Sports agents are the faces behind the masks of major athletes, as they work to keep athletes financially satisfied and held in high regard in the public eye.
Due to the competitive nature of the sports management industry, these agents may need to work around-the-clock, including weekends or holidays, to keep their clients happy. Their main focus is to advise clients regarding things such as public image, contracts, and endorsement deals. Athletes can be very involved with the press, so it is important that they maintain a positive portrayal in the media and say the right things in these situations, as well.
Athletes are constantly signing contracts, and sports agents are there to ensure that they are adequately compensated for their talent and experience. Most sports agents work for large companies rather than as freelancers, as athletes are far more likely to trust advisers from corporations; this also simplifies the agent's process of recruiting clients, which is the basis of their career. Sports agents aspire to maintain many clients on their roster, and they must provide quality service in order to do so.
There are no official requirements to become a sports agent, though there are preferred qualities for employers. Most sports agents have a bachelor's degree in sports management or a related field, and extra classes in law and finance can be highly beneficial, as these are major areas in which athletes are advised and guided. Communication skills are also important, as negotiating contracts is a central part of the job.
Aspiring sports agents must be knowledgeable and passionate regarding the sport in which they will manage, and prior experience as an athlete may be helpful in some respects. Candidates with several years of relevant experience are often preferred, so many begin their careers as assistants of more experienced sports agents. As with any job, sports agents must also meet the minimum requirements for licensing agencies in their respective states and any sports league/s in which they work.