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Difference Between Sports Agent & Sports Manager

Jun 04, 2020

Comparing Sports Agents to Sports Managers

Sports agents and managers both work with athletes to help guide their athletic careers successfully. The main difference is in the scope of the agent's and manager's roles. Managers oversee the entire business side of the career, while agents focus more specifically on the negotiations of contracts. Other similarities and differences are explained below.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2020)* Job Growth (2018-2028)**
Sports Agent Degree not required, but a graduate degree in Sports Management or Business is common $51,232 10% (for agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes)
Sports Manager Bachelor's degree in Sports Management or related field; Graduate degree may be helpful $55,000 10% (for agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes)

Source: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Sports Agents vs. Sports Managers

While sports agents and managers have similar backgrounds and pay, their daily responsibilities can be quite different. Managers are in charge of the business, organizational, and financial aspects of the career of a professional athlete or organization. While managers wear many different hats, from spokesperson to peace keeper, agents are primarily focused on finance, particularly the negotiation of contracts between their athletes and potential teams and sponsors. Managers tend to focus on a single organization or small group of clients, while agents may represent a larger number of clients.

Sports Agent

A sports agent's primary responsibility is to represent the best interest of their client in negotiating contracts. This involves having a keen business and financial sense when dealing with sports organizations and potential business sponsors. There is a lot of competition in this field as well as a great deal of travel. It is also common for agents to receive a bachelor's degree in sports management, though related degrees in finance or public relations may work as well. Internships and sales experience may be helpful in obtaining employment.

Job responsibilities of a sports agent include:

  • Recruit new athletes to represent
  • Manage the public perception of clients through public relations
  • Communicate terms of contracts to clients
  • Research clients to understand their earning potential

Sports Manager

Sports managers handle business, and sometimes personal, issues for athletes so that the athlete can stay focused on his or her athletic performance. In some cases, managers represent the image of entire sports organizations. These managers may work as an intermediary between players and owners. Most managers have earned a bachelor's degree in sports management or a related business field, with many going on to graduate degrees.

Job responsibilities of sports managers include:

  • Oversee communications between players, owners, and management
  • Ensure top athletic production through the hiring of support staff
  • Maintain positive relationships with the media
  • Address the needs of athletes through organization, planning, and personal relationships

Related Careers

If becoming a sports agent or sports manager sounds appealing, there are related options you may be interested in as well. Sports broadcasters also work around athletes, travel, and need to have excellent communication skills. These skills also apply to sports scouts, as they travel the world in search of exceptional athletic talent.

How to Become a Sports Broadcaster

How to Become a Sports Scout

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