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Chapter 11 Sport Agency.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 11 Sport Agency."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 11 Sport Agency

2 Introduction Many sport agencies began by representing athletes.
Large multiservice agency firms have evolved to include sport marketing and event management. See IMG Law of agency imposes fiduciary duties on the sport agent. (See Chapter 5) A highly competitive business: Many agents have no clients or are doing agency work part-time. Much consolidation has led to major firms

3 History of Sport Agency Industry
C. C. “Cash & Carry” Pyle often cited as first sport agent Worked with Susan Lenglen and Red Grange Until the 1970s was extremely rare for pro team sport athlete to have an agent Teams generally refused to deal with agents No free agency until 1976, so little leverage to negotiate Agents have existed in individual sports such as golf and tennis for a longer time

4 Sport Agency: Seven Factors That Influenced Growth
Evolution of players’ associations. 1970: MLBPA negotiated through collective bargaining for right for players to be represented by agents Free agency granted to players through the Messersmith-McNally arbitration decision. Need for tax and financial planning increased as salaries increased. Development of competing leagues created competition for players and thus higher salaries. Increased opportunity for athletes to increase income through endorsements with opening up of television and entertainment industries.

5 Sport Agency: Evolution of Sport Agencies
Late 1990s saw creation of “uberagencies” Firms bought up smaller firms to grow SFX, Octagon Later broke up due to internal strife 2000s saw rise of CAA and Wasserman Same strategy of buying up smaller firms

6 Sport Agency: Representing Individual Athletes
Income dependent on consistent performance in events, appearance fees from events, and the ability to promote and market athlete’s image Agent often travels with athlete, tending to daily distractions so athlete can stay focused on playing Large firms doing individual representation are often involved in all aspects of the sport (event management/marketing, broadcasting, consulting) Possible conflict of interest? Olympic Movement is growth area Athlete branding important aspect of job

7 Sport Agency: Representing Coaches and Management
Because of increased income and increased job movement and added pressures on coaches to succeed, the number of coaches (and even general managers) with agents is growing. Increased complexities of coaching may make having an agent to rely on for advice and counsel almost a necessity.

8 Sport Agency Firms Freestanding sport management firm: A full-service firm providing a wide range of services to the athlete Law practice–only firm: Lawyer performs many legal tasks (contract negotiation, arbitration, legal counseling, dispute resolution, and the preparation of tax forms) Sport management firm affiliated with a law firm: Each fills a void by providing the services the other does not offer

9 Sport Agency Firms: Boutique vs. Large Conglomerates
Boutique firms Small firms find greater success representing athletes in one sport and focusing on one or two services for the athletes or coaches. In smaller firms, an agent works alone or with a small group of employees. Advantage may be that athletes receive increased attention and are actually represented by the person he or she originally signed a contract with. Disadvantage may be that a solo agent often cannot offer as many services as a large firm.

10 Sport Agency Firms: Boutique vs. Large Conglomerates
Conglomerate firms In larger firms, the agent may be part of an international conglomerate representing many athletes in a broad range of sports. Provide one stop shopping for services More history, reputation and contacts Have other star players Increased bargaining position Disadvantage may be that there is often a large stable of clients, and an athlete may be a “small fish in a big pond.”

11 Sport Agency Firms: Fees Charged by Agents
Four Methods Flat fee arrangement Athlete must pay agent an amount of money agreed upon before the agent acts for the athlete Percentage of compensation method Often covers negotiation plus all of the work related to the provisions of the contract over its term; most popular Hourly rate Hourly rate with a compensation cap

12 Sport Agency Firms: Fee Issues
Players’ associations limit amount of agent fees. Fierce competition for clients has driven average fees down closer to 2% to 3%. Limitation only exists for the fees the agents can charge for negotiating the athlete’s contract, not for marketing deals.

13 Career Opportunities with Sport Agency Firms
Sports event manager Run events owned by sport agencies Sports marketing representative Coordinates all of the marketing and sponsorship activities for sports properties Sports agent May perform just one function (e.g., contract negotiation) or may have a number of employees performing functions for clients

14 Functions of the Sport Agent: Player/Coach Contract Negotiation
Agent must be knowledgeable about the sport and the rules, regulations, documents (contract, collective bargaining agreement, constitution), and common practices of its governing body. Agent must understand the value of the player’s or coach’s services. Agents must administer the contract and ensure the parties comply with their contract promises.

15 Functions of the Sport Agent: Marketing the Athlete/Coach
Should develop a plan in which each endorsement creates an image consistent with the athlete’s or coach’s ambitions and long-range goals Agent must keep in mind that client’s career and public persona may be short-lived; with salary restrictions, market deals more important Must also be familiar with restrictions that may limit an athlete’s or coach’s marketing opportunities; know market value of client Usually seek product endorsements before nonproduct endorsements—easier to obtain

16 Functions of the Sport Agent: Financial Planning
Covers banking and cash flow management, tax planning, investment advising, estate planning, and risk management Sport agents often attempt to take on this function without proper skills and training Doing so can lead to allegations of incompetence and negligence Disability insurance plans to protect athletes from career-ending injuries Recent surge of companies offering athletes pre-draft lines of credit

17 Functions of the Sport Agent: Career and Postcareer Planning
Agent must help a client with transition into a professional career and again with the transition into retirement from the sport. Agent must maximize the client’s earning potential during and after his or her playing career, but avoid overexposure. Agent may take on the establishment of sport camps or charitable organizations under the athlete’s or coach’s name. Must prepare for financial crisis for athlete post career

18 Functions of the Sport Agent: Legal Counsel and Dispute Resolution
Provide legal counseling on contract and other legal matters However, nature of the legal work may dictate that a lawyer specializing in a particular area is better suited for providing the actual legal services Resolve disputes the athlete or coach may have with his or her league, team, fans, referees or umpires, press, or endorsement companies.

19 Key Skills Required of Sports Agents
Professional degree not usually required, but expected Know Industry sector Economics, inner workings, document, contacts Oral and written communication Negotiations Shielding client from media

20 Current Issues: Unethical Behavior
Great deal of criticism and a public perception that the behavior of those in the agent profession is excessively unethical Five key problems in the profession: Income mismanagement Incompetence Conflicts of interest Charging of excessive fees Overly aggressive client recruitment

21 Current Issues: Agent Regulation
Sport agents today must maneuver through a maze of conduct-governing regulations. Many groups regulate agents: Players’ associations Agents register with unions and pay fee States (44 currently have some form of regulation); most have UAAA Federal government (SPARTA) NCAA Athletes can also seek recourse under tort, criminal, agency, and consumer protection laws.

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