Many unrepresented basketball players want an agent. They have contacted a few basketball agents, but none is willing to offer a representation agreement. Why is that?
Well, here is the insider. An agent’s interest says something about a player’s market value player.
Investment in time and money
If an agent does not want to represent a player, he thinks the player doesn’t have a strong enough resume to get a (good) job.
Look at this from the agent’s point of view. There are thousands of professional teams around the world, and in theory, the agent would have to do the following:
- Find out the names and contact persons of each team in the world.
- Contact all those teams and find out if they are looking for import players, and if yes, at what position and salary range?
- Offer his player for the job.
- Follow up (several times) with the team to see if they are interested in the player he offered them.
- Negotiate and draft a contract (if there is ever an offer).
There are not enough hours in a day for an individual to do all the above with all the teams in the world, so he often “outsources” some of the above tasks to local agents, who in return will get half of the agent fee.
Outsourcing or not, the fact of the matter is that many teams around the world have to be contacted. That can cost a lot of money and even more man-hours. If you capitalize those man-hours, then the whole process of promoting a player and trying to find him a job can easily cost many thousands of Dollars. The agent has to front this investment and will only get a return on it IF he finds a job for the player AND if the team pays an agent fee, AND if this fee is higher than the money he invested in the player!!! That’s one “IF” and two “ANDs”!
Return on investment
So, when an agent looks at the resume of a player, he makes a quick estimation of how much he must invest in him and what the chances are of a return on investment (if any).
If he thinks that there are no chances of a positive return on investment, then the agent will not want to represent the player.
But even if the agent thinks that he WILL find a job for the player, then he still may turn him down.
Here is an example of why: The agent estimates that he will need to invest $ 5,000 in finding the player a job, but the agent fee will not be more than $ 2,000, which means that the agent will lose $ 3,000.
Not only the nominal agent that is approached by the player thinks this way, but all the agents who he works with (to whom he outsources part of the job).
For the above reasons, agents focus on professional leagues and reputable teams who will respect contracts. They also focus on players who are good enough to play at this level and have a resume to back it up.
As a rule of thumb, that excludes almost all players who did not play at the NCAA D1 level and averaged double digits there.
Do the heavy lifting yourself
These players will often be turned down by agents and certainly by the teams which were mentioned above. For these players, the road to success is a very long one. They have to start at the bottom and work their way up. Their first job will often be on a semi-professional team in a lower division. Agents don’t operate on this level.
The best advice for players is this: If you are recruiting agents instead of the other way around, then your resume is not very marketable, and you will have to start your career at a lower level where agents don’t operate. Then you will have to do the heavy lifting yourself and contact teams and do points 1 through 5 as mentioned earlier when describing the task of agents. Keep in mind that this is a very long process. It is a full-time job, and it can take a very long time before anybody shows any interest.
If you are really serious about a career in professional Basketball, you can improve your odds by hiring an agent and paying him for the time and effort he is investing in you rather than working on a no-cure no-pay basis. This makes you just as interesting to represent.
Our Basketball Job Market offers you both options. To do the heavy lifting yourself or to hire an agent.