The Agency Process

Sports Agents In The NBA

As an up and coming young basketball player, you might be asking yourself whether or not you should get a sports agent to represent you. Sports agents can help an athlete in many different ways, both during the player’s career and throughout his retirement. They can help you to get the best possible NBA contract, to obtain lucrative endorsement deals, and to ensure your health and well being is attended to.

How To Choose An Agent

You should note that it is not a simple task to select a sports agent. Most likely, this person will be with you for the rest of your career, possibly for the rest of your life. Careful consideration must be taken when deciding which sports agent to hire. A number of aspects to think about are discussed below.

Reputation
You are unlikely to be the agent’s first client; therefore you should be able to ascertain information about his or her reputation. Some agents are known for being hard workers, others for being hard to work with. Indeed, some representatives can even cause trouble between players and teams. Research possible sports agents by asking teammates and coaches as well as by reading reviews online. Naturally, there are always good and bad things to say about a person but try to determine the agent’s overall reputation and personality to find out if they will be suitable for you.

Cost
In a perfect world, you could hire the greatest, most experienced sports agent in the business. Unfortunately, such a star representative is not always affordable. Most sports agents take a percentage of your earnings as their salary – this can range from 10 to 25% of the total sum negotiated in a contract. This provides incentive for them to make the best possible deal.

However, this does not necessarily mean that you should go with the agent who charges the lowest percentage price. After all, a low price could be an indication of inadequate negotiation skills or deficiencies in other areas – which ultimately will cause you to lose more money than if you had just paid the higher fee.

Integrity
The person you select to be your sports agent should be someone of integrity and honesty. Some agents go astray when tempted by huge sums of money. Sports history is full of sad stories about athletes being deceived by agents and robbed of millions of dollars. You should select an agent whom you like both as a person and as a businessman. If you are in anyway uncomfortable with your sports agent, you should consider finding another. This is a person you will be depending for your brand and for your career.

Accessibility
You will want your representative to be as accessible as possible. Too many sports agents take on a lot of clients and thus are extremely busy and unreachable (think Jerry McGuire). The ideal sports agent represents just enough athletes that they can stay abreast with the latest news and trends of the industry but can also be easily reached if you need assistance. If an emergency occurs, you are going to need your agent there pronto to help handle the situation. 

How Agents Help Procure Contracts

One of the main reasons you may be thinking about employing a sports agent is to negotiate a contract with the NBA. Whether you are signing a rookie contract or renewing an existing agreement, a sports agent can help you to get the best deal possible. They are skilled at negotiating things like salary increases, injury benefits, and restriction reductions. Moreover, they will be able to steer you away from a bad deal and towards a better opportunity.

A good sports agent has an in-depth understanding of the sports industry and experience working within it. In addition, a great many sports agents have legal backgrounds, making them even more knowledgeable about the contract process. He or she will be able to explain to you what each term and condition means on paper and in practice. If you have any questions or concerns, an agent is there to help you.

An Agent’s Role While You Play

There are a lot of elements that go into being a professional basketball player other than simply playing the game. These outside obligations can cause you no end of frustration. For example, talking with press. Getting good publicity and spotlight can be difficult to accomplish without a coherent PR strategy. One of the most important functions of an agent while you play for the NBA is generate positive interest in you.

In a similar way, a sports agent can promote your excellent performance and good reputation to garner lucrative endorsement deals. Athletic careers tend to be short, which is why finding sponsorship opportunities while at the height of your career is so crucial – plenty of athletes live off royalty fees once the retire from basketball. An agent is able to this by networking and promoting your brand while you focus on winning games. 

An Agent’s Role At The End Of Your Career

Sports agents typically have excellent planning skills, its one of the qualities that makes them so good at scheduling press conferences and TV spots. If you have a good agent, he or she will put these organization talents to work helping you arrange your life post-professional basketball. There are a lot of things this could entail, such as helping you enroll in college to finish your degree, working with you to prepare a solid resume, or perhaps simply putting you in touch with employers who you may be interested in working for.

During the final seasons of a player’s career, an agent will work doubly hard to procure sponsorship deals. Part of the reason for this is because the agent gets a cut of the profits but mostly endorsement deals are obtained in order to provide you with an additional source of revenue.

The career of a basketball player is a short one and athletes are not widely known for their money management abilities. An agent will help you to manage your personal finances, for example by investing them in the stock or property markets, so that you will be able to live out the rest of your days without falling into bankruptcy – a worryingly common fate for former athletes.

Continuing Presence Throughout Your Retirement

The role of the sports agent does not stop when you retire from professional basketball. On the contrary, retirement is the time that having an agent can really be of use. Making sound investment decisions is not an easy thing to do and while an agent may not be able to tell you which stock is going to rise next, they will be able to steer you away from bad or fraudulent ventures. An agent is a continuing presence throughout your retirement, someone who safeguards not just your fiscal health but also your physical and emotional well-being.

The perfect sports agent will stick by your side through thick and thin. They have many roles such as an advisor, a manager, a legal consultant, and a friend. So don’t leap at the first agent who offers you his hand. Find somebody who you can really get along with and will want in your life for years to come.