Capstone Blog Post #5
Now that I am done with the research I need to answer my main inquiry question. My main inquiry question is “what is the role of a sports agent and how do they impact the player success?” A sports agent has many responsibilities. Starting with, one of the biggest responsibilities that is helping their players stay healthy. You might think that this is easy but it is quite hard because you need to be a good contract negotiator. Being a good contract negotiator is hard you have to have skills. Agents can help their clients get deals and contracts. If you have a good contract negotiator you will get good deals but if you have a bad agent who is not good at contract negotiating it will be hard to get a good deal. One example that you have to be a good contract negotiator is that Nike’s first offer to Michael Jordan was $250,000 but Adidas was already offering $500,000. So a good Agent like David Falk would do something about it. And Falk did he demanded more and Nike agreed to give more. Another example is that MJ signed a extreme deal with Nike because of his amazing agent. His agent was so good at negotiating that he was able to make his own brand air jordan. A agent also has to be able to know what their client offers to his/her team. Also being a agent you have to be a good decision maker. For example each agent must be able to decide how strict they are going to be with their clients. According to my interview “agents also have to speak on behalf of the player” this is to keep a player of the spotlight if they are in a bad mood. For example if your player loses a game they will be emotional and not in the mood to be interviewed then the player can ask his agent to speak for him and the player can tell the agent what to say. It is also the agent’s responsibility to always look out for their player by always meeting with coaches, teammates, and companies that are looking into doing deals with their player. According to my interview another responsibilities of a sports agent is to give the more playing time and help them get more opportunities to make money. Finally one of the biggest responsibilities of a agent is to discuss with their player what career they want to do in the future and they help their players prepare for another job / career.
Also good agents have to have good qualities. One quality is Honesty. This is because you need a agent that will be honest with you. Another quality is Trust. You need to be able to trust his agent and what he is doing. Also Reputation if your agent does not look good you don’t look good. Another big quality is Accessibility if you need your agent you need to be able to talk to him. For example if the agent’s client wants a new contract or got some thing that it really important to tell the agent the agent has to be able to talk to the player. Also you need you agent to think you matter people like knowing that there success matters to your agent and they are not just trying to make money. My interview said that a really important quality is, “Understanding everything you have to do and doing everything you promised.” He also said “a agent has to have good interpersonal skills.” Interpersonal skills means that the agent has to be able to connect to their clients. Fairness. Agents also have to be fair. For example the agents have to be able to make consistent decisions or else people will get mad at the agent and nobody will want to do deals with their clients.
So why do players sign deals with agent’s? Players sign deals with agents because of many reasons. One reason is that a agent is a role model to a player. A good agent helps a player be polite and nice. This is because businesses would want to endorse in them if they are polite and nice. This is because if the face of a businesses is a nice guy more people would like the businesses and they would make more money. Also agents give advice, agents give their clients advise if you are not happy with playing time or you are in a fight with a coach or a teammate. Also if their advice does not work the can go talk to players and coaches for you. The guy i interviewed said that “As industry has grown players realize it is helpful to have someone in their corner. They need help to manage things and agents provide a special service to player.” Making a long-term deal and making products that make a player look good is key and guess what agents can do all of that for you with just a little help from his client. typically young and upcoming players sign a contract with an agent. This is so that they can have a better chance of getting on a team and hopefully someday become pretty famous.
Agents are really good at helping players sign endorsement deals. One of my interviews said that to help negotiate contracts for players they have to be a mentor to the player and try to get them in the best place to succeed. The first thing you have to do is brand your client. This is so that people can learn about you. Next you have to find potential endorsers. This means the agent has to find people that may endorse and gather some different ideas. After that the agent should make sure the player is motivated. This is so that the agent can get the players prospective. Like MJ, his agent did not do all the work he got some ideas from MJ and tried to negotiate them in the deal. Next, the agent has to negotiate with people looking into his player. A agent will look at what a brand / company is willing to offer and then try to make the deal better but they don’t want to push it. My other interview said that they need to find as many endorsers that is the agents primary goal. Agents can not only help you get a deal with something related to sports. They can try to get you a deal with whoever you want the agent will do anything to help their player make money because that is their job.
Agents can also help you get contracts on a new team. One thing that the do to help you with that is look at what the player wants and they also look at what the team is willing to offer and then tries to make both sides happy. Also a agent has to know how good their player is so that they can find out what teams want him and use the knowledge that he knows about the player skill level. For example MJ’s agent knew he was good but he was underrated nobody knew how good he was so his agents convinced people he was good and he got picked in the draft. In long term contracts agents usually make sure that the player gets paid immediately. One of my interviews said, “the agent has to express the team how good the player is in all aspects on contributions. Do they
make team better and stuff like that so a agent’s job is to speak on behalf of player and help player make a case.”
All of this shows how agents impact a players success in different ways because of helping with contracts and helping them with things when they need it. Also agents mostly impact their clients positively.