Sports agent – career path, trends, salary, skills, employability, work conditions, certification, and lifestyle.

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Sports agent – career path, trends, salary, skills, employability, work conditions, certification, and lifestyle.


             A sports agent acts as a representative of the sportsperson, (Stein and Levinstein 2008).  In various sports such as athletics, rugby, and football, a sports agent acts as a lawyer for the sports person in bargaining for better deals for them. Bjälevik and Magnusson, (2008), outlines that a sports agent works as a communicator, negotiator, planner, and marketer for their clients (persons and clubs). Sports agent often helps in acquisition of financial and playing arrangements. The financial services provided may entail the investment options that a play may delve into. Ideally, the sports agent work consists of practical aspects accompanying sportsmanship such as; booking of air tickets, negotiating contract deals and planning schedules. Also, sports agent help in brand building of their clients.

Typical Career Path

            Every sports agent is required to have knowledge of the sport that their client engages in.  In athletics its often common to find ex-athletes acting as sports agent (Stein and Levinstein 2008). According to Ufer (2017), the first step into the career path is taking in internship program as a sports agent.  The entry level position is working full time in a sports agent agency,(Ufer,2017). Alternatively, an athlete sports agent may work through recruitment and training of athletes to work as potential clients.  The agent highest level is corporate endorsements. After successfully managing clients, a corporate body may endorse the sports agent.

Trends in Sports Agency

            The traditional role of sports agent is currently evolving as the career becomes highly competitive. Sports agents deal with vertical integrations such as dealing with Shoes Company, clothes line, film services and brokerage services (Bjälevik and Magnusson, 2008).  The agents ensure that the clients get full representation, and expand their income beyond the sport itself.  Currently, there is an emergency of large agency companies buying out small firms in operation. Bjälevik and Magnusson, (2008) state that sports agency has become competitive since there are new certifications and licenses requirements. Technology has brought diversity in the manner which sports agent build their clients brand. Through the e- marketing techniques such as cold pitching potential sponsors and social media marketing, the agents get to market their client’s brand.

Salary information

             The sports agent salary is usually commission based. Often, the agent gets paid three to twenty percent of the money the client earns (Bjälevik and Magnusson, 2008). Therefore the sports agents get paid only when their clients get paid. It’s vital for sports agents to look for more ways their clients can earn money to increase their earnings.  In sports club and educational institutions, the agent may agree on a specific salary pay.

Skills Used

            A sports agent should have background information of the sport that their clients is involved in.  They should understand the game itself, international and local bodies regulating the sport, licensing and certification of the players. The knowledge on the sport helps in planning for their current clients as well as in recruitment of the clients in future.  The sports agents should have legal and marketing skills. Legal skills are used in the negotiation of contracts (Ufer, 2017). Agents must understand the obligations entailed in the contractual agreement they are placing their clients in. Branding entails a lot of marketing. The sports agents need marketing skills to sell their brand (clients). Sports agent employs communications skills in dealing with both potential and current clients as well as corporate organizations.

Employing organizations

            According to State University website (2020), most of the sports agents start off their career through working with sports agency firms. Sports agency helps the new agents to find clients in an easier way as compared to starting out on their own. However, other sports agents start out through signing out younger clients that are yet to make it into the lime light.  Sports clubs and educational institutions also form part of the employing organizations. Ultimately, most of the sports agents become self-employed with a wide client base.

Diversity Aspects

Sports agent professional has been a male dominated career for a long time. The issue of male dominance stems from the minimal participation of women and girls in all manners of sports. According to Cunningham,(2007), women and girls have faced an antagonistic workplace that has led to their underrepresentation in the sporting field.  Since sports agency started in the European Nations there has been an under representation of Black people. Also, there has been a misconception that a White Coach might lead into more gains in the market as opposed to the Black Coach. There is need for diversity as well as gender inclusivity in sports agency.

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Becoming Employed

 Sports agent, start off employment through taking internship opportunities at available sports firm (State University website, 2020). Prior to taking the internship opportunities, the sports agent must have proper knowledge of the game including past experience.  The internship opportunities may only be part time as the sports agent get to know the work skills. Ultimately, a sports agent gets signed up as a full time employee in either a sports firm or an educational institution.   If the employment is in an educational institution, then the person gets to enjoy a fixed pay almost of $ 100,000. However, employment in sports firm will make the agent get paid between three to twenty percent of the client’s earnings.  There are other avenues of finding employment apart from the internship opportunities. School faculties refer students to sports agents upon completion of their training.  The technological advancement has made it possible for people to acquire jobs through searching for vacancies via companies’ website.   Potential employees also send application emails to various companies. In the event that a job opportunity arises, the employees get contacted by the companies for interviews.

Typical Job notice

            The following is a job opening notice that I am interested in.  Temporary sports Monitor in the City of Alexandria. Job description, monitoring and leading youth and adult sports and leagues. Pay, $ 15.71 per hour.

Work Conditions

 The sports agent physical conditions are harsh. Sometimes they got to endure the extreme weather conditions as they supervise their client’s realism on the sport.  The stress levels are manageable.  However, they have to regularly meet up potential sponsors and ensure their clients get the best of deals. They bargain both the immediate and future prospects of the clients (State University website, 2020). Sometimes, it is hard to predict the output of a client since eventualities such as injuries may occur. Also, there are no fixed working hours for sports agents. The client may require meeting with their sponsors in late hours and the agent should be present.  The   sports agent career often entails travel as they take their clients to various competitions or even meetings.  For the employed sports agents they are constantly on supervision from their seniors. Their work output is determined through the success of their clients.

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Education and Training

            The pre-requisite into sports agent career is prior knowledge of the sport the client is involved in. However, education training is key in professionalism in the career. As such, sports agents have a bachelor’s in sports management or business management (State University, 2020).  Other sports agents specialize in law degrees. The legal studies help them in managing contractual negotiations with their clients.   Top sports agents personnel usually have a master’s degree in three areas; law, business and sports management (Ufer, 2017). Learning for the sports agent is a life-long procedure. They should always be ahead in terms of developments concerning the sport, and the series of competition that the clients should be involved in. In terms of managing their client’s brand, the various agencies should learn of technological means to help improve their brand and sell it to the market.


             Apart from the educational requirements, the sports agent should acquire the proper certification for the job. The certification requirement involves both experience and educational qualification.  Ufer (2017), states that a sports agent should acquire a certification from the league that their clients wants to participate in.  Most of the sporting leagues also require the agents to have acquired liability insurance before contractual agreement.  Individual sports such as football, rugby, and athletics have their own certifications for people aspiring to be agents. The National Football League of Players in the Washington DC has the following requirements for a prospective sports agent;

  1. Have a master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.
  2. Complete a background investigation.
  3. Pay an application fee of $2,500
  4. Attend a two day seminar
  5.  Completion of proctored examination successfully.


            There are various kinds of affiliations in which sports agents regulations are undertaken. The international sporting organizations such as FIFA, FIBA, IAAF, and IRB have developed specific regulations for sports agents (Rossi, 2014). In each sport there is representation from the international sphere to the local states, such as Washington, where the particular team operates in. Each affiliation presents the certification requirements of the sports agents.

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             Sports agent career is promising both now and in the future.  According to Stone et al, (2014), the sporting agent business is enormous. Each player or athlete should engage   the services of a professional player in order to get the required branding in the marketplace.  The current job openings are in educational institutions, sports clubs as well as private sports agency firms. The future job openings lay in dealing with direct clients thus becoming self-employed.  Technological advancements have led to tremendous change in the industry (Rossi, 2014). People no longer have to physically source jobs and clients. As such, it is important to be technological savvy and learn the new trends in e- content creation and marketing.

Lifestyle Impact

             Sports agent job may greatly impact my social life in a major way. Family life may be impacted negatively due to constant travels and unpredictable working hours (Ufer, 2017).  Leisure activities should be aligned with the interests in the sport to develop the knowledge of the activities. Vacations programs should only come after confirmation of major tournaments and competition for the clients. Any abrupt gaming event may lead to the disruption of the pre-planned vacation.


 Sports agent is a promising career. There is much potential to the career especially in being self-employed.  Through the research I have acquired the following information concerning the sports agent career. To begin with, the initial startup for the career is through internship program in various sporting firms. However, searches through company’s websites may lead to the realization of the existing vacancies.  The sports agent career trends include other services such as legal and brokerage services. Also, sports agents offer financial services to their clients. Knowledge of the sports including rules and leagues and educational knowledge are key in one getting a sports agent job. The research found out that the career lacks gender inclusivity and has a bias towards black people. The research also revealed the unpredictable working patterns and constant travels for the various clients’ engagements.   Thus, the research outlined the potential negative impact that the long travels might have on the sports agents’ life, family, leisure and vacation. Lastly, the research found out there is potential growth in the sports agent job as technological advancements make job searching and client sourcing easy.


Bjälevik, J., & Magnusson, M. (2009). How to be successful in the sports agent business.

 Cunningham, B. G. (2007) Creating and Sustaining Gender Diversity in Sport Organizations. Sex Roles (2008) 58:136–145

ROSSI, G.(2014) The professionalization of the sport agents: cartels, networks and enterprises within the football industry in a comparative perspective, 1950s-2010.

Stein  M. and Levinstein  M  (2008)  How to be A Sports Agent. High Stakes Publishing 21 Great Ormond Street, London, WC1N 3JB

Stone II, R., Stoitf II, R., HonorsCollege, S., Holies, J., & yMilewicz, P. (2014). Being a Sports Agent: Examining the Profession of Athlete Representation In fulfillment of the Requirements for The Esther G. Maynor Honors College University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Ufer, T (2017). Pursuing a Career as a Sports Agent

 State University (2020),

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