Agents are employed by the professional athletes they represent. They are also employed by top management firms, such as Endeavor.
If you do not know an athlete, have no connections or access to athletes, and have had no experience prior to applying to agencies, chances are you will find yourself changing fields pretty quickly. Just as there are no professional organizations and no formal training to do this job, there is no one way to do it, which only makes getting started more difficult. The best way of breaking into the field is to start early and obtain a good internship—one that gives you some exposure to agents and athletes, as well as a chance to develop those contacts. Add to this any information or hot tips you might have on new, fresh talent and you may have a chance.
Most people who become agents get involved with a sport, either because they once played it, or a sibling did, or they have followed it so closely as to have made important or solid contacts in the field. Coaches, scouts, and the athletes themselves would all be considered good contacts. So, too, are sportscasters, sportswriters, athletic trainers, even sports physicians; in short, anyone who can introduce you to athletes is a potential contact.
In the field of sports management, advancement comes with success, the formula for which is pretty straightforward: If an agent's athletes are successful (and the agent handles the careers of those athletes well), then the agent is successful—financially as well as in terms of reputation. A good, solid reputation will, in turn, garner that agent more successful clients. Some very successful agents launch their own sports management firms.
Tips for Entry
Participate in internships or part-time jobs at sports management firms that are arranged by your college’s career services office. These are excellent ways to obtain experience and get your foot in the door.
Learn as much as you can about sports. Try to make contacts with agents and sports trainers, physicians, and reporters to expand your professional network.
Conduct information interviews with agents and ask them for advice on breaking into the field.
Earn advanced degrees in business management, law, and finance to improve your chances of landing a job.