How do you become a sports agent

Sports Agent Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More 2021 - Aviation

Sports agents represent the interests of athletes, especially in contract negotiations. They also take care of sponsorship, public relations and financial planning. Professional athletes often sign their first professional contracts at the age of 20 or early 20s and rarely have the experience or training to understand the legal complexities. For high-profile athletes, these contracts often run into hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, and athletes need guidance on how to manage these finances.

Sports Agent Duties and Responsibilities

Sports agents must master the following tasks to be successful in their workplace:

  • Negotiate
  • Have expert knowledge of their clients' sport
  • collect data
  • Analyze statistics
  • Promotions
  • Networking
  • Sales technique

Typically, the greatest responsibility for sports agents is negotiating contracts for the players they represent. To do this effectively, agents must fully understand their customers' value in the market, which means they know the sport as well as the directors or other team officials negotiating on the other side of the table.

Agents need to be able to identify comparable actors whose contracts can serve as the basis for what their customers are looking for. Sports agents should be able to provide full statistical analysis showing that their customers deserve the contracts they want.

In many ways, the agents are selling their clients' value to teams in the leagues they play in and finding the directors in the leagues who appreciate what their clients have to offer. That value comes in the form of games on the field, the field or the ice and in the form of marketing potential for the team. A popular or successful player can increase ticket sales or jersey sales. An agent can also help players increase their income through endorsements.

Sports agent salary

While some agents can attract millions of high-level athletes to tens of millions of dollars worth of contracts, most agents work with athletes to a lesser extent.

  • Median annual salary: $59,829
  • Top 10% annual salary: $90,000
  • Lower 10% annual salary: $27,000


Education, training and certification

Contracts can be complex, so agents must have the legal and financial experience and skills to produce documents that best suit their clients' needs. Sports agents come from different backgrounds.

  • Education: While not strictly necessary, law school is often the best path to a career as a sports agent. Because contract negotiation is such an important aspect of the job, it is important for agents to have a legal footing: many sports agents are graduates of undergraduate sports management programs that then add a law degree. Agents who do not have a law degree will generally need to work with someone with the legal expertise to review contracts and advise accordingly.
  • Certification: Different leagues or player associations often require agents to be certified to represent players. These certifications vary between leagues.

Sports agent skills & competencies

As a sports agent, you combine business and sales expertise with a passion for sports. Not everyone loves the business side of sport, but agents need sales and marketing skills in order for their clients to get the best possible financial returns on their sporting skills.

  • Love of sport: Agents need the highest level of knowledge about the sports their clients play and the best way to get that knowledge is to really have fun analyzing the sport, its players, and its teams.
  • Social competence: Professional sport means a lot of pressure and very strong personalities. To do their job well, successful agents must be able to communicate effectively and professionally with athletes and team leaders.
  • Sales talent: Giving an athlete a better contract or endorsement is often about making an effective sales pitch. To do this, you need to do the necessary research and show the team why the deal is good for both them and the client.
  • Persistence: The best deals don't come together overnight, and building a customer base also takes time. The early work on contract negotiations often starts a year before a new deal is actually reached, and agents who are just starting out usually have years of work to do with the company before they can hedge their own customers.

Job outlook

Employment growth for agents representing athletes and entertainers is projected to be 3 percent for the decade ending through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is significantly lower growth than the 7 percent average for total jobs.

working environment

The working environment depends on whether an agent works independently or as part of a larger agency. Someone just starting out as part of an agency could be hired to do the research to aid in the negotiations, which will be overseen by a more experienced agent. An agent who works independently will be responsible for the entire process. Staff may be available to assist, but the independent representative has broader responsibilities.

work schedule

Being a sports agent is a very demanding job where it often comes down to being available at all times to meet customers' needs and maintain their professional image. When agents aren't working directly on contract negotiations or solving a problem, agents need to analyze statistics and prepare for future negotiations.

How do I get the job?


A bachelor's degree in sports management followed by a law degree or a postgraduate degree in finance is preferred.


Get experience in a larger agency.


Building connections and building a reputation can help reach the first customer who can make a career as a sports agent.

Compare similar jobs

The skills required to be a good sports agent transfer well to other professions that are applicable to other areas of professional sports management. Some of these positions and their average annual salaries include:

  • Lawyer: $119,250
  • Finance director: $125,080
  • Marketing Manager: $132,230

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics