What do Sports Agents Do?
Have you ever wondered what a sports agent actually does? It turns out they work pretty hard in order to get the best deals for athletes, teams, and themselves! Read on to see exactly what type of tasks agents do every day.
Negotiating contracts in the NBA is no different from negotiating any other contract. From paycheck negotiations or purchasing an asset, this involves knowledge and skill. Contracts are typically jargon-filled documents full of stipulations that need to be analyzed with a fine tooth comb. This is because the team will try as much as possible to pay the least they can get away with while the agent tries to get the best salary and bonuses for his client. The value of the client as compared to his colleagues is usually taken into context so that both parties are happy. The agent here breaks down each sentence so that the client may know exactly what he is getting into before appending his signature. Sometimes the negotiations can get a little bit rough and there maybe some acrimony. But since the agent acts as a buffer for the professional he is able to get the best kind of deal out there without harming the player.
Endorsements are the kind of deals that players get off court. This provides another angle for players to earn and are known to sometimes exceed salary deals. In NBA players have the highest endorsements found in any sport in the country. Top players command figures of $40 million and above. Most sponsors tend to be shoe and clothing deal endorsements. Agents work with companies to see how the players can help in their advertising endeavors. Doing commercials and interviews are also part of endorsements. Here agents actively act as your marketing department getting your name out there.
According to nba.com, the average age of a player is about 26 years and plays for about 6 years. That means that by age 32 the player will be out of a job. The money earned in these few short years is supposed to serve you well throughout retirement. This makes it paramount to plan finances carefully. Agents assist players in investment opportunities, taxes and other requirements to ensure financial stability and compliance with all necessary laws.
Charity / Public Relations
A players image is very important and can mean the difference between getting endorsement deals or not. It can even affect a players game if their image is being tarnished out there. An agents job is to make sure any controversies are dealt with swiftly and with finality. They also answer questions on behalf of their players and assist in getting them camera time that will help improve or make them known. This will be beneficial especially when they retire by giving them a platform for post-career activities. This building of a brand is key since it will endure long after the player has stopped playing. Charity work and providing their voice to noble causes are all part of the package.
An agent should know the player and his family and what the player is interested in, i.e know what they want to achieve. This usually involves them signing a player to a team close to home and ensuring their comfortable wherever they are. Networking with the coaches, team owners and physicians happens all year round. Agents keep players abreast and prepared with latest news and insights. They should be of great integrity whom the player trusts will keep their best interests at heart.
Most players begin playing at a young age and agents play a large role in guiding careers of budding players. They help them choose which team to play for and when to even turn pro. They act as guides and look out for their players. Basketball is inherently a contact sport so the risk of injury is ever present, players therefore need to be guided on how to deal with career threatening injuries and life after the sport. The exit plan should thus be part of a players career.
An agent usually is a lawyer or knows a lot about the law. This helps them during the negotiations of the fine points of the contract. However this can be done separately by a lawyer. Knowledge about the law is useful for effective sports management. Legal advice is also needed when injuries are suffered outside of the sport and compensation involved.
Finding New Players
Recruitment of new and upcoming players as they begin their professional careers. This involves traveling to meet them and explaining to them what to expect and how their lives will change. Being friendly and caring for them by addressing their fears is most important.
Jimmy Doan is the owner of Doan Sports Management a company that helps you every step of the way. His experience as a lawyer helps him be the best agent to all his players.