Trying to open a sports agency- currently manage over 15 million followers of sports media. I have one of the largest social followings in the world & a staff that can explode peoples' followings & brands (and we do on a daily basis). I want to leverage my network by becoming an agent to players... I think I can provide endorsement and branding opportunities few others can.
I know advertising, I know sports... But I clearly don't know what it would take to be a well-rounded sports agent. How should I start?
Should I look into partnering with current agents? Should I hire a lawyer who specializes in this who can help with documentation?
I love this question!
First off, congrats on the achievements thus far.
My name is Humberto Valle, I'm the founder of www.Unthink.me, a small hybrid agency that brings big business solutions to small growing companies. I've helped bring some products to Shark Tank, helped political figures strategize exposure, and helped countless startups. I have a varied portfolio of investments and companies and I'm an evangelist for a 100 Software Engineer team called BetaBulls.
Note that I am not a sports agent, your question, however, is more about the creativity of getting started. The very first thing you need is to assume you are an agent if you want to be.
With that, the very first thing I would do is ask yourself who your most engaged followers follow - what sport? what athlete?
Do you have any athletes as followers? Do they happen to be in the most engaged sport in your feed? Do you have any franchises following you?
Even if they are minor, such as MLB and minor league baseball - for example in this sport the players can commonly bounce back and forth from major to minor - it might be easier to start with minor league for example.
But what you need to do is not track athletes, if they are known to you - you have to assume they are known to existing and well-connected agents. What you need to do is build exposure and a good relationship with one or 2 franchises and get their direction on who they want, and you try to make it happen for them by finding that athlete, starting the conversation, etc. For the average agent, social media provides little value as far as signing athletes. What you need is the support of the franchises who back you up when you come up to an athlete with a proposal to get them a good deal.
For now, it would be a good effort to change your profile info to state that you are an agent (even if you arent) same thing on your website and all other assets.
As an Agent myself I would never tell a lie about having all the answers. I would also say be willing and able to connect with, work with, and share ideas and support with others in the business. This has to be passion for you not just a money grab. Because you will get caught up in the money and screw others over who have trusted you. This business is very relational. You won't accomplish much without relationships. So I would also say to find the sports you are personally passionate about and get involved in those. Finally I would tell you that this is not an inexpensive business to get involved in, so ensure you prepare your finances properly. Once you've done that most sports that are internationally recognized are not that hard to register in as an agent. It is the US specific leagues and sports where you will need at a least bachelor degree to register in.