A Career as a Sports Agent or Sport Manager

If you enjoy sports, becoming an athlete isn’t the only career path you could take to work in this industry. Getting your degree in sports management opens a number of career doors, one of which is to become a sports agent. When most people think of sports agents, they think of Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire yelling, “Show me the money!” Obviously, this is a very fictionalized account of what a sports agent really does, but in reality, a career as a sports agent can be just as exciting as in the movies.

As a sports agent, your job will be to secure deals for your clients and negotiate contracts for both employment and for endorsement opportunities. Needless to say, you’ll likely be working with some big personalities on both sides of the table, and this is a very high-pressure job, sometimes with millions of dollars on the line. Your job is to make you client’s career as successful as possible, and to be the main spokesperson for this person so that he or she can concentrate on being the best player possible without worrying about business.

When starting out as a sports agent, you can certainly open your own business, but choosing an agent is a very high-stakes decision for a player, so few will sign with someone completely new to the business. Instead, you’ll likely work for a larger sports agency, where you’ll work on salary. As an entry-level sports agent, you’ll likely work on the team of an agent who’s been in business for much longer, and while there, take every opportunity to learn from your boss. You might also work in the scouting and recruiting department, where your job will be to investigate new talent and convince unsigned players to choose your agency.

The best way to move up the ranks in the sports agent world is to soak up as much information as possible from those above you and consider further education in law or finance, since your duties will require you to understanding complicated contracts and federal sports regulations about when and how you can recruit players. At the same time, it is important to follow sports trends carefully. You might specialize in one type of sport, but as an agent, opportunities to represent other types of players could arise, especially as you’re promoted through word of mouth. So, following all sports is important to your career.

The goal of many sports management majors is to someday own their own agency. This is certainly possible, even early in your career, if you excel at communication and are willing to work long hours. Keep in mind, however, that if you decide to open your own agency after working for a larger company, you may be contractually barred from representing players you recruited or represented while at that larger company, at least for a few years.

Once you’re a sports agent, either working independently or working at a larger corporation without another agent above you, you’ll typically earn a commission instead of a salary. Agents usually are paid between four and ten percent of the contract that they negotiate, and you may also have set monthly or annual fees for players you represent, depending on the services you provide.

Top Online Sports Management Degree Programs

Ashford University
BA: Sports & Recreation Management
Ashford University - The online Bachelors in Sports & Recreation Management applies sports and fitness to business management principles. Specializations of this degree program include Entrepreneurship, Finance, Information Systems, Marketing, and Project Management. Students enter a wide variety of careers in sports management, marketing, and communications. Ashford U is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Ste 100, Alameda, California 94501, (510) 748-9001, wascsenior.org.
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Southern New Hampshire University
MBA: Sports Management
Southern New Hampshire University - Students in the Southern New Hampshire University Sports Management MBA program learn the business core of an MBA program plus the insight of sports marketing, leveraging sponsorship opportunities, and crafting a brand. The university is committed to graduating leaders in the field who will shape the future of sports management. No GMAT or GRE is required.
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Ohio University
MS: Athletic Admin.
MS: Coaching Edu.
Ohio University - For individuals looking to enter the profession of athletic director or professional sports team front office manager, Ohio University offers an MS degree in athletic administration that teaches the fundamentals of sport business. For the aspiring sports coach, Ohio University offers an MS degree in coachin education that teaches the fundamentals of coaching athletes.
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Post University
BS: Sports Management
Post University - The BS in sports management online degree program from Post University prepares studnets for careers in administration, management, and marketing at sports-related firms. This program combines business courses with sports management courses to present a well-rounded degree.
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Salem International University
MBA: Sports Management
Salem International University - The Master of Business Administration with a specialization in sports management from Salem International University will provide you the necessary academic background for a career in industries centered on sports. Your degree will develop your skills and knowledge in relevant sports related topics helping you build a successful career.
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Liberty University
MS: Sports Management
Liberty University - The Master of Science in sport management from Liberty University is an advanced degree designed to help you gain an in-depth understanding of the sports and recreation industry. The courses you will take give you a strong background for management with rigorous study on social and ethical issues you will face in this industry.
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Northcentral University
MEd: Athletic Admin
PhD: Athletic Admin
Northcentral University - Northcentral's Master of Education in athletic administration is a program designed for professional educators interested in K-12 athletic administrations. The PhD in athletic administration is a very thorough program that requires students to apply educational concepts they learn in this program into planning and directing sports and athletic programs.
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University of the Rockies
MA: Sport Psychology
University of the Rockies - While not purely a sports management degree, the MA in sports psychology from the University of the Rockies certainly can prepare individuals for successful careers within sports management. This specialization within their larger psychology program readies students for jobs as coaches or leaders in areas outside of sports.
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Grand Canyon University
BSBA: Sports Management
Grand Canyon University - Grand Canyon University, one of the nation's largest evangelical universities, offers a BS in business administration degree with a concentration in sports management. Courses of study in within this program include sports marketing, sports law, sports finance, and more.
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Tiffin University
MBA in Sports Management
Tiffin University - The Tiffin University Master of Business Administration concentration in Sports Management prepares future managers for careers in professional, intercollegiate, and recreational sports. The curriculum includes an cross-cultural experience with the London Olympic Games.
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