Becoming a sports agent is usually a long, uphill journey, but if sports is your passion and perseverance is your game, it offers many rewards. You can become a sports agent through steadfastly following some simple guidelines and being open to changing paths if necessary. Generally, requirements can include a college degree in public relations or a similar field, a good sports contact network, advertising or marketing experience and strong negotiation skills. You will need to persevere through inflated egos, bureaucratic barriers and unexpected setbacks inherent in any career that is dependent upon other people’s talents and attitudes.
A successful sports agent normally makes a substantial income, but the most valued rewards come through meeting and representing famous athletes. It is also fulfilling to contribute to someone’s success through exercising your excellent communication and negotiation skills. Be prepared for intense competition as sports agents’ careers are considered exciting and highly desirable.
It is not a hard and fast requirement to have a college degree to become a sports agent or to have a career in sports management, but as the competition toughens, a degree is helpful. Preferred college degrees, either bachelor’s or master’s level, are those with concentrations in media or public relations, business management, contract or business law, accounting or marketing. Some colleges and universities also offer degrees in sports management.
Launching a career in the sports agency field is possible from a myriad of starting points. Sometimes it is a matter of contacts rather than answering an advertisement for such a position. You can start working for a sports media organization, a sports department at a high school or college or submit sports articles to a local newspaper. It also helps to volunteer for an organization that invites sports figures to charity events, or get friendly with local sports teams or booster clubs. The idea is to set yourself up to meet people who know people who can help you break into the sports world.
If positions directly related to sports are unavailable, building a solid background in other fields can help you become a sports agent. A solid track record in advertising, marketing or promotion in any field is helpful, as are accomplishments in contract negotiations, media communications or public relations. Volunteering to help coach a local sports team also looks good on a resume for an aspiring sports agent.
Before you decide to become a sports agent, be prepared for what is expected of you. This is not a cut and dried position with concrete job responsibilities. For each sports category, organization, player, city or event, different tasks will present themselves. You will negotiate contracts, review endorsement offers, advise on investments, defend your clients against bad press and generally do whatever is needed to promote them and their careers. Discretion, diplomacy and impeccable judgment are crucial traits for a sports agent.