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Becoming a Sports Agent

Case Western Reserve University via Coursera


An immersive experience in the world of sports that will take students through the four stages of a professional athlete's career. Utilizing lectures, guest speakers, reading assignments and hypothetical walkthroughs, students will learn how the best sports agents manage clients at each of these four stages.

This course will provide each student with the skills necessary to guide an athlete through the difficult decisions that can make or lose the athlete millions of dollars, as well as affect their public image and career. Walking through the four stages of an athlete's career, we will provide a broad scope of the landscape of amateur and professional sports so that you can avoid the pitfalls and traps that so many have fallen into in the past; not to mention, bringing you updates throughout the course regarding the rapidly changing sports world that we live in today. Analyzing the best practices in the management of the superstar athletes with whom Professor Carfagna, Professor Volante and their expert guests have worked, we will show you how to manage the career of any professional athlete who might seek your guidance at any stage of his or her professional career.


  • Module 1: Introduction to Agents and the Collective Bargaining Agreements of the MLB, NFL and NBA
    • An introduction to the duties of an agent; the "Rep K" that controls the player-agent relationship; and an analysis of the collective bargaining agreements that govern the three major leagues in the US -- including how a professional athlete achieves free agency in each major league and how players can be punished for improper behavior on and off the field.
  • Module 2: Recruiting and Managing Clients
    • An introduction on how to approach recruiting clients, how to build an agency, and how to manage clients once they have signed a representation agreement; an analysis of the effect of professional sports on youth sports, and vice versa.

      The optional videos look at the fiduciary duties an agent owes his client.
  • Module 3: Early Stages of Professionalism and Selecting an Agency
    • How the best high school baseball player in the U.S. in 2013, Clint Frazier, went about selecting his management team; the way Major League Baseball teams handle their minor leaguers; and what it takes for any of them to reach the Majors. In this Lesson, we will also study how an agent can build an agency from the ground up, and represent professional athletes through their progression to their peak earning years. Finally, a look into the beginning of LeBron James’ career with his personal attorney, up to “The Decision.”
  • Module 4: Representing the Peak Professional Athlete Pt. I
    • Protecting the publicity rights of athletes while monetizing and maximizing their brands through product endorsement and license agreements. We will analyze the history of publicity rights and how to market your clients image effectively.
  • Module 5: Representing the Peak Professional Athlete Pt. II
    • Rebuilding the reputation of athletes who have damaged their brands. How a financial advisor can help a player manage income streams to maintain their lifestyle post-retirement. Also, we will discuss whether LeBron James made the right long-term branding decision by returning to Cleveland, and where his brand will go from here.
  • Module 6: Income Protection and Life After Retirement
    • Protecting an athlete's income through insurance policies; an analysis of the on-going concussion epidemic in contact sports; and how an athlete can best prepare for life after retirement.
  • Module 7: Life Cycle of Individual Sports, the Longest Career Trajectory Pt. I
    • An introduction to the world of golf and tennis athletes who have enjoyed the longest careers in sports. Insider experts' look into how an athlete can diversify his or her brand. Also, the Commissioner of the LPGA will discuss the ins and outs of the ladies’ tour.
  • Module 8: Life Cycle of Individual Sports, the Longest Career Trajectory Pt. II
    • An introduction to the world of golf and tennis athletes who have enjoyed longest careers in sports. Insider experts' look into how an athlete can diversify his or her brand. How an agent can best protect his or her athlete in endorsement agreements through appropriately drafted suitability and morals clauses.
  • Module 9: Representing the Professional Footballer Pt. I
    • An in-depth look into the life of a footballer, from the youth squad to the first team and after retirement. How to handle a player deciding whether or not to continue their career following a series of injuries. How to handle the career of the next young David Beckham, from loans to transfers to bumper contracts and more -- how to monetize the brand of your footballer, while ensuring their focus with success on the pitch.
  • Module 10: Representing the Professional Footballer Pt. II
  • Module 11: Representing the Professional Footballer Pt. III
    • An in-depth look into the operations of football club AFC Bournemouth with chairman Jeff Mostyn -- Jeff will also describe his roles with the FA Council. An analysis of the contract clauses in football, in particular release clauses, buyout clauses and sell-on clauses, and a brief glimpse into third-party ownership and how a transfer works. Finally, a look at the most influential agents in Europe and how they have come to be successful.

Taught by

Peter Carfagna and Richard J. Volante, Esq.



4.7 rating at Coursera based on 132 ratings

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