Becoming a sports agent isn’t really that hard. Being successful over the long haul, however, is not that easy. Here are some general steps one needs to take in order to be a sports agent:
Step 1: File an application for registration. If you want to represent athletes in any unionized league, you must register with that league’s player association. Currently, the NFL, NBA, and NHL all require registration prior to legal representation. The MLB requires that you have a preexisting agreement for representation before getting certified by the league (see links section for more information).
Step 2: Build your client roster. This is repeatedly confirmed as the hardest aspect of breaking into sports agency. Young, inexperienced agents are not typically the first choice of top draft picks. How can you get your start as an agent? One effective strategy is to choose a school with a solid educational and athletic reputation. Get to know the athletes. Drew Rosenhaus and Leigh Steinberg got their starts by hanging around the football practice facilities at their respective universities. Today they both have healthy practices with dozens of athletes on their client lists.
Step 3: Know and follow the rules. Each of the four major leagues has strict agent guidelines outlined by the respective player associations. It is imperative that you know these rules, as violations could lead to fines and decertification from the union. The NCAA also has specific rules regarding communication with collegiate athletes.