What Is The Best Degree If I Want To Be a Sports Agent?

The rapper and hip hop artist Jay-Z surprised many when he announced that he wanted to open his own sports management company and serve as a sports agent. Though the singer clearly has enough money to open a management company of this type, the one thing he lacks is a college degree. Working as a sports agent involves knowledge of numbers, negotiating skills and experience handling large sums of money. While Jay-Z has some experience in those areas, the only way he can actually call himself a sports agent is if he completes a degree in sports management or a related field before launching his new business.

What Does a Sports Agent Do?

A sports agent is responsible for handling all aspects of an athlete’s contract and public image. Many of the top players today have a team in place to handle issues relating to negative publicity, but a sports agent is one of the most important members of that team. The agent handles contract negotiations when a player signs with a new team or when a new player signs with his or her first team. This person will ensure that the player gets the best paycheck, and most agents base their salaries off what their players earn. Agents also handle contracts and negotiations in regards to sponsorship opportunities too.

Starting Young

Athletes start showing signs of greatness at a young age, and sports agents must follow sports carefully. Lebron James signed a multimillion dollar contract to play in the NBA before he left college, and Olympic athletes often sign endorsement and sponsorship deals while still in their teens. Sports agents must have an intimate knowledge of the law and the rules and restrictions put in place by different governing bodies. They must know when a teenage player can officially sign a deal and when a player can sign a contract. Even one minor mistake can cause the agent to lose a large sum of money.

Sports Management

The most common degree held by those working as sports agents is a sports management degree. There are a number of different colleges and universities across the country that offer sports management undergraduate degrees. Each state has different laws in place regarding what type of licenses and certificates an individual needs to work as a sports agent. Most states require that those working in the field apply for a new license each year.

Advanced Degrees

In addition to an undergraduate degree, many agents find that an advanced degree is helpful. According to Christine Thomaso, the National Football League requires a postgraduate degree for anyone who wants to work as an agent for an NFL player. The NFL Player’s Association is responsible for determining who can work as an NFL agent, and that association will only license agents with an advanced degree. This requirement varies from organization to organization. Some professional athletic leagues require that agents possess an undergraduate degree, while others require an advanced degree.

A sports agent can earn up to 10 percent of a player’s salary, making it a highly profitable career. Ten percent of a multimillion dollar contract can leave an agent with enough to pay his or her bills for years. Working as a sports agent usually requires a degree in sports management, and most agents also possess a graduate degree in a similar field.