Curt Schilling, and much more).http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/celebrity/broke-athletes/
    All of these instances are where a sport agent can be useful. An article from Forbes, by Leigh Steinberg, describes why a sports agent is so useful for a player and how people could join this field. An agent can help a player properly learn the ropes of what it is like to be a professional. They can teach the ropes of how to use their new found skills and finances correctly. They can help with public relations and media and to find new jobs. A good agent is not only their to make money but to make a player’s life better and sustainable.

  22. Brendan Seery January 29, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

    This article written by Leigh Steinberg, a former sports agent, outlines what he believes makes a great sports agent. I am majoring in sports management here at Seton Hall and being a sports agent is something I thought about. I do not know if I have the personality to be an agent. After reading the article I believe that Mr. Steinberg does the job the right way. There is a major problem with agents in college athletics and agents became a dirty business. But Mr. Steinberg emphasizes the long term interests of his clients.
    Mr. Steinberg outlines that when an agent takes the spotlight off the player and on to themselves and their negotiating skills, they do a disservice to the profession. Also when an agent publicizes contract negotiations, they create bad publicity for all professional athletes. The average person will not sympathize with an athlete making millions of dollars and who wants more. The agent that is most guilty of this is Scott Boras. He is known as getting his clients the most amount of money, but he is also known as becoming the center of attention rather than his clients. For example, during the World Series one year Boras announced that his client Alex Rodriguez, was opting out the final year of his contract. That became the main story of the day, rather than the World Series. Most good agents would have waited until the World Series was over. An agent’s job is not all about getting the most money for their clients. The job is to know what the goals of the athlete are and build their brand. Also to prepare the athlete for his life after they retire. They also need to build the sport their client plays because professional sports are entertainment and rely heavily on fan involvement. Mr. Steinberg asks his clients to be role models, but Charles Barkley would say he is not a role model. Athletes get glorified because they can do things physically that few people in the world can do. The problem with that is being physically gifted doesn’t make you a person that deserves to be looked up to. The people who are true role models, such as soldiers or first responders, do not always have the platform a professional athlete has.
    I am fortunate to have a family friend, Charlie Stillitano, who is a sports agent for European soccer players and coaches. I even had the opportunity to have dinner with Sir Alex Ferguson, the all-time great coach of Manchester United. I also got to know Giorgio Chinaglia, the Italian soccer star who also played for the New York Cosmos. I got to see first hand how, as an agent, you have to be available around the clock and you have to do a lot of talking. Often when I am with Charlie he will get a call from Europe and will miss the entire dinner he had planned for us. You also need to do a lot of traveling and be prepared to do whatever your client wants.

  23. Parth Parikh February 4, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    This article changed the way I see sports agents because when I used to think of agents, I thought about them as people who can do anything they want and will do anything to make sure their clients get paid so they can get their fair share of the income based on how the player and agent decided to split up the money. Well-known agents like Scott Boras and Drew Rosenhaus are known because they have signed the biggest sports stars in America and always come out on top when news breaks out that their clients are now the highest paid players in their respective sports. The media has also portrayed agents as the cool guys who have a lot of bravado and self-confidence that they can go to any team and get their client all the money that the team has. At times, it even seems like the agent gets to party and go out to restaurants to dine with the client when he or she wants to celebrate an accomplishment. After reading this article though, I have gained a new respect for agents and the fact that the good ones have one goal, which is to help their clients see the world and give them advice on what to do when they are in a time of hardship. Agents in reality care very much about the welfare of their clients and want to make sure that the players are given a fair platform to perform upon and to make sure that a player is aware of the options and opportunities readily available to them as they make life-changing decisions. In most instances, players grow up in an unsafe environment, having to grow up and become more mature earlier and faster than the average person. With a bad decision and even worse fates around every corner, these agent come in when the player is about to make it to the big time and the agent’s role is to make sure the player keeps up the maturity and the sophistication to not make the mistakes that they avoided in their childhood. With that in mind, I find it assuring that agents really do care about their athletes, especially when agents have to ask the personal questions, such as the players’ long-term security and how will they survive after retirement, where do the players rate family in their list of priorities, and where would the player like to play in, considering each player has their set of comfort level in specific weather conditions and lifestyles in the cities they might play in. The best example of this is when my favorite music artist and now-sports agent, Jay Z, hired Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees as his first client. When Cano hit the free-agent market, Jay Z reportedly met with Cano and asked what he wanted more than anything, to which Cano replied with his desire to be the star player on the team, unlike the Yankees where he was overshadowed by Jeter and A-Rod. Cano also wanted the most money he could possibly get his hands on, which is reasonable because after winning a World Series with the Yankees, he now had other expectations in his life. Jay Z listened and made sure that those needs and requirements were met. The Yankees approached him with a $167M contract that scared many of the teams willing to make their pitch for the star player. But in came the Seattle Mariners, in desperate need of a superstar to bolster their program. They came in with a $240M contract over a span of 8 to 10 years and promised him that he would be the face of the franchise alongside star pitcher Felix Hernandez. Cano was ready to accept the offer and a star player who asked his agent, Jay Z, to tell teams he wanted $260M in his contract had to settle for a deal that fell just shy but gave Cano whatever he wanted and more. Since then, the Mariners have built around the two players with even more star players and Jay Z made a huge first impression on incoming players who are looking for an agent who helps their clients. When they see an agent who got his player a $240M contract and fulfilled his wishes, many people will start going to Jay Z for advice and his agency.

  24. Michael W. Alescio February 4, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    Leigh Steinberg publishes a great article hear explaining the reality with many sports agents. The mindset that it is about the and not about their player or the profession. What they are doing really is a disservice to the sport like Steinberg says with his closing statement. I am fortunate to be an athlete in college and many times in high school I was around agents and scouts. More times than not, within the first few sentences of a conversation with an agent, you get a sense of their big ego. Maybe part of this comes with become a sports agent. Being persuasive and selling yourself as an agent is definitely a needed quality. Often times these qualities cross the line of becoming wants and needs first and not the clients.
    From a baseball stand point, many players are from foreign countries. Baseball is an international sport and several players come to the United States to be a part of Major League Baseball not even knowing English. Most of these players need an agent. So immediately this is person these foreign players look for guidance from. Often times an agent will easily take advantage of their client because of their lack of knowledge in the English language. Even for players that are born and raised within the United States, many of these players do not understand the legal language of a contract. The average American does not understand this language, so an agent needs to be credible and of assistance.
    A Sports Agent really is a specialty. Many guys do a really good job helping their clients, and these are the agents that stick around for a long time. They make the game better by not taking viewers eyes off the actual game and instead on contracts and off the field situations.
    A pretty well known movie currently out for viewing is Southpaw. Even though this is a fictional movie, the agent and boxer relationship really does happen. What happens is the main character is an undefeated boxer and his wife wants him to stop boxing. His sports agent however wants him to continue to box so they can obviously make more money. He ends up continuing to fight but faces dramatic changes in his life that really ruin him. The sport agent played as 50 cent then takes all his money and leaves him for the newest best boxer.
    This really does happen. Often times players are persuaded into continuing their career by agents because they agent gets greedy. What Leigh Steinberg touches upon are some questions a good agent will do. They make sure their athlete gets what they want in all aspects of life, and tries to help them achieve these goals. Every player is different. Some players want to be on a winning team. Other players do not care as long as they are making the most money possible. Others may want to live in a certain part of the country/world. The point is, prioritizing and valuing these different aspects are important. It is very easy for an agent to simply persuade their client to sign their biggest offer and they both make a lot of money off the deal. But if the client is not happy with his new team who offered a huge contract, will he really perform at his best? Will he be playing great when he goes home every night dreading his team or coach? The truth is, the best agents do individualize each players experience helping them achieve what they want. The agents have multiple clients so when one retires it does not affect them personally. They get these clients through credibility and not taking the bright light away from their player.

  25. Miranda Martine February 11, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    Being a Sports Management major, I have learned a lot about being an agent. If you are a sports agent you are dealing with contracts and basically other people’s lives. You must make sure that you are treating your client like you would want to be treated if the tables were turned. Most agents are just in it for the money and the fame, but there is much more than that from what I learned. In a way, you have to be your client’s best friend and their therapist. It’s also not about recruiting the best star player out of college or high school; it’s about recruiting the best star player with an excellent attitude and the most determination to succeed. The agents cannot make it about them. One of my professors told me that the most important thing about being an agent is to not be selfish. You have to put your client’s life and decisions above yours. After all that is your job. There are many agents that ripped off athletes. Many athletes do not look over their contracts because they are young and do not really know the business side of sports. In this situation, this is where agents take advantage of their clients. You are in charge of someone else’s future and you have to make sure they are comfortable. You need to find out their goals. Trust is the biggest key in a relationship and that must be present between an agent and their client. It is an excellent idea that many pro sports’ players associations certify agents that are representing their athletes. They also run back ground checks and make the agents agree to ethical standards. This is an excellent way to find the agents that are in it for the athlete and not themselves. Being a sport agent is a very important job.

  26. Luciana L February 11, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Being in the Sport Management major, becoming a sports agent is one of the possible career fields you can go in to. Being an agent however is hard work and no joke. I agree with Steinberg, it is all about the athlete. You have to get the best deal for the athlete you are representing and make sure they know all of the possible outcomes. The agent has to put the player ahead of himself because there is so much that could possibly go down. You could get someone the best contract ever but it could be somewhere they don’t want to go, be someplace that is not suitable for where they are in their life, or they could get possibly injured. Now what if they get injured, what are you going to do? As Steinberg said, did you prepare them for the long and short term? He, along with his staff, prepares athletes for a life after sport in careers such as business, broadcasting, and coaching.
    Being a sports agent is so much more than what people think or see. There are some agents out there that only think about themselves. They want that big money for signing the best players to their agencies or getting an athlete the highest paid contract. What the public doesn’t see is what goes on behind the curtain and sometimes what these agents do to become so “successful”. It takes so much more, you have to remember that not only do you hold the fate of your own career but potentially someone else’s.

  27. Nick Paugh February 27, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    Being a sports agent has got to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. There are many things that you have to be aware of when dealing with the sports market. I have always heard of sports agents but never from a former agent himself. I like the fact that he truly cared about his clients and was really helping his players achieve what they wanted on the field, but as well he set the bar high and had them thinking about life after football and was pushing them to have to deal with life after football, by making them look into careers in the offseason. What I have heard about sports agents is that you have cutthroat and stuck up to be successful in the industry. You have to invest your money in the right spots or you will go broke as an athlete. I would hire a financial advisor and invest in growing industries. Being a sports management major, this article affects me a lot by knowing you have the potential to create your career by helping out others not fail theirs.

  28. ER February 27, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

    This article called how to be a great sport agent is very interesting to me because from a little kid I’ve always wanted to be a sports agent. It’s always been a fond an interesting thing for me because I have a true passion for sports and business world. So I always wanted to combine the two to make my true career path in the future. The part of this article that I found this interesting is in 1975 there were really wasn’t any agents out there for sports players and professionals. I never knew that it was such a recent addition to the sporting world. It’s crazy to think about that almost 30 years ago players made their own contracts. It’s crazy how much money they ask you could’ve had if the action had agents. This article also states that teams did not deal with players that had agents so it was a negative effect have them back then. But now it’s a huge positive because agents can get players to have more money and better benefits from the contract just by helping them negotiate with teams. Now players will not deal with any teams without talking to their agents first. Agents are huge success to players being successful as well it’s a hand-in-hand deal now. That is why my goals for my career is to become a sports agent to help players benefit from from the contract and not get taken advantage of by teams.

  29. Angelina Gummel March 12, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    Watching how sport agents are perceived it seemed like it would be a great way to stay in the sports business without having to play a sport. I realized now that most but not all agents are just looking to put their name tag on a player to attract others to their client list. I thought being a sports agent would allow you to make a difference in an athlete’s life and help them make the right choices. Agents do not understand the bounders that they have crossed in order to get a client. If you are trying to talk to a high school student, understand that they are a student first and foremost. I plan on becoming an Athletic Director and I have learned to figure out the real agents from the ones that just want money. My one professor from last semester was a sports attorney and we covered sports agents. He even said that he cannot stand most of them just because of how greedy they are.
    Now Steinburg is able to show the reader the different sides to an agent and allow us to realize what a good agent wants from a client. They want them to be role models for a the future generation; if you have a player that has been arrested time and time again no parent is going to want their child to watch them play. You need to make sure that the player you sign is able to have and hold a conversation with a fan and not scare them away. All these things go into an agents mind when they are picking the right client, but sometimes it does not work the way it was planned.

  30. Veera Sandhu April 7, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    A sports agent is a person who represents an athlete in negotiations for team contracts and endorsements. In return, the agent receives a percentage of that athlete’s earnings. Agents may also manage personal finance for their client athlete’s which requires expertise in financial planning, investing, and taxes. It has been said that agents play the role of parent, counselor, advisor, and friend, all wrapped up into one. As portrayed in movies and television, the job seems fun and glamorous. Of course, at times it is. Although being an agent can be fun and glamorous, it can also be extremely difficult and stressful.
    There are five P’s that affect sports agents:Product, Price, Place, Promotion, and Progress. To be a great agent at contract expertise. An athlete typically is not an expert in contract language. Many agents are lawyers or at least have a good knowledge of contracts and their duties.
    Agents need to be skilled negotiator because many agents have multiple clients, they are almost always negotiating some kind of a deal with team or company for a position or endorsement and advertising. Professional athletes are amazing at their sports. This does not make them amazing at business.They have focused their attention on perfecting their athletic ability. Hiring an experienced agent who is an expert at business allows the athlete to continue to focus on the sport.
    A great agent should have a market understanding. Because most agents represent multiple athletes, they have firsthand knowledge of the market. By understanding comparable market values, agents can make sure their client’s contracts are equitable. Agents should always be ready with their prep drafts.

  31. Sheikh Elahi April 8, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

    I’ve always loved sports and to work in that industry is a dream of mine. I never quite understood how the whole agency thing started. I assumed that athletes have had them since they started to play but I guess I was wrong. According to this article, sports agency really began in the 70’s which amazes me. I was actually shocked with the fact that some industries denied sports agents to work for their athletes. I can’t understand how these athletes would sign agreements and make deals. This article gives me perspective of what happens behind the scenes. Athletes deal with huge amounts of money and for their fathers or relatives to take that responsibility does not seem like a good idea. I believe that a professional should deal with that decision.
    Im not sure why, but today sports agents are looked at in a negative view. They usually deal with these large sums of money and take a cut for themselves. They are always shown in movies as the antagonist. However, this article made me think otherwise. Steinberg’s attitude towards his clients made me realize that sports agents are not terrible people only looking to make money. He actually cared for his clients as human beings. He would sit with his athletes and ask for their opinions and what they wanted to do. That seems really amazing to me. He didn’t care too much about the money, rather he wanted to see an athlete become a star.
    Today the world runs on money and people will do anything to obtain it. In order to be successful you need to have money, in order to do anything you need to have money. Sports is possibly one of the biggest businesses in the world. The amount of money that flows through any sports agency is mind boggling. In order for this money to be safe, we need sports agents like Steinburg. Today almost every sports athlete has a sports agent who manages all their money and decisions.

  32. Adam Levi June 11, 2016 at 8:43 pm #

    Over the course of my life, I have been very interested and involved in sports. Through this exposure, I have learned to understand and appreciate sports from a business point of view. A big part of sports, that the article has mentioned has grown significantly, is the impact of an agent or financial planner/manager in the life of an athlete. This person is not only responsible for the management of player contracts, but is often a very influential person is these athletes lives. While it is true that agents are mainly involved to handle the construction of player contracts, they are also creating a strong bond with their client. These athletes are trusting the agents or financial planners with the management of large sums of money, ultimately putting their future in these agents hands. The title of the article “How To Be A Great Sports Agents” is truly centered around how strong the relationship is between the player and agent. I was very surprised with the fact that some owners and GM’s would not speak with agents instead talk to the athlete directly, which in many cases today is not only unheard of but even illegal as well. I would imagine the story of Bengals owner Paul Brown saying “We don’t deal with agents” was very common among all negotiations at that time. I would also think that because of this, many players were taken advantage of because of their inexperience with these types of situations. While I am sure that players did feel more comfortable with their fathers or other relatives in charge of their finances, it would have been beneficial to hire someone such as an agent or financial planner who specializes in these areas. Many agents today are viewed in a negative light, mainly because of the percentage of the contract amount they receive from each deal. Steinberg showed that he was much more than the stereotypical agent, truly caring about the well-being of each of his clients. A sign of a good agent is when the athlete trusts them enough to not only ask their opinion about something, but actually include their feedback as part of their decision making process. Being in one of the largest industries in the world, it is wise for the athletes to have someone they trust in charge of managing their career.

  33. Matthew Marinella October 14, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    Being a Sports agent is a career that I have thought about pursuing for a very long time. I have been an avid sport’s fan my entire life. Since I was never going to be good enough to play at a professional level, I would need to find a career within sports. Being an agent stands out as the dream job for any avid sports fan. You have the opportunity to have a relationship and represent athletes that you admire. However, over the past few years this industry, and the name of Sports agents has become one that is tarnished. The acts of too many have given this career a bad name.
    The negatives about being a Sports Agent is the competition. There are a huge amount of lawyers, agents, even financial planners trying to sign the same athlete that you are after. This is something that I think brings out the ugly side of being a Sports Agent. The greed of current agents only looking at the dollar bills is the negative that stands out in this industry. They aren’t in it for the player which is what I think it is all about. The athlete has looked at this people for guidance that is why they are hired and have their jobs. Agents nowadays are only showing these athletes what it is like to be greedy. I am a firm believer that people such as Sports Agents are the reason that a lot of athletes have become so disrespectful. In recent sports news, about all you see is athletes making dumb decisions on or off the field. For instance, seeing Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants behave the way he does on a week to week basis. He acts and has become such an immature, spoiled punk. Everyone blames Beckham for his own actions, and yes part of the blame does belong on him. But, people need to realize that sports agents are a big contributor to this ego problem. They have been putting it in these athletes’ heads that they are on such a higher pedestal then everyone else and make them just as greedy.
    Fans are the only reason athletes are as popular as they are today. Sports agents themselves, for the most part are fans as well. Being a sports agent an important thing to do is make sure that these athletes stay humble. Currently, athletes are at the height of their net worth with players bringing in millions of dollars on a yearly basis. There is no need for them to be complaining about anything. Yes, they work hard but they have the life and they need to appreciate the people that made this all possible, and that is the fans. Agents should be there to help give advice to these athletes and actually create a solid relationship with them. The recent actions that we have seen occurring in this industry is appalling. Sports entertainment is at the biggest that it has ever been, because of this egos are also at an all-time high. Agents need to help bring sports back to the way it used to be before everyone’s self-interest got involved.

  34. Javon Diggs October 14, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

    Becoming a sports agent is a career I’ve been considering pursuing for a long time now. Ever since I was a little kid, sports have played a major role in my life. From playing them recreationally with my friends to watching my favorite teams play on game day, there seems to be not a day that goes by where I do not think about sports. As I got older and decided I wanted to focus on pursuing a business major, it was only natural that sports management would be one of the options I’d consider. It would be an absolute dream come true for me to say I represent a professional athlete, that I can say that I helped that person sign a multi-million dollar contract. And I was the person who helped structure that deal together. However, after reading this article from one of the all-time great agents in Leigh Steinberg, perhaps it is not as simple as it seems.

    For starters, you have to know that every athlete wants as much money as possible. Greed has always been a trait of athletes, and it’s hard to blame them. I know that if I had the opportunity to make millions of dollars playing a sport, I’d want to maximize that opportunity as well. I’m sure most people would do the same. The problem is, many sports figures are being overpaid nowadays. The agent has to take the time to create a deal that not only compensates their client, but is also for to the sports club that employs that and doesn’t raise the market value too much.

    But the article did touch on one factor that I had not previously considered when becoming an agent. Steinberg explained that while agents have to get their clients the best deal possible, there is one thing that separates a regular agent from the great ones: the relationships they have with their clients. He explained the reason why he has had so much success as an agent is because he doesn’t just go for the best financial deal. He takes the time to evaluate all options the client has, and gets to know them on a personal level. He also takes into account the teams that are in play, the type of culture that team has, and recommends that athletes make their decisions based on teams that are the best fit for them personally, not just financially. I think that may be the factor many agents are missing, and why they are given such a negative light, because they focus so much on money that they seem greedy, and don’t take the time to realize there’s a personal aspect to the industry as well.

    One thing most people can agree on is that sports have a major impact on society. Sports have been a major source of entertainment for many people, myself included, for a very long time. Only a select few are able to play in the professional leagues, and they want to be compensated for it. While it is important for their agent to do that, they should also take more time to get to know their clients personally, and maybe that’ll help shatter the perception that agents are cold and heartless. Money isn’t everything, and agents need to start taking that into account when negotiating.

  35. Hakim felder January 27, 2017 at 7:11 pm #

    In my early tenure of college, I attended a community college. Seton hall was my first college choice to attend. However, my grades, my SAT and ACT score were below the average for my class. I learned in life that I am not good at taking the test. When the pressure is at it’s most highest I get nervous and flunk. This only pertains to my academics, anything sports related I love the pressure. The pressure I believe dealing with sports thrills my soul. At my community college, I was a liberal arts major, my first semester at Seton hall I have decided to go with the Sports Management route. This major was the right choice for me because of my passion for sports. Thinking about this article, being a sports agent is similar in a way to the sports management route. That is why I choose this blog to do. I feel like it would be very informative in the end. The points that stuck out to me in this article was the leadership requirements the agents wanted from their players and the responsibility of the agents themselves. Most of this Article pertains to Steinburg, and he brings agent for players in the National Football League.
    Leigh Steinburg, the person responsible for this article, talks about the requirements he needs from his players that he deals with. It is broken down into two parts leadership, and humbleness. From the article, it states, “I ask every athlete to be a role model. They must be able to permeate the perceptual screen that people erect to filter out messages from authority, political and commercial messaging and influence values.” This is dealing with more of the leadership role of his requirements. When you look at sports, today many athletes are like this. However, some play by their own rules and does not care how their fans and social media view them. A prime example of this would be Draymond green of the Golden State Warriors. We can all agree that he is a dirty player, but in the end, Draymond will be Draymond. LeBron James is the complete opposite, many basketball players look up to; when you watch his interviews, it is as if he always has the right answer. People follow his words to the fullest of his potential. It is better to portray to the world that you are a leader because there is nothing like inspiring that child to reach their goals and get where they want to be in life.
    Agents have a specific task when dealing with the players. “The agents who feel the need to take the spotlight away from their players and turn the focus to their own macho negotiating skills do a disservice to the profession.” The agents focus on the analytical side of the sport. They must build the sports of the players they represent. Think of it as a popularity event, and sports not like a necessity to the agents. Sports depend on the support of fans who choose to spend revenue on products, attend, and watch games. At the end of the day from an agents standpoint, all sports really is just entertainment.

  36. Daniel Alvarez April 21, 2017 at 4:42 pm #

    In this article, it educates the reader on how to become a great sports agent. One of the crucial points of the author is for the athletes to view themselves as active citizens. Active citizens in the sense that they are involved within the community, and they give back their own by returning to his or her high school, etc. This allows the athlete to build up their reputation and brand. In addition, this sports agent writer encourages every athlete to be a role model. “They must be able to permeate the perceptual screen that people erect to filter out messages from authority, political and commercial messaging and influence values.” By doing this, they are getting their name out there and in a positive manner; just look at popular sports athletes like Stephen Curry and LeBron James, they are always in commercials and on the media trying to enhance their image. By doing that they are promoting the sport which helps everyone directly and indirectly. If the athlete is doing all of these things, then the athlete and the agent will be compensated.

    Having an agent like this sports writer helps exponentially. Not only will they be rewarded but their lives will be enhanced. This agent tries to establish values in his clients such as a spiritual sense and a sense of self-respect. Some of his clients include Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Steve Young and Lennox Lewi. These are all great athletes turned to public figures and sports broadcasters because of how much they were liked as players. This aspect is more important that some people think. Not every athlete makes it to the NBA or NFL and the few who do rarely stay for a long period of time. With that considered, it is important to have a backup plan. After all, if you play a sport, your physical body and performance is your tool by which you make money. If an injury occurs, then your whole career could be missed. By having an agent help develop all of these values, those trying to make it into professional sports.

    However, some agents are not quite as successful as the author of this article. In the last paragraph, he says “The agents who feel the need to take the spotlight away from their players and turn the focus to their own macho negotiating skills do a disservice to the profession.” This seems to go directly against what Los Angles dad, Lavar Ball, is doing. His three sons are phenomenal basketball players. Most recently, his oldest Lonzo Ball is entering the NBA draft and his father wants to be his agent. Also, Lavar has stated that he wants 1 billion dollar shoe deal for his sons. In business, Professor Shannon has always stated to avoid conflicts of interest. Going into business with your father representing you is a classic case of a conflict of interest. Also, Lavar is doing exactly what the article said not to do by taking the attention off of his son and onto him with ridiculous business proposals and going on record saying he can beat Micheal Jordan, perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time, 1 on 1. Lavar seems to be hurting his son, by representing him as an agent, so much that NBA executives have been questioning actually drafting Lonzo Ball, because of his obnoxious father and agent Lavar Ball.

  37. Evan Costello April 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

    Ever since I came to college in a highly populated area such as New Jersey, I have met so many people who are fans of all different sports teams. Being that I am a die-hard Boston sports fan, I often get judged the moment I state my opinion. Nevertheless, I love sports, and anyone who loves sports as much as I do that has any somewhat of an opinion would consider being a sports agent or a sports newscaster (I feel as though anyone with an opinion on football could commentate on a game much better than Cris Collinsworth). This article informs the reader exactly how to be a sports agent, in fact even a good sports agent. The first thing the article mentions is that an athlete has substantial value to them if they are more than just a celebrity. For example, Lonzo Ball and his father view themselves as gods among men in the basketball world. Lonzo may be an impressive ball player, but athletes are no better than your average human being. If an athlete can give back to the community and prove that they indeed are not gods, then that shows much more value to the team and the franchise. For example, JJ Watt of the Houston Texans, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, and Derek Jeter, a former shortstop for the New York Yankees, are all outspoken volunteers for their communities and have a reputation for giving back. A positive image goes a long way in athletics, and the opposite can be detrimental to one’s career. An example of this is Tiger Woods; perhaps one of the best golfers in the history of the game who in the peak of his career, lost a complete Nike endorsement from being involved with upwards of twenty mistresses. Bad media skills and poor behavior can absolutely be the downfall of one’s career. Had tiger been a team sport athlete, he most likely would have been traded the following year. It is also important for these athletes to have some sort of intelligence in something other than a sport. It is a generally known fact that athletes who are born with a talent so profound that it lands them a contract with a professional team is more often than not less than interested in school. For example, Allen Iverson, a hall of fame basketball player failed the eighth grade and even went to jail his senior year of high school. Lucky for him, Georgetown still accepted him because of his talent and from there, he harnessed his basketball skills, but more than likely did not care for his education. He is now in debt with nowhere else to go for employment. On the other hand, Andrew Luck had an outstanding GPA at Stanford where he played in college, and if god forbid he has a career altering injury, he still has opportunities for employment if his career falls through. All in all, for a professional athlete to be successful, they need to be more than just an athlete. They need to be personable, charitable, and intelligent, and a good agent could find a client that has those qualities.

  38. N A September 20, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

    The article presents some very true facts about sports agents and the extensive amount of work they do behind the scenes to become great representatives for their athletes. In my opinion, I believe that there are more staggering qualities one should have in addition to those mentioned to truly become a great sports agent. Most agents that are trying to sign rookie athletes out of high school or college, for instance, can pass a simple background check and certain kinds of certifications that may be needed to represent such athletes. However, as a new sports agent, the foremost quality you should have is an interpersonal one, in which you are great in forming business relationships with your client. Attaining a good standing relationship with the client helps to build a level of mutual respect and trust between the two. As a consequence, such a relationship can become inseparable, similar to that of Kobe Bryant and his longtime former sports agent Rob Pelinka.

    Additional qualities an aspiring sports agent should essentially have include strategic planning, being aware of certain laws or regulations that must be adhered to, and also obtaining a well-rounded comprehension about the nature of the sports business. Strategic planning goes a long way, especially when negotiating contracts for your clients that will work both in the favor of the client first and then, of course, the agent second. Furthermore, as also mentioned in the article above is the imprisonment of agents who were incapable of adhering to strict regulatory requirements. Arguably, it’s for reasons similar to this that having a strong based knowledge of the law and regulations regarding athletes gives an agent strong negotiating abilities and is keen in avoiding legal implications as well. Lastly, a well-rounded comprehension about the nature of the sports business is a great tool to have so as to become a go-to expert in the sports agency profession.

  39. Elliott Otmani October 1, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

    Even though the article is four years old, I feel like being posted in 2017 would not change anything of the interest of the topic. Indeed, agents have become more and more important in the world of sport over the years. It is now almost a mandatory person to have for a professional athlete, seen at all the work that an agent and his agency can do for a player. As the author’s list on the article states, there are a lot of functions that an agent is taking care of. From helping with paperwork, negotiate contracts with Franchises (clubs), with sponsors, helping the family of the athlete, being a media representative, another sort of coach sometimes… A lot of stuff can be covered by an agent. So, in what is the article relevant and interesting about the role of the agent?
    The first part of the article states more about the “jungle” that is the world of sport in terms of all the money involved. Even though the author seems to complain about all the people involved with college and high school kids who are not even professional yet, it is unfortunately a current issue in the sport business. Anyone can be a sort of agent now, what a scout for clubs was in the past is now also a scout for agencies, always looking for the next Jordan, Messi or Lebron James. The scouting of young athletes start early (too early), that it does not create a healthy situation for young athletes because they now start to think about money and success too early, and do not necessarily make the efforts to reach their dreams. A lot of talented young athletes forget about the main thing in sport because of an agent: perform well and perform again.
    The second part of the article is, to me, the most interesting part of the article because the author, after listing most of the functions of an agent also recalls why athletes have to be aware of agents and what are some of the “bad sides” of the agents. Sometimes, agents forget that they are working for the athlete, and not the contrary. The athlete is the “star”, the person that people go watch, buy their jersey, like, do not like… My point being that I agree with the author when he mentions the fact that a few agents make people not liking their role, not liking professional athletes because they make a lot of money or even worse not liking a sport. Indeed, I think it is very inappropriate for an agent to come up to in the media to create debates, polemics because his player is only making “10 million, when he deserves 15” (article). Agents do should protect their client, help them in anyway because they work for them, but they also have to remember that they represent someone that is looked at, needs to keep a positive image and sometimes, just for a money issue agents make professional athletes look bad because they think too much about their own potential profits instead of thinking of their athlete’s potential best.

  40. Adis Hoti October 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

    Athletes having agents was unheard of in the mid-70s. An athletes father or other family member usually represented them. “The two expansion franchises that entered the league in 1976 had purchase prices of $16.5 million. Each team received $2 million as its share of the national television contract, and the average player salary was $30,000. There has been a revolution in a gentry and economics in the past 36 years. The average NFL franchise is worth a billion dollars, teams receive $130 million from national television and the average salary exceeds $2 million.” The growth in the industry of sports agency has been huge. Now it is nearly no professional athletes without a sports agent. Sports will always be a staple of what this country is all about, Americans love entertainment. Sports will continue to grow and generate high revenues, which will result in sports agents being in high demand.

    Steinberg’s “How To Be A Great Sports Agent,” is a good read for anyone pursuing a the field. Being a sports agent has always been a dream of mine. Making a lot of money an being around sports all day is a dream come true. Succeeding in the career did seem far-fetched due to all of the other big agents that control the industry. I used to think to myself, “what would make an athlete sign with me when he has so many other experienced and more established agents to choose from.” In this article Steinberg discusses what he does and how he lured over big agents to sign with him. Steinberg states, “The agents who feel the need to take the spotlight away from their players and turn the focus to their own macho negotiating skills do a disservice to the profession.” What Steinberg is saying here is that putting players first and asking them what they want out of the partnership is the way sports agents should operate. At the end of the day, a sports agent’s job is to better the life of the athlete and help them maximize his or her success. Steinberg’s approach with his clients is different than most agents. His goal is figure out exactly what the player wants so he asks questions such as “Long-term financial security? Family? Geographical location — weather, urban/rural lifestyle? Profile and endorsements?” Being a successful sports agent does not mean making your client the most amount of money, but making your client as happy as possible. Many players have preferred destinations for reasons such as climate, family, and overall preference. Other things clients care about are winning, starting, coaching system, and facilities. Finding a destination for this client is important. Concluding which teams, the client is willing to play for and what system works best for the athlete will lead to both sides being successful. A happy client enhances the chance of the clients success on the field, and that will lead to a happy agent.

    Steinberg demands a certain type of profile from players. He wants his clients to be respected and be looked at as a positive public figure. “I ask every athlete to be a role model. They must be able to permeate the perceptual screen that people erect to filter out messages from authority, political and commercial messaging and influence values.” Being a role model will help boost an athlete’s image, which makes obtaining potential business deals very easy. Nobody wants a bad public figure to represent his or her company so making sure your athlete is likeable is important. Managing a good public figure makes an agent’s job a lot easier. Steinburg encourages his clients to be active citizens and set up charitable events. Doing this enhances their quality of life and helps them leave a legacy. Steinberg is well aware that sports careers do not last forever and doing things that will create a good name for yourself will result in a quality life after sports.

  41. Bryan Deleon October 13, 2017 at 2:17 am #

    I became a Sport Management major for one reason; I wanted to become an professional Sports Agent. I put that dream away when I kept on hearing that I would have to go to law school to be able to become a Sport Agent. My interest in becoming an Sports Agent came from my admiration for sports and wanting to be apart of the professional sports world. This article by Leigh Steinberg explains how to be “A Great Sports Agent”. Leigh Steinberg starts off this article by saying he started his career in sports law by signing an NFL 1st round draft pick to the largest rookie contract in history at the time (1975). That caught my eye and I expected the rest of the article to be about how he was only interested in money and big contracts. He goes on to say that teams back in the day hated lawyers and wouldn’t even speak with them, most players used to represent themselves. He recognizes how agents are stereotyped as money hungry selfish people. He explains how if you want to get in the sport agents field, you have to forget the stereotypical sport agent. Your responsibility as an agent is to take care of your clients financially short-term and long-term, family, where they live, their profile, endorsements, as well as their career in their league (team, winning, coaches,etc.). Making athletes role models and helpful to their community (past and present) is what it’s all about.
    Leigh Steinberg is the type of agent I would look up to if I ever choose to pursue a career as an sport agent. Athletes that take pride in being philanthropists usually are successful after they retire. And that all starts with how their representatives (agents) advise them. Some agents are all about money, money, money; they only worry about the percentage they get from their athletes contracts and endorsements. Those are the agents that aren’t reliable and barely communicate with their clients. Those agents have people working under them and communicate with their clients through their employees, not personally. Now a days you see more and more athletes represent themselves or have a family member/friends represent them. Athletes are caring less about how big of a contract their agents get them; they care more about reliability. Athletic careers only have an average of 2-4 years, you need reliable people representing you in case of a career ending injury. Agents are supposed to be trusted like friends and athletes shouldn’t have any doubts about their agent. One of the best NFL Agents presently, Drew Rosenhaus, is a great agent because he knows how to balance the business of sports with the reality of sports. He cares for his clients and their personal lives as well as their NFL careers. Not many agents these days are like that and it makes them hard to trust.

  42. Ramon R February 14, 2019 at 11:10 am #

    This article was very interesting to me because my whole life I always wanted to be connected to sports in some type of way. However, it was not until after my first year of college in which I realized that I wanted to be a sports agents. The interesting part is that I want to be able to work for top athletes but not necessarily for the money. I would just love the experience of working with some of the best athletes in the world. I realize that every agent will not be as popular as Leigh Steinberg but that is not even my goal. If I was to get as famous of an agent as him that would just be icing on the cake.

    I agree with the article that having sports agent has evolved. In my opinion, it has evolved in a positive way. If I was an athlete, I would hire someone that I feel I can trust and they simply make me comfortable. I would also need someone who is going to put me in the best position emotionally and financially. I realize that every agent is won’t put their client in position to be successful and they might even try to take advantage of some of their clients. That is not the sports agent I will be though. I would never want someone to take advantage of me and potentially take money out of my pocket.

    Steinberg brought up a great point in saying that “anyone can try to recruit an athlete on a college or high school campus — and many thousands of “runners” who steer athletes to agents are active throughout the country”. This made me look at the sports agency world in another way. There are thousands of athletes and they will have many different options to pick from. This made me realize that in order for me to be a great sports agent, I have to get some of these athletes to put they trust in me. I have to try and do my job better than the other thousands of agents.

  43. Louis Priolo September 18, 2019 at 9:10 am #

    As a collegiate athlete and a sports fanatic, I found it very interesting to learn about the roots of sports representation. Throughout my whole life, I have only known that every player has an agent that represents him or her and negotiates his or her contracts, trades, etc. In fact, some owners of professional sports teams, like Mike Brown did not even want to deal with agents.
    Another astonishing point in the article was the purchase prices of two NFL expansion teams in 1976; their purchase prices were $16.5 million, and the average player salary was a laughable $30,000. Compare those numbers with today’s numbers; today, the average NFL franchise is worth a billion dollars and the average player salary is over $2 million. Those are just the average numbers. Many players make way more than $2 million per year, and many franchises are worth many billions of dollars. Clearly, sports representation has come a long way as players are receiving staggering amounts of money per year.
    A final point from the article that was very new to me was the explanation of approval processes for sports agents. Every agent, regardless of the sport, must pass certifications, clear background checks, and agree to be bound by ethical standards by the players association of the respective sport. I believe this is very necessary, because it ensures that players will not be unethically treated or represented. Some rookies that come into the league are young and have not even finished their educations. These certification measures ensure that the athletes are fairly represented. It takes a great deal of discipline to be a serious sports agent.
    Sports representation has come a long way, and it has revolutionized the way business is done for athletes.

  44. Samantha Russo September 18, 2019 at 1:13 pm #

    For the longest time, my career goal was to become a sports agent. If we’re being honest, when I was signing up for Business Law last spring, the only real reason I enrolled was so I could take Sports Law next semester. I’ve always been fascinated with sports agents and how they handle their careers and other athletes. Every single off season, you hear about another record-breaking contract, like Bryce Harper’s 13-year $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
    Back in the earlier days of baseball, sports agents weren’t really a big deal in the world of sports and had little relevance when it comes to athletes. Today, while sports agents are huge and responsible for all of the big deals that we get those notifications for during the offseason. While they are the main cause of these deals, I feel like we rarely hear about them or what they really do. Bryce Harper had a record-breaking contract for baseball and every news and sports outlet reported on it but one thing they never mentioned was the man behind the deal. Scott Boras helped close this huge contract for Harper but he’s mainly gone unseen. Mike Trout, a future Hall of Famer and the best player in baseball right now, upped Harper’s contract and signed a $430 million 12-year contract with the Angels. Craig Landis, Trout’s agent, was responsible for getting this deal.
    I feel like in today’s world, we know sports agents exist and we are aware of how much they really do but we don’t recognize the people behind it and the hard work that goes into getting these record-breaking contracts. A sports agent has the dream job for people who love all sports but they mainly go unseen by the public. They help make these insanely large contracts for their clients but rarely do we hear about the agent behind the scenes. Reading this article helps show how much hard work sports agents have to do in order to close the deals, and how many qualifications and how difficult it is to become an agent. These sports agents have a job that a lot of people would love to have and they have the opportunity to be some of the successful people in the world.

  45. Jake November 7, 2019 at 1:17 pm #

    I find this article fascinating because of how prominent the roles of agents are in all sports today. Players are signing recored breaking deals and it is all because of their agent and what they can sell their value to a franchise as. The top agent in the MLB has dozens of clients and won’t even take calls from younger players looking for someone to represent them because of how busy he is on all the stars of the game.
    Not only to agents have to be the middle man between players and teams in free agency and trades, their hardest task could be what they have to do during an arbitration period. Arbitration is a negotiation between a team and a player to determine what his salary is going to be based on his worth. This isn’t a free agency contract this is a direct meeting of the team trying to downgrade you and your agent talking about your potential.
    It takes great knowledge, and a mastery of communication to be a good sports agent. You have to take control of all these negotiations because as soon as the franchise is in the drivers seat, your player is going to be left unhappy. Now a lot of being a good agent is also by representing the right players. If you’re representing a kid that came out of no where and is now a star of the game, more people are going to know your name and want to sign with you as you were a part of his success.
    The common traits of the top sports agents I believe are hand in hand with those on Wall Street. It’s not about knowing sports, it’s about knowing business and selling what you have (the player) to the organization for the best price you can. Players in today’s game aren’t as much worried about winning anymore as they are about getting top contracts and maximum deals that they can sit on for the rest of their lives when their careers are over.

  46. Anthony Freda November 15, 2019 at 10:03 pm #

    This article is my favorite and most interesting article I have read in awhile. I have an extreme love for sports and becoming a sports agent has crossed my mind often as I am still keeping my options open to what I would like to do as a career. I think this article was very informative and well written. The author gave helpful information in regards to the process an agent will take with an athlete. Laying out the process can be extremely helpful for someone who may potentially want to join the sports agency world. The author highlights how important it is for an athlete to give back and be more than an athlete. Being a model citizen and role model to people everywhere is what being an athlete is about, not just the paychecks and fame.

    I think the article overall was written very well. However, I noticed the author exclusively only discussed football and an attempt to make football the most popular American sport. He seemed to disregard that industries like baseball has a much better industry with higher revenues. He also discusses treatment of injuries such as concussions, which is more likely to happen in football as opposed to baseball or basketball. I also disliked how the author stated that agents attempt to take the spotlight away from their clients. I think that is not true at all. It is very rare for an agent to speak out in an attempt to gain any sort of fame. The only agent who can be put into the category of fame is Scott Boras, who clients some of the best players in the entire MLB. He has earned his right to fame based on his ability to attract talent into his agency. I overall think this article was very helpful to myself and others who wish to break into the sports law world.

  47. Ryan Geschickter November 16, 2019 at 11:47 am #

    After reading just reading the title of this article I immediately knew that I was hooked because of my love for sports. My dream is to become the general manager for a sports team, and I have also thought about being a sports agent as well. This article focuses on and lays the foundation down on how to be the most effective in ways of becoming a great sports agent, as opposed to just a good one. I especially liked how the article pointed out that the relationship between the athlete and the agent needs to be a significant one and be valued. In addition, the connection between the agent and athlete must reach beyond sports as being there for the athlete in their personal life and family life is important. Midway through the article, I noticed a strong connection to Scott Boras, who is notorious for waiting out the free agency period to see how the market levels out and demanding big contracts for some of the best players in the game. Boras has reached so much credibility because of the fact that he’s also there for his clients off the field and sticks by them no matter what happens during the free agency period. This showed me that in order for me to be a great general manager I need to be there for my players through their highs and lows both on the field and off the field. One takeaway that bothered me was how the author only talked about football and not any other sport. This bothered me because there are so many other sports and leagues (NHL, NBA, UFC) that are extremely popular that often go un talked about because there is always someone to direct the spotlight on the NFL. Overall, while this article talked about being a sports agent and how to be the best at it, the article gave me a good layout on how to become a greater general manager and what directions I can use to benefit myself as I peer around the corner waiting for my opportunity that I have wanted for a very long time.

  48. Jackson Beltrandi November 18, 2019 at 7:40 pm #

    This article is the easiest to understand on the blog for someone who has wasted 19 and a half years watching SportsCenter for an hour a day. There is not a perfect time for me to read this article as we are discussing Chapter 14 in class, about agency. I have always thought, how can an NFL/NBA/MLB agent be loyal to their principal, if they represent other principals within the same sport. However, the answer can be as simple as the agent wants each player to get the most money they can get, it is at the interest of both parties to succeed. It seems as though I am not the only college-aged male interested in finding a career in sports, “a career in sports is the No. 1 goal of ambitious students.” If you really think about, what is the fastest growing career option. It is no longer simply finance, nursing, or construction, it is sports. The sports industry relies upon all career fields to operate. I will use the New York Mets as an example. The team has statisticians, CEO, accountants, a General Manager, trainers, coaches, chefs, sports therapists, and many more staff members. However, the players that work for this team, who are not very good, besides deGrom, Alonso, and Syndergaard, all have separate identities who represent them. While the team controls everything in these athlete’s lives, the values of these players do not align with those of the franchise. These athletes use agents to represent them, this is important when contract time comes around. For example, while Bobby Bonilla really wanted to play for the Mets and help them win, he also forced the team into the worst contract ever signed. While these players want to be loyal to their franchises (most of them), their values come first. The NFL agent who wrote this article mentions the top values players have, “Short-term economic gain? Long-term financial security? Family?” For some athletes, they just want a quick paycheck to help their family overseas. For others, they can afford to wait and sign a contact along the lines of 10 years, $330 million. This article just shows how much business is involved in sports. There is a lot tat goes on to putting a team on the field to entertain millions.

  49. Tyler Abline November 21, 2019 at 1:26 pm #

    Sports Agents, like the overwhelming vast majority of jobs, have both good and bad people doing them. Some sports agents are concerned about maximizing the potential of the athletes they represent while others are concerned about maximizing their reputation (many times both). Just like most people, sports agents should be concerned about both themselves and the people they represent as well as the overall institutions they are apart of (whether it be the NFL or the United States as a whole). Obviously agents are going to try and maximize what the athletes they represent get and those they are negotiating with will try to maximize what they get for their team, that’s business. Those who go above and beyond deserve recognition while those who do not do their job ethically deserve condemnation, just like most professions.
    I really respect the way Mr Steinberg approached his job of being an agent. Instead of focusing on just the monetary value of contracts he made it a point to highlight other important aspects of an athlete’s life such as family, location, and winning. He also made it a point to emphasize both giving back to the community and ensuring financial security for the future. By giving back to the community, athletes can use their influence as role models and their financial success to make their communities better places. Many athletes struggle with financial security after their playing days are done, with an estimated 78% of NFL players having financial struggles within two years of retirement. With the rich salaries they are given this statistic is alarming, and it is the responsibility of the agent to ensure that their clients have financial stability going forward. Mr Steinberg seems to be a good role model for his line of work, and agents should aspire to uphold the same values and strategies that he presents for the field of sports agency.

  50. Javier Tovar November 22, 2019 at 4:59 pm #

    When I think of the chances of becoming successful sports agent, I think that it might be even more difficult than being the actual athlete. The chances of becoming a notorious and wealthy agent seem to be very slim because of all the skills that one must master in order to manage someone’s life. As agent, you will be acting on behalf of another person. You will be responsible for the way the public views said person. For me, this job seems to be very difficult and I praise those who have been able to do it at a high level because of the competitiveness in the field.
    The article, which is written by Leigh Steinberg who is an agent for the NFL, talks about the process of being an agent and a good one at that. Steinberg touches on how most athletes used to represent themselves or were aided by their parents and how NFL teams had no obligations to talk to agents; Bengals’ owner preached that he didn’t work with agents.
    However, there has been a revolution and economics when it comes to agentry over the past 36 years. Even Steinberg mentions that thousands of agents and financial planners fight and compete for the opportunity to try and sign every rookie into their specific sport. Competition and regulation by states and the official sport associations make it very challenging to break into the industry. He says that if you want to break into the industry, you must leave what you heard at the door and focus on the important things tha come with being agent. To be a good agent, one must first ask an athlete what their goals and dreams are. You must ask them to ponder the importance of values like short-term economic gain, family, long-term financial security, starting time, winning, and many more. Figuring out all of these values is key in order for an agent to make decisions on behalf of and for an athlete so that they reach their goals and dreams. Ensuring that an athlete gives back and is active in the community is also something to take into consideration as agent; will also lead to opportunities for the athletes after their professional careers. It is very interesting to see the many moving parts in this industry and how difficult it can really be if one can’t master all of the aforementioned skills.

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