Sport Agent

A sport agent represents and promotes an athlete in particular sport to prospective employers and advertisers. Sport agents also known as sport promoters handle all the business negotiations and contract issues related to sponsorships and promotions.

Sport agents tend to look after the general interests of the athlete and generally build up a relationship of trust with an athlete over a period of time. The agent will put together strategies to actively promote and market the athlete. This requires decisions on which strategies will be best suited for the athletes personality and circumstances. Often the relationship between agent and athlete extends to providing advice on personal matters related to career development and financial planning.

The sport agent by nature is a mediator or go-between. As such the agent will actively seek business for the athlete by coordinating guest appearances at breakfasts or presentations, media promotions or interviews, appearances at promotional campaigns and other marketing opportunities. A sports agent may charge a fee to the client on behalf of the athlete or may themselves take a commission on income earned.

An athlete’s career by nature is relatively short in duration. Similarly, most athletes are young and inexperienced in their career and financial decision making skills. The agents role in this case is to look after the long-term interests of the athlete keeping in mind that the person will not be able to perform over a certain age. This requires that an agent and athlete develop a trust relationship over a period of time.

A good agent will deal efficiently and ethically on behalf of the athlete by focusing on the contract negotiations and other business matters. At the same time they will involve the athlete in all planning decisions and will ensure that the athlete is able to make the best possible decisions related to their career. This allows the athlete the peace of mind to get on with the job of focusing on what they are good at – playing sport.

In general, sport agents and promoters:

  • negotiate discussions around salaries or sponsorships
  • provide legal advice to athletes
  • provide advice to athletes in helping them to make the correct decisions about their career
  • organise and co-ordinate events

Personal Requirements

  • excellent interpersonal skills
  • written and oral communication skills
  • good legal knowledge
  • good knowledge of sporting codes and standards
  • strong planning, organisation and leadership skills
  • strong motivational skills

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Sports agent is generally not an entry level position. Sport agents generally have several years of sport related experience. A sport agent should have a strong background in having played and been involved in sport. They should have a strong legal knowledge background and good training and background in business. There are a number of sport related degrees and diplomas. These include BA or BSc degrees with sport or sport science related subjects as major subjects. There are also relevant diplomas in sport management offered by most universities of technology and some private colleges. Alternatively an agent may study a degree in law or business.

Degree: Sports Education or Sports Management - NMMU, UJ, US, UWC, UP, UV

Diploma: N.Dip: Sports Administration and Marketing or Sport Management – CPUT, TUT, CUT, VUT, Boland and Northlink FETs, ETA, Rosebank College, Intec, Varsity College


Sports agents generally act as freelance agents and as such they work for themselves. However they may work for sport bodies, sport teams or sport clubs or provincial clubs.

Further Information

Department of Sport and Recreation
Tel: (012) 304-5038

Exercise Teachers Academy
P O Box 694
Rondebosch 7701
Tel: (021) 683-8342


Getting Started

  • play sport at school and tertiary study
  • arrange to speak to a sport agent
  • volunteer or part-time work with a sport club or body

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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