One of the reasons I always encourage people to give the football business a try is because when you make a strong push to do something against the odds, you usually wind up opening doors that would have never otherwise been opened.
Just today, I was talking to a client who’s still new to sports representation, having gotten certified the summer of 2013. While discussing strategies for recruiting this fall, he mentioned that he’d developed relationships that moved him into boxing representation. In that capacity, he manages a handful of pugilists, two men and a woman, all of them with five or fewer pro fights so far, all undefeated. He said that representing boxers involves finding fights as well as sponsors who will put their logo on the boxer’s shorts or signage in the venue. He indicated that it was already a money-making venture with little start-up capital or heavy investment involved.
This is just one of several collateral professions you might pick up as a result of your work in football. Here are a few others:
- Mixed martial arts: It’s not always ex-players who branch out into other combat sports like MMA. Sometimes, a client’s brother is involved in the sport and doesn’t have reliable representation. I have some agents who’ve been certified for years who are tempted to leave their NFL work behind because their MMA practice is emerging so steadily.
- Wrestling: Believe it or not, I spoke to an agent who got certified two years ago who got into the NFL ring only to identify big, angry, physical types that could be molded into wrestlers. Here’s the best part: his business model actually attracted the interest of World Wrestling Entertainment. He invited me to meet with representatives from the WWE at last year’s combine but it fell through at the last minute. I’m still hoping to meet with them, for no other reason than pure curiosity. Also because I gave thought once to going to ‘bad guy school’ to learn how to be a wrestler in my younger days.
- Sports law: OK, I guess this is the obvious one, but it still bears mention. Two of my longtime friends, Darren Heitner of Heitner Legal (and sportsagentblog.com) and Adam Kenner of Wolfe Law, both based in Miami, started off in representation. Actually, Adam never got certified, but he was a very close advisor/friend/assistant to David Canter of Davie, Fla.-based DEC Management. I’ve relied on both of them for legal advice and as a sounding board from time to time, and I’ve referred them both to my clients facing legal issues. Adam, especially, had my back when one of my reports drew the attention of a high-visibility rapper (Hint: I’ve got 99 problems, but that’s no longer one of them). They’re both excellent, partly because they’ve seen the business up close.
As you know by now, I’m a strong advocate of trying this business out, really going for it and pursuing your dream. One reason I’m so adamant is that even if you shoot for the stars, you might only hit the moon, and what’s so wrong with that?