Guest blog alert: Kelly Mallard | Athlete Lead | opendorse
As 2013 is coming to a close, and bowl season is in session, many college football athletes are thinking about life after playing for their university; few of the fortunate select the NFL pathway. As a young adult who is about to make a life-changing decision at the stable age of 20 (let’s be honest, the majority of us had no idea what we wanted to do at that time), choosing the perfect business team that surrounds you can be a tough, but extremely crucial decision.
After working at a sports agency for a year, I know that December and January are grind time! Agents and marketing reps are in touch with the family members of athletes for in-person meetings and sending student-athletes materials during every waking moment to lock down their rookie client list. You can imagine that this can be quite overwhelming considering your biggest decision up to this point has been what you are going to grab at the dining hall each night.
Although your agent/marketing representative isn’t set in stone for the rest of your life (take Jay-Z for instance, that guy knows how to recruit those professional veterans), opendorse wants to give you some pointers that will aid in making an educated decision about your worth and future.
1. Personality and Values Matter
Making an instant connection with your future agent and marketing representative is crucial. You’ll want to feel that what they are promising is genuine, as well as what is best for you personally. Connecting with an agent is extremely important, because they will be your “go to” as they set you up for the future. Take a look at who’s making those trips out to visit you. If an agent is pawning you off on other members of their team and not meeting with you directly, they may not be the right fit.
If you value family, religion, and charity, your potential marketing representative and agent should be playing off of those cues to win you athlete over, authentically, of course.
How about when an NFL agent didn’t get his, now former, client’s contract to a fax machine in time? This mistake could’ve been avoided with the right communication.
2. Being Prepared for the Future
From choosing the right training facility for the NFL Combine, to adding a financial planner to help prepare you for life post-NFL, leading an athlete on the trail to success is an important card all agents and marketing reps should have in their deck.
Although that NFL potential contract is very flashy and sparkly in some cases, if you’re not prepared for the first day of Training Camp or the first day of being unemployed, an agent’s job has not been done. You should take a step back and picture that 10-year vision, asking yourself, “What if I get injured, what if I get cut, what if I go bankrupt?” These are all questions a soon to be professional athlete should be asking their business team when selecting the right fit, and your support team should be there to deliver if you fall.
3. The Sprinkles on Top of the “Cake”
Take a look at what else an agent or marketing rep can offer to you, in addition to playing on the field. From sponsorships, to endorsements, to foundation creation, if you ask for it, a marketing rep and agent should be able to deliver.
Also, take a peek at their client roster; if other high profile and successful athletes are on board with that team, it may be a good choice for you as well. Notable contracts and events that have been negotiated and coordinated can help in your decision-making process.
Don’t worry new and up-and-coming agents, opendorse supports you a 100%. What if that rookie you sign this year becomes the next NFL star? That’ll be sure to put you on the map!
Some of the lucky college football athletes are about to head into a pivotal moment in their lives if they decide to take the NFL route, and they need to be sure to have the right team cheering for them in the stands. Agents and marketing reps hold a lot of power in their position and need to be sure to have the best interests of the athlete in mind at all times.
We think the first stop should be opendorse, an easy way for anyone to manage social media endorsements, whether you’re an athlete, agent or brand. Get signed-up today!