How to Become a Football Agent

Football agents, like other sports agents, represent the interests of their clients, professional athletes who play in the National Football League (NFL) or other minor football leagues. Agents negotiate contracts with teams, seek out marketing and sponsorship opportunities, take out insurance, and handle the day-to-day business of their clients' careers. Becoming a football agent requires agent certification with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), which oversees player interests and is the only organization with the power to recognize agents; this recognition is a legal precondition to signing contracts with clients. The football agent business is not easy: in 2010, nearly half of the 825 NFLPA-certified agents had no clients, with the majority of the business concentrated in the hands of a few powerful agencies.


  1. Image titled Become a Football Agent Step 1
    Earn a postgraduate degree.
    • The NFLPA requires all agents to hold an advanced degree, usually in law or business administration. You must earn your degree before you sit for the agents' test.
    • To earn a law degree, take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) administered by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). Apply to law schools, and accept admission to a law program accredited by LSAC. Earn your Juris Doctor degree in 3 years.
    • To earn a master's degree in business administration (MBA), take the Graduate Management Assessment Test (GMAT) administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Apply to business schools, and accept admission to an MBA program accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Earn your MBA in 2 years.
  2. Image titled Become a Football Agent Step 2
    Apply to become a "certified contract advisor" with the NFLPA between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31.
  3. Image titled Become a Football Agent Step 3
    Pay an application fee of $1,650.
  4. Image titled Become a Football Agent Step 4
    Attend a 2 day conference for prospective agents in Washington, D.C. in June or July.
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    Take the agents' exam on the second day of the conference.
    • The agents' exam covers topics such as legal issues surrounding player representation, player sponsorship rights, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which regulates player employment with the NFL. Consult the NFLPA application instructions for guidance on what to study.
    • Around 60 to 70 percent of prospective agents pass the agents' exam. Once you have passed, you are legally permitted to sign clients.
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    Develop contacts with current and future professional football players.
    • Agents tend to sign clients only after having developed personal relationships with players. Approach current NFL players without representation and offer them your services. Consult with recent college graduates who are planning on entering the NFL draft. Be sure to abide by all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations regarding non-contact between agents and current college players.
    • The best way to get to know players is through mutual acquaintances. Ask employees of NFL teams or former players for introductions; if you played collegiate football or know players or coaches in any programs, consult them about potential clients.
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    Familiarize yourself with the football agent business.
    • Experienced agents stress that there is no substitute for experience. Because of the particular nature of NFL contracts, no general knowledge from law or business school will help you as a football agent. Work as a junior agent with a large agency (your NFLPA certification qualifies you for this position) or seek employment with an NFL front office, where you will learn about the finances and contracts specific to football.
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    Sign players as clients.
    • Before earning money from negotiating for players, you need to legally establish yourself as their representation. Use a standard football representation contract, which you can acquire from contacts in the industry.
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    Negotiate contracts for your clients.
    • Agents make most of their money from commissions they make on players' contracts with professional teams. The maximum commission allowed by the NFLPA for an NFL contract is 3 percent.


  • Becoming a football agent hinges on your ability to develop personal contacts within the business. Even if you meet the official prerequisites (postgraduate degree, passed exam, certification), you may still find yourself without clients unless you can prove you are an effective negotiator. Gain as much experience as you can by either working under experienced agents or attaining a position in another sector of the professional football industry.

Things You'll Need

  • Postgraduate degree
  • NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor application
  • Passed agents' exam
  • $1,650

Article Info

Categories: Football