Benefits of hiring a sports agent
Sports agents have a love of sports. They understand legalities. They’re willing to stick by their athletes through ups and down. That’s not all they do, either. They also know how to deal with contracts, finances and sponsorships. If you’re wondering what the benefits are to hiring a sports agent, read on.
- Sports agents make themselves available to clients for a host of needs. If you have a question, concern or request, your agent will be there to help you, provide advice, take action and make things happen.
- Sports agents are trustworthy. It’s a common misconception that all agents are backstabbers and liars. Sports agents are legally required to disclose certain business information to the Secretary of State. They must do this before they can ever begin practicing as agents. This provides athletes with some peace of mind. You should feel confident when establishing trust with an agent. Furthermore, you’ll know that other people will view your agent as trustworthy as well, which will only help the agent as they build relationships.
- Agents are experts at networking. Many athletes don’t know where to start when it comes to promoting themselves. Agents, however, know exactly who to talk to and how to talk to them.
- Agents are deeply in-tune with the sports industry. The nature of their job requires them to stay on top of industry news and trends. You’ll know that they’ll always make the best, most informed decisions possible, because they’re completely up-to-date on everything they need to know.
- They have excellent planning skills. Representing an athlete is a busy, fast-paced, time-consuming job. Agents have planning skills that help them take advantage of opportune moments and also help them deal with inopportune moments. Ultimately, they stay organized so that they can help the athlete reach their goals as quickly as possible.
- Agents know how to negotiate contracts. They’ll make sure that you’re getting what’s in your best interest. They’ll advise you when it comes to bad contracts as well as ones that are good for you and your future. They’ll negotiate to help you get a better salary. They can also include provisions for injuries and salary increase options. This sets you up for both short-term and long-term benefits. Agents can take the full scope of your goals into consideration to help you get the perfect contract, both now and for the future.
- Agents know how to talk to the press with a strategy so that you’re put in the spotlight for a good reason. For example, Dan Fegan used this tactic in 2011 when he talked about Dwight Howard, a basketball player for Orlando Magic. The press talked for what seemed like forever about Howard and how he was possibly becoming a free agent. This was great for his career. Agents know how to generate interest in an athlete.
- Sports agents have in-depth knowledge about all-things related to the business, including investments, business management, financial management and risk management. This helps them make long-term contract decisions.
- Agents help athletes get a great reputation. Great agents are able to then match their clients to the right team and help them get the best package available. Thanks to the reputation the agent helped build, the athlete will be in high demand.
- Some agents feel that controversy is good for an athlete, but the best agents know that controversy can seriously affect the athlete and even the team. For example, it’s not always a good idea to sign a highly-paid athlete for a long period of time with a small team. It’s important to also do what’s best for the team as a whole in order for the athlete to keep their positive reputation.
- The best sports agents know the law. Some even go to law school before becoming an agent. For example, Tom Condon, a former football player who eventually became an agent, took his father’s advice and went to law school as his career as an athlete started to wind down. Eventually, Condon became known as a great sports athlete who was praised for his tough negotiating skills. Jimmy Doan graduated from Law school and became the owner of one of the most successful law firms in Texas.
- Sports agents are great at working under pressure. They can handle stress without letting it get the best of them. Joel Segal, for example, negotiated contracts for 20 players that totaled $150 million in compensation. He did this in just one week, too! To make it even more stressful, this all happened one week following the NFL lockout.
- Many sports agents take the time to know the market and the game. For example, Fernando Cuza lived in the Dominican Republic for three years during the baseball season. He learned the culture and befriended a lot of players and their families. Eventually, he became known as an expert in the Latino baseball industry, all because of his dedication.
- Agents get their athletes sponsorship opportunities, something that’s invaluable to any athlete, no matter their sport. Since professional athletic careers tend to be short, sponsorships provide a longer career certainty. Athletes count on their agents to help them make as much money as possible in a short time span, which is where sponsorships truly help out.
- Agents are able to accept disappointment with grace. If a deal doesn’t work out or their athlete does something less than perfect, agents are able to take it in stride. Sports agents are supportive of their athletes no matter what happens. Handling difficulties is one of an agent’s best attributes.
- Sports agents are confident. It’s their job to know more than anybody else about the sports industry, from finances and law to handling client relationships. Athletes benefit from knowing that they have a strong, confident, self-assured, educated agent on their side, fighting for them and ensuring they get what’s best.