HOPE LOUISE WRIGHT
As many of you know, I’m a Senior Vice President of Business Operations with Pro Level Sports Agency located in York, PA. PLSA (Pro Level Sports Agency); which was founded by Buddy Walters, who is the nephew of NFL Legend Defensive Coordinator Buddy Ryan responsible for creating the 46 Defensive; and is the first cousin of NFL Coaches Rex and Rob Ryan. Buddy Walters hired me back in October of 2021, as an Agent Advisor…Wait a minute? An Agent Advisor or Sports Agent, what is exactly is the difference? Let me explain in deep detail the difference between the two; and what criteria must be met in order to be a Certified Sports Agent.
So, in the beginning of getting into the world of Sports, I often wondered what exactly an Agent Advisor is and what it isn’t? Do they have a rightful place in Sports Management? Can they recruit and represent players in the NFL or CFL, USFL, XFL and Arena Football? What about other professional sports? To answer those questions, I went directly to the source themselves; and received some interesting facts about the difference between Agent Advisor and Sports Agent titles. So, essentially Agent Advisors are Sports Agents in training working with a Sports Management Agency; who can recruit, advise and mentor athletes on their career path, legalities and the intricacies of a potential contracts the athlete may sign. Agent Advisor, also share equally in any commission fees paid to the company by clients successfully recruited by the Agent Advisor.
When it comes time for the Professional Athlete to sign with an NFL, CFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, FIFA, WNBA and any other Professional Organization of that magnitude the Agent must be a Certified Player Association Representative. In other words, you apply, pay the fee and pass usually an open book exam to represent players on that skill level; at that time, you are officially a Certified Sports Agent. Agent Advisor can not negotiate contracts of the Big Leagues, unless certified. However, there is an exception to this rule, Agent Advisor can represent players going into a minor league, semiprofessional setup like Arena Football, XFL or USFL without certification.
Now with Sports Agents, it’s another story and higher accountability and responsibility are at stake, so enter with caution. Sports Agent are legal representatives of Professional Athletes and Coaches who are certified though the Player association and are even certified with the NCAA, but that’s usually for collegiate basketball players looking for representation entering the NBA draft. Certified Sports Agent can procure and negotiate employment and endorsement contracts for the athlete or coach whom they represent. Because of the unique characteristics of the sports industry, sports agents are responsible for communications with team owners, managers, and other individuals. Also, they are responsible for making recommendations. In addition to finding income sources, agents often handle public relations matters for their clients. In some large sports agencies, such as IMG, Creative Artists Agency, Roc Nation Sports and Octagon, agents deal with all aspects of a client’s finances, from investment to filing taxes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_agent)
Becoming an Agent Advisor can be a wonderful spring board into a fulfilling and lucrative career as a Sports Agent. Getting experience and training to stand out as a Sports Agent will start when you get the much-needed education to be successfully and satisfied with your career path. Your undergraduate studies should include Communications, Sports Management, Business Management, Finance, Accounting, and Marketing. However, having a Master degree in fields like Law, Sports Management, Business and Finance will make you more desirable in the end. If you’re wondering what kind of salary can I make being a Sports Agent? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics determined that the median salary of a sports agent (and other business managers of artists, performers, and athletes) was $73,740 in May of 2019. Agents predominantly work in New York, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas, although any area with a large number of universities with athletics programs is likely to have sports agents working there in some capacity. Between 2019-2029, the BLS projects a 12% increase in sports agent jobs, which is much faster growth than average. In other words, your salary could range between $73,740.00 to over $1,000,000.00. (https://bestaccreditedcolleges.org/articles/become-a-sports-agent.html)
Did you know that Sports Agents can generally receive between 4 and 10% of the athlete’s playing contract, and 10 to 20% of the athlete’s endorsement contract; although these figures can vary significantly. NFL agents are not permitted to receive more than 3%, and NBA agents not more than 4%, of their client’s playing contracts. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_agent)