Being a sports agent is an exciting and rewarding career. You get to find talented athletes and help them grow. The job can include a variety of interesting tasks, including negotiating contracts, promoting clients to sponsors, and helping athletes manage their finances. Since this job has so many perks, it is no surprise that it is a very competitive field. Those who want to be sports agents need at least a bachelor’s degree and possibly even a master’s degree.
What’s the best degree for a sports agent? This depends on your personality and your career goals. There are a lot of different types of sports agents, so the same degree doesn’t work for everyone. Here are the 10 most effective degrees sports agents can get.
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1. Sports Management
If you’re interested in being an agent, this is one of the most relevant and helpful degrees you can pick. Not every school offers this major because it is fairly specific. However, if you can find a good sports management program, it is an excellent option. As you can probably tell from the name, this degree teaches you things about managing a sports organization. Sports management courses are a great way to learn about the industry and see if it is right for you.
A sports management degree primarily focuses on the business side of the sports industry. You take classes in things like law, finance, and marketing. These classes explore standard business topics from a sports-focused viewpoint. They’re very useful for those who want to be a sports agent, but they’ll also teach you how to be a team manager, sports broadcaster, or director of public relations. This gives you helpful insight into all the other types of people you’ll be interacting with in your career as a sports agent.
One of the great things about these degrees is that college sports management programs often have strong connections with local sports teams. Students may be able to intern with professional franchises and speak with successful alumni. Taking this degree allows you to directly transition into being a sports agent right after graduation. Most students get a bachelor’s in sports management but you can also find some master’s options as well.
Being a sports agent essentially means handling an athlete’s business for them, so it’s no surprise that many agents have a background in business. A business degree gives students training in a broad blend of economics, finance, accounting, management, and government regulation. It also helps people learn how to communicate professionally, solve problems, and speak convincingly. At the end of your program, you will know just about everything you need to try running a sports agency business.
Going with a business major is a good idea if you want to be a sports agent but have no idea of how the actual sports industry works. This major teaches you about things like managing your clients’ money, understanding contracts, and negotiating with sports team managers. It’s a solid, well-rounded major that gives you the basic skills you need to do an agent’s daily tasks. After you have a business major, you’ll be equally comfortable chatting about sports with players or closing deals with executives.
Many schools offer various specializations within their business program, so you may have the opportunity to specifically study sports business. Another option is adding a minor to your degree that focuses on a more sports-based program. Some high-end sports agents also choose to get a master’s degree in business. This advanced degree lets you learn all the ins and outs of business deals. You’ll get a deep understanding of things like economic theory, so you can easily handle expensive contracts and deals with major corporations.
A kinesiology degree is a somewhat unusual degree among sports managers, but it’s ideal for those who want to specialize in certain fields. Kinesiology is the study of human movement. This degree requires students to learn about things like biology, anatomy, and exercise. You can finish this program with a firm understanding of how the human body works and how you can train to improve it.
What does this degree have to do with sports agents? It is ideal for agents who plan on getting really invested in their clients’ physical growth. Many kinesiologists go on to become athletic directors, occupational therapists, or strength and conditioning coaches. As an agent, you can provide your clients with the skills and tools they need to take their bodies to the next level. This degree can help distinguish you in a field filled with a bunch of agents who studied business.
Sports agents who have a degree in kinesiology tend to work with promising athletes who want to improve their skills. If you like the idea of helping an underdog become a top player in their field, this degree might be for you. You can use your training to work with new or recovering athletes and help them build their careers from the ground up. Just keep in mind that kinesiology does not always give you a lot of detail about the business side of management. You may want to take a minor in a related program like finance.
As a sports agent, one of your most important tasks will be handling your clients’ money. Of course, a good agent is all about helping their clients improve their careers and reach life goals, but at the end of the day, your main focus is turning your clients’ skills into money. This is where a finance degree can come in handy. A finance degree allows you to learn all about economics, banking, and trading. You study the fundamentals of financial institutions and discover how to handle money wisely.
Sports agents can use the things they learn in a finance program to help with basic tasks like calculating commissions or negotiating appearance fees. A finance degree reduces your chance of making awkward mistakes and losing your client money. This degree is especially important if you plan on offering financial advice for athletes. Most athletes do not come from a monied background, so they can find it very overwhelming to suddenly get massive paychecks.
Agents who offer financial services are in very high demand. With a finance degree, you can help clients create a budget and decide how much to save. Many top agents offer investing services, so clients can set aside money to fund their retirement. A finance degree can even help you if your athletes want to start businesses and explore new career directions.
5. Juris Doctor Degree
A Juris Doctor degree is a little different from the standard bachelor’s and master’s degrees you get at a college or university. This degree is a special type of degree you only get after completing law school. It is very useful for a sports agent because it lets you become a lawyer. Especially at the higher level, sports agents are typically lawyers who have gone to law school and passed the bar examination. One of the great things about this degree is that it gives you qualifications even if your bachelor’s degree or associate degree wasn’t in a relevant field. Even if you majored in something like theater, a Juris Doctor degree will let you pivot to sports management.
Getting your Juris Doctor degree can be tricky, but it comes with many benefits. Sports agents inevitably have to end up handling a lot of legal details. They may be responsible for drafting contracts, creating non-disclosure agreements, or suing for workplace injuries. Since you will spend so much time dealing with legal matters, having a law degree makes a lot of sense. It gives you the knowledge you need to handle your clients’ paperwork yourself. Depending on the school you go to, you can even get a Juris Doctor degree that specializes in sports law or contract law.
Being a lawyer is also a valuable way to get your foot in the door. You can work in a variety of positions with this degree. Many sports agents start out handling paperwork for big sports agencies or assisting a top agent with legal details. This gives you the experience you need to become an agent yourself, and it is a great networking opportunity. By having the ability to offer a valuable service to other agents, you can build helpful industry contacts.
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This degree helps you handle all the human connections within the sports industry. A marketing degree teaches people how to convince consumers to buy a product. This program includes a broad range of sales, research, advertising, and psychology classes. Students also learn some business skills and financial skills such as managing production and calculating profits for a marketing campaign. Ultimately, this degree is somewhat similar to a business degree, but it’s very focused on the sales side of things.
All of the skills you get with a marketing degree are extremely relevant to the sports industry. As an agent, you are essentially trying to market your client to interested teams and sponsors. Understanding marketing helps you be a lot more persuasive. It helps you come up with effective arguments for why an organization needs your client, and it can help you create ideas for promoting your client. A marketing major is especially useful if you want to be the type of agent who focuses on getting clients lucrative sponsorship deals. You can use this education to create effective plans for guiding your clients’ careers.
A marketing degree also tends to make it easier to communicate with other business professionals. When you’re doing things like trying to get a shoe company to hire your player as a spokesperson, you’ll end up spending a lot of time discussing things with marketing teams. Having a solid marketing background helps you understand their concerns and make convincing arguments.
7. Sports Communication
A sports communication degree is essentially a degree focused on sports media. Communications courses are all about handling television shows, websites, radio shows, and more. Students take classes about things like public relations, sports history, and radio hosting. This degree is a favorite among those who are interested in things like becoming a sports broadcaster or a sports event photographer. However, it can also be very useful for a potential sports agent.
A sports communication degree gives you in-depth knowledge of how the sports publicity field works. If you want to be the type of agent who turns athletes into celebrities, sports communication is a great degree to have. You can learn things like how to build a fanbase for your athlete and what goes into getting your client a spot on a talk show.
Since this degree is so sports-focused, it has some unique industry advantages you don’t get from a major in a broad field like finance. Schools that offer sports communication degrees regularly offer mentors and speakers who actually work in the industry you want to enter. You can get internships or other great networking chances through this major. Being in communications often gets you in contact with big names in the sports world, so you can get some very valuable contacts.
This major might not seem closely related to being a sports agent, but it is surprisingly relevant. A psychology degree can give you the background you need to succeed as an agent. This degree offers courses in things like research methods, psychological theory, and professional counseling. If you want an education that will make you stand out, this is a great option.
Why is psychology actually a useful degree for sports agents? Psychology is one of the best bachelor’s degrees for those who want to go to law school. It is the third-most common degree among people who get accepted into a law school because it helps attorneys analyze human nature and persuade others to accept their way of thinking. So if you want to become a sports agent with a law degree, a psychology degree is an excellent place to start.
Even if you don’t get a law degree, the field of psychology can still be very useful. Understanding how humans think and how to connect with humans has many benefits for a sports agent. Your education can help you communicate better with clients and convince organizations to work with your athletes. If you choose to go this route, just keep in mind that you might need some connection with the sports industry to succeed. Spending time playing on a college team or taking a minor in physical education can help flesh out your resume.
9. Public Relations
Public relations degrees are a specialized type of communications or journalism major. Not all schools offer this degree, but if you do have the option, it can be a smart choice. A public relations degree teaches students to research and enact effective communications strategies. Students learn a broad range of skills, including marketing, public speaking, and writing. Once you have this degree, a lot of opportunities are available in the public relations field.
Public relations and sports agents are closely connected. In fact, some athletes have a publicist who gets them a sports agent, while others have an agent who finds them a public relations specialist. Therefore, having public relations training helps an agent to offer their client a little extra value. If you get this degree, you can handle public relations strategies directly for your athletes.
This field provides a lot of details about how to handle someone else’s career. You learn how to analyze public trends and help your client gain popularity. These skills are ideal for agents who want to boost clients’ profiles and help them succeed on and off the field. Just keep in mind that this degree might not teach you much about the financial side of being an agent. You might want to get extra training or plan on working with some other qualified professionals.
10. Exercise Science
The exercise science degree is a degree that applies all sorts of scientific and medical theories. The main goal of this degree is to teach students about ideal ways to exercise. You learn about anatomy, nutrition, and physiology. In addition to studying how the human body works, students also discover how to effectively discuss exercise with others and motivate them to exercise.
Exercise Science is a great option if you want a degree that helps you really empathize with and understand your clients. People with this degree are often involved in a sport themselves, so their clients can feel like they are talking to a fellow athlete. It also gives you a lot of insight into your athletes’ progress. You can identify their strengths and help them find ways to improve.
Ultimately, any of these degrees can be a solid start to your career as a sports agent. The right choice will just depend on what direction you want to take. Keep in mind that being a sports agent involves a lot of different skills, so you might want to supplement your education. Making sure you take at least some classes on business, law, finances, communication, and physical health will ensure you have the building blocks for your career.
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