Sports agents act on behalf of athletes, negotiating contracts and endorsement deals so as to maximize value for their client. Agents also help to promote the athletes they represent by keeping them in the public consciousness and raising their value in the eyes of prospective employers. Sports agents might work directly for the individuals they are promoting or in an agency alongside other sports agents. As such, there are no formal sports agent education requirements, although degrees in business, law or sports management may be highly beneficial.
There are however, general steps to take to become a sports agent:
You are watching: how to become an sports agent
- Earn a bachelors degree in an applicable field
- Get licensed and registered in your state
- Earn an advanced degree or take on professional development opportunities
Sports Agent Education and Requirements
Degree Level Master’s degree encouraged, but no specific degree required Degree Fields Law, business, sports management Licensure/Registration License and/or registration required in several states Key Traits/Skills Charisma, professional attitude, persuasiveness; willingness to travel; strong communication and argumentation skills; knowledge of marketing and law
While there is not one specific degree required to become an agent for athletes, education in areas of law, marketing, and management are necessary, even if it is obtained outside of a conventional degree program. Experience playing in the sport you intend to represent can be an advantage, but is not considered mandatory.
Other key sports agent qualifications include charisma and charm – which can help win over potential sponsors and clients alike. They should be personable and professional with everyone they meet, as reputation plays an important role in their industry. Excellent communication skills are also a must, as contract negotiations have little room for ambiguity. Agents often have as little as a day to win over a potential client, so a talent for persuasiveness and the ability to argue effectively may serve them well. Travel is common for sports agents, who must visit schools or sports teams across the country to find new talent or travel with the client to games and promotional events.
Sports Agent Degree
There are a few primary college majors of relevance to those who intend to become sports agents:
- Sports management
Since sports agents are heavily involved in contract negotiation, an understanding of contract law is considered essential, so at least some level of legal education is recommended. When looking at sports management degrees, consider those that are more oriented towards business, rather than facilities, equipment, or exercise. While a bachelor’s degree in one of these areas may help to get your foot in the door, most agents operate with a master’s degree, often one that complements their undergraduate education to cover as much of these three areas as possible.
Master’s degree programs in sports management often include internships with agencies or other sports-related organizations, which offer critical real-world experience and networking opportunities. A Master of Business Administration degree program can also be extremely useful, providing knowledge of leadership to forge ahead on your client’s behalf and the business acumen needed at the negotiating table.
Sports Agent Internships and Licensure
Whether in the context of a degree program or without the help of a school, internships with agencies are a common path to becoming a sports agent. Internships provide an opportunity to learn about the field while assisting an experienced agent, and they give the agency the chance to see what you have to offer their business.
Several states require that sports agents obtain a license or register with the state in order to operate. Licensure and registration requirements can vary substantially between states, but often consist of a background check and a simple application, with associated fees. After receiving any necessary license, you may begin working with clients already at the agency or seek out your own.