Chances are you’ve probably seen the movie Jerry McGuire. In the movie Tom Cruise plays a successful – and then not so successful sports agent. His job is to represent professional athletes and get them the most lucrative contracts they can. By getting his clients the most lucrative contracts – he earns more in commission. In the movie we see how Jerry went from a lucrative list of clients down to just one. These ups and downs are quite common in the cutthroat world of being a sports agent, but if you can hack the stress and constant travel, you’ll make a ton of money. Let’s take a look at the career of a sports agent and how you can prepare yourself.
Most sports agents have a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or sports management. Some sports agents also have a background in law, which is very helpful because of all of the complicated contracts. If you want to make a serious run at becoming an agent you need to do an internship at the bachelor’s or master’s degree level. The world of sports marketing and representation is full of nuances that you won’t learn in the classroom or from a textbook. Many programs offer internships that will give you the opportunity to work in a sports management firm. This is a step you need to take if you want to become a sports agent.
The movie Jerry McGuire showed Jerry and his colleagues as being over the top, even cheesy, salesmen along the lines of used cars salesman – just in a lot better suits driving a lot nicer cars. There are some agents like that, but in the real world, sports agents must be extremely hard-working, not afraid of rejection, have sales skills, great communication skills, and an understanding of contracts. Oh yeah, they must also not be afraid to work on 100% commission. It’s true, being a sports agent is not for everyone. If you like the security of a steady 9-5 job with dependable paycheck then this isn’t the career for you. But if you love a challenge, are motivated by money, love sports, don’t mind being on the road all the time, and can influence people, then you should consider it.
Before jumping in head first you need to consider if this is the career for you. Many people watch movies like Jerry McGuire think being a sports agent is easy – it isn’t. Sit down and honestly evaluate yourself and your life’s circumstances to see if it’s feasible to start down this career path. Ask yourself – Do I have the personality traits and will I be able to commit to what it takes to be successful as a sports agent? If you answer yes, then take the next step and start researching proper majors such as sports marketing and sports management. There are online and on-campus programs available.