I recently stumbled across an article on Sports Illustrated’s website that was very informative about the life on a sports agent. Josh Luchs first arrived on the scene when he was 20 years old. He was a ball boy for the Oakland Raiders. This allowed him to get very close to his players, and ultimately sign Greg Townsend, their star defensive end. Like Rosenhaus, Luchs went to a school that had a high volume of football talent, UCLA. He used this to his advantage when first starting out. He hung out around the football players, which allowed them to feel more comfortable when signing him as an agent. He then goes on to talk about how he cheated the system. There have been many scandals recently surfacing in college about agents and other people paying student athletes. This seemed to be the norm back in the day. He explained how the basis of recruiting for a lot of the athletes was how much you would pay them. He still had to get close to his clients, but money was a huge factor. This was an NFLPA (NFL Players Association) violation, but rarely was anyone getting caught. He eventually moved on to working with an agent who played by the rules. This lasted for a few successful years, until Gary Wichard started limiting the number of clients he would allow Luchs to recruit. He was scared that Luchs would leave him and steal all his clients. So eventually Luchs leaves, and takes Wichard to court because he was withholding some of the commision that Luch was old. They found that one of the players sent a check to Luchs, which turned around and got him in trouble. He was eventually suspended a year by the NFLPA, fined $25,000, and his career as a sports agent was basically over. I found this extremely interesting because it showed how fast a person’s career can turn around. It also gave me an inside view of the profession, and showed me that everything doesn’t go by the books. There are many in’s and out’s to the business, that make agents bend the rules a little bit. It is how you proceed with this obstacles that will make or break your career.
You can’t ever talk about sports agents without mentioning the most famous of them all. Drew Rosenhaus is the largest sports agent in the NFL, representing approximately 170 players. Rosenhaus was born and raised in Miami, which led to him later attending the University of Miami. This proved to be a very smart choice for him. Not only is the University of Miami a very prestigous school, but it is also loaded with football talent, which Rosenhaus obviously used to his advantage. After getting his bachelor’s degree, he made his way to Duke University, where he ended up getting a degree in law. His success stems mostly from his aggressive nature. He does whatever it takes to obtain new clients, and to keep his current clients happy at all times. One of the main examples of his dedication come from his work with Willis McGahee. McGahee, a stand out running back from the University of Miami, had a knee injury on his last college game that could have potentially ended his career. Rosenhaus made a guarantee to him that not only would he be drafted, but it would be in the first round. If this didn’t happen, Rosenhaus would waive his commission and work for McGahee for free. Even though he could barely walk at the time of the draft, McGahee ended up being drafted towards the end of the first round and received a lucrative contract. This is just one of many cases that shows what type of agent Drew Rosenhaus is. The $65 million net worth speaks for itself. Drew Rosenhaus is a man among boys when it comes to NFL sports agents. He models what it takes to be successful in a difficult field.
Like I previously stated, the movie “Jerry Maguire” was one of my main influences on wanting to become a Sports Agent. I have always been a big football fan and I was also a fan of Tom Cruise. I decided to watch this movie at a pretty young age, when I did not even understand half of the things that were going on. The way Jerry Maguire conducts himself in this movie was very amusing for me though. While he doesn’t illustrate everything into being a Sports Agent, I think what he did best was showing the lifestyle and characteristics of a typical person in this field. He also reveals the negativity that can sometimes be associated with Sports Agents as well. At the beginning of the movie, Jerry is on top of the world. He has the best clients and is making ridiculous amounts of money. He ends up getting fired from his firm and has all his clients taken from him. Jerry then is stuck with one client, but manages to build his way back up to the top. It also shows the difference in working for a firm as opposed to working independently. Jerry was at his highest point when he worked for his firm, but it pretty much crumbled overnight. When he was forced to be independent, it was a struggle at first, but he still managed to achieve success. While this movie doesn’t nearly show everything that goes into the world of Sports Agents, it has some credible facts that it does a good job of illustrating to the audience.
For my first post, I want to go over the basic details of what being a Sports Agent is, and just give a basic overview of the career. A Sports Agent “represents an athlete on a contractual basis, with the goal to market, promote and negotiate contracts in the best interest of the athlete.” They are basically in charge of making sure the athlete they are representing is getting a fair contract, while at the same time making sure the athlete is happy throughout the duration of their contract. It is a big incentive for them. Most of their salary is based off a percentage of the athletes contract. Therefore, the more money their client is making, the more money they will make. To be a good agent though, you have to do a whole lot more than just negotiate the contract. You essentially have to market yourself to your clients constantly. You have to attend their games, meet with their coaches, personally know their family, and basically be on call for them at all times. Athletes do not hire Sports Agents that aren’t readily available. But as long as both parties are happy, it is a very profitable field to be in. While a majority of the agents attend law school to get a better feel for contract negotiations, it is possible to become one with a bachelor’s degree in either Sports Management or Business Management while still having some knowledge of sports. Once they finish school, they decide whether or not they want to join a firm or work independently. Firms offer a better job stability and the benefits of a normal job, but working independently will usually end up making you more money. Either way, the money is there. In 2008, the average annual salary was around $98,000. If you are one of the lucky ones who can recruit the top athletes, you are bound to make much more. While the money is one of the reasons this career path entices me, my passion for sports makes it even more desirable. I would get to be acquainted with professional athletes and it would be considered “work”. Sounds more like fun to me. All this information is courtesy of eHow.com.