How To Spot A Good Sports Agent by Cameron Chung (Sportsagentblog.com)

HOW TO SPOT A GOOD SPORTS AGENT
By: Cameron Chung (Sportsagentblog.com)

Sports agents — or at least young lawyers wanting to become sports agents — are a dime a dozen, which is no small surprise given the relentless popularity and prioritization of sports in America and the ongoing romanticization of sports agentry (Thanks, “Jerry Maguire”). Finding a goodsports agent, however, is more akin to finding a needle in a haystack, as is evidenced by the depressing number of professional athletes who end up broke and/or bankrupt by the end of their careers.

In every sport, it’s clear that players are in need of competent representation and advice, so whether you’re looking to improve your sports agentry game, you’re completely new to the field, or you’re a professional athlete wondering whether your current agent is up to snuff, here are some of the characteristics common to good sports agents.

1.  A HOLISTIC APPROACH

A good sports agent isn’t after fast money for himself or his client, unless that fast money fits into a broader and more holistic approach that serves the athletes’ goals and values. Too often, sports agents — and the athletes they represent — assume that good representation begins and ends with getting paid, and while money is undoubtedly essential, an athlete’s personal values, brand, desire to be in a specific location, family, personal goals, and more must also be considered in every potential deal and endorsement. It’s true that there are a lot of ways to make money off of professional sports.

Bettors are increasingly relying on sportsbooks south of Los Angeles to make their money, but the professional athlete’s approach is more complex. A good sports agent understands those complexities and has the ability to guide his athletes’ in a holistic manner that will benefit their entire lives and careers — not just their respective bank accounts.

2.  HONESTY

The cornerstone of nearly every good relationship is honesty, whether that relationship is a friendship, a marriage, or one between a lawyer and his client, which is why a good sports agent always has a reputation for honesty. An athlete needs to know his agent will tell him his honest opinion, whether it’s positive or negative. To a player, honesty about options, what to leverage in a contract negotiation, the true value a team does or doesn’t place on him, and the like is priceless, and it will result in greater financial and professional success over the long-term.

3.  REAL RELATIONSHIP

In keeping with the emphasis on honesty, the best sports agents have real relationships with the athletes they represent. Far from being a “Yes” man, a good agent will work to develop and maintain a relationship characterized by openness, honesty, and mutual respect. While it’s possible for a sports agent to help an athlete make money even if the two of them don’t enjoy a relationship that extends beyond the signing of contracts and the collecting of commissions and fees, for an athlete and sports agent to reach their mutual financial and career potential, a real relationship is usually a pre-requisite.

4.  WISDOM

Wisdom can be a hard quality to notice in a person until enough time has passed to see whether or not some his advice and choices ended up panning out, but even before such evidence is available, there are clues as to whether or not a sports agent has wisdom.

Is the agent extremely knowledgeable about the sport or sports his athletes work in, the cultures, and the legal intricacies involved in each? Does he exercise good judgment in his own career and personal choices? While experience is the best way to judge whether or not an individual embodies the wisdom an athlete will need throughout a professional sports career, expertise and good judgment are revealing as well.

5.  ABILITY TO PRIORITIZE

A professional sports career is a tricky path to manage, because there is so much to consider in regards to every athlete. How important is winning? How important is weather? How important is starting? How important is coaching style? Does he need to be near family? How important is payout? All these questions and more affect an athlete’s decision-making, and a good sports agent can help him weigh each consideration appropriately. Few athletes get everything they want, but a good sports agent can help them realize where their priorities truly lie, which will keep everyone much happier in the long run.

A sports agent is a vital ally for most professional athletes, but only insomuch as that sports agent embodies the qualities listed here and those like them.  Sports agents — or at least young lawyers wanting to become sports agents — are a dime a dozen, which is no small surprise given the relentless popularity and prioritization of sports in America and the ongoing romanticization of sports agentry (Thanks, “Jerry Maguire”). Finding a good sports agent, however, is more akin to finding a needle in a haystack, as is evidenced by the depressing number of professional athletes who end up broke and/or bankrupt by the end of their careers.

In every sport, it’s clear that players are in need of competent representation and advice, so whether you’re looking to improve your sports agentry game, you’re completely new to the field, or you’re a professional athlete wondering whether your current agent is up to snuff, here are some of the characteristics common to good sports agents.

How To Spot A Good Sports Agent
By: Cameron Chung, Sportsagentblog.com

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