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10 Tips to Choose Between Sports Agent Firms
Is your recruiting agent or agency registered to practice as an agent or agency in your state?
For the NFL, sports agent companies must be registered with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) to negotiate a contract for a player. The Uniform Athlete Agents Act, or UAAA, is a state law currently recognized by 40 states (as of April 2011) except Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands, which regulates the recruiting actions of agents.
The Act aims to create uniformity in the way sports agent companies recruit and communicate with potential clients. Part of the law requires sports agents to register in each state in which they choose to recruit athletes.
If you are in a state where UAAA is not recognized, ask them if they are registered in that particular state (if applicable). If you are already a professional athlete, potential agents do not need to register in your state.
Have you ever been suspended, suspended or disciplined as an attorney or agent?
While bad things sometimes happen to good people, it’s good to know if the sports agent firm you’re considering has ever been disciplined, suspended or disbarred (if they’re also lawyers). Research the attorney or agent and feel free to bring up what you learn. There may be a better explanation for what happened, but it’s important that you’re comfortable with them and their track record.
How much is your fee? Are your fees negotiable? How and when will you bill me for your services?
Do you provide any kind of annual statement to your clients?
Sports agent companies usually bill a percentage of the value of the contract negotiated on behalf of the players. Often these fees are limited. For example, in the NFL (National Football League) and UFL (United Football League), this fee is capped at 3%, meaning the agent’s commission cannot exceed 3% of the total value of the negotiated contract.
However, you can ask the agent to pay an hourly rate, if they agree. It is said that Ray Allen, now of the Boston Celtics (NBA), saved more than $2.8m by paying Johnnie Cochran $500 an hour in 1999 when he was negotiating his own contract with the Milwaukee Bucks instead of paying back a 4% commission.
For athletic training, who do you work with? Who have they prepared for the combine before? Who pays for my training?
These days, sports agent companies typically foot the bill for sure-fire draft picks combined with pro day preparation training. Some athletes prefer to stay in school and train for these events, while others prefer to travel to remote locations to train.
It is important to ensure that you and your potential delegates have a clear understanding of where you are training, who is training you and how much it will cost, as well as whether any associated fees are your own financial responsibility.
Your career is at stake, so it is imperative to research the experience and track record of the organization you are going to train with.
What types of financial services do you provide? Do you receive any referral fees from financial advisors you recommend? Can I use my own financial planner or accountant?
Sports agent companies sometimes receive kickbacks or commissions for referring clients to certain financial advisors. This practice naturally raises concerns about whether the agency is referring that financial advisor because of the quality of their performance and services.
Ask if they recommend a financial advisor. If so check their background. If you spot any red flags, raise your concerns with the agency or agent to see what they say. Sports agent companies recommending financial advisers with questionable backgrounds should not be disqualified from consideration, as they are (or should be) two separate entities. It’s also possible that they’re either unaware of the violations themselves or have a better explanation for what you found, unless it’s criminal activity.
When interviewing potential financial advisors, inquire about their decision to hire risk managers to assess the level of risk involved in their recommended investments. If your best interests are their true concern, they should have no problem getting their recommendations reviewed by a third party. Financial advisors representing NFL players must register with the NFLPA in the same manner as agents.
Tip: Never choose financial advisor or sports agent firms as they recruit you heavily! Find the one that is best for you.
How many customers do you currently have? How do you plan to meet my needs while dealing with your other clients?
The number of current clients that sports agent companies have can vary widely. You need to make sure that you are comfortable with the number of customers they currently have and will have in the near future. Such information can be helpful in determining how much attention and time they can devote to your career.
Conversely, larger sports agent firms have the infrastructure to still be able to devote quality time and attention to individual clients, so be sure to inquire about their firm’s structure in this regard.
If for some reason, I don’t get drafted, how can you help me increase my chances of making the team?
Unfortunately, each year fails to produce the expected draft. There are also players who were expected to be undrafted free agents who were not selected. Experienced sports agent companies will work with you to develop a plan of action to assess worst-case scenarios.
Ask what kind of plan they would have to evaluate your undrafted situation, or where you can find undrafted free agent offers if you expect to be drafted.
Ask if similar incidents have happened in the past and how they handled it.
What is your strategy for an endorsement deal for an athlete like me?
Endorsement deals are much harder to come by today than in years past in professional football. The best are reserved for star quarterbacks, especially those who play in big-market cities. Marketing opportunities are very rare for average players in small markets.
How much weight you place on the experience of a sports agent firm’s client endorsements is up to you, however it is wise to consider how few they are when judging a sports agent firm.
How can you help me earn extra money from other opportunities?
Although support is limited, there are still opportunities. A key factor in finding these opportunities is outstanding performance on the field, but there are other factors, such as image and accessibility, that will increase your chances.
The best sports agent firms have resources, either internal or external, that help clients optimize their public appeal through community service, free public speaking opportunities, social media strategies, interviews and other opportunities to make you accessible, personal and memorable. People’s eyes.
Apart from good financial management, how can you help me prepare for life after sports? What other clients have you helped with their careers?
Post-career support and guidance is a standard offering for today’s sports agent firms. What matters is whether you are willing to listen and follow the guidance given. It’s one thing to say you’ll listen, and that you’ll be smart with your money, however when you start getting those big checks it’s a different reality. Ask the 75% of former NFL players who broke within 3-5 years of leaving the NFL.
For more guidance and tips you need to know and become a smart professional football player (cont And Off the field, visit Get 2 The League today!
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