As sports has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, there has been an explosion in the
number of lawyers who specialize in sports law. There has been an understandably
significant increase in the number of persons desiring to represent professional athletes.
This increase can be explained by the high-profile status of sports and the tremendous
salaries of professional athletes.
The concept of a sports agent representing professional or amateur athletes is a
relatively recent phenomenon. As recently as twenty years ago, few athletes employed
sports agents. Instead athletes would rely on lawyers or family to negotiate their contracts.
However, since the late 1960's and early 1970's, sports agent representation of athletes has
greatly expanded due to the large amounts of money athletes can make and their in ability
to negotiate contracts.
A college degree is not absolutely necessary to be a sports agent. Many successful
agents skipped college to persue their career. However, a college education does aide in
getting clients. A sports law degree is offered at some law schools to those who want to
specialize in being a sports agent. A prospective agent may also have a sports
administration degree and contacts to help him begin his career. A frequently asked
question is how does a lawyer become involved in the field of sports law and athlete
representation. A variety of firm or individual contacts may offer avenues into the field.
Connections arise from a number of sources, including representing parents of players,
representing unions and representing team doctors. Agents may also represent persons
holding an equity interest in the ownership of a team. An opportunity for employment
also exists as part of a college or professional sports administration.
The expansion of sports agents can be attributed to a combination of social
and economic developments. First, increased popularity of sports has...