Soccer Agents Final Draft
First Name, Last Name
Soccer agents have existed since the first football competitions were planned and the first player transfer was completed back in 1885, England. Back in the days of amateur football, the role of a soccer agent was limited to that of a good adviser who could make interventions in hard or sensitive situations (European Commission, 2009). However, over the years, soccer agency has advanced from merely being a “job” to a profession. Today, they fulfill a range of tasks and are in fact progressively led to offer more diverse services. In this regard, it may be difficult to provide an exhaustive list of a soccer agent’s activities or to define their roles precisely (Shank & Lyberger, 2015). Nevertheless, it is still possible to describe the typical services that they provide to gain a clear picture of the nature of this profession (Lazarus, 2009). These services range from giving advice, broking, management of the player’s image and communication to the administration of the client’s assets and sometimes providing legal information. Recent studies have projected a 9.6% rate of growth over the coming decade for sports agents and business managers of athletes and performers. There is also an expected rise in the number of job opportunities in this career. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increase of 29% in coaching jobs and 10% increase in sports agent and manager of artists is expected through 2020 (Bjälevik & Magnusson, 2009). This paper examines the soccer agent career and addresses how it impacts management, leadership, marketing, and finances. It further details the necessary skills that one requires to be successful in this field.
Management and Leadership
Successful soccer agents need to have both management and leadership skills as the industry presents them with tasks that require competencies from both sides. Although the two terms are used interchangeably and may seem inseparable to some, there is a need for agents to always find a balance (Shank & Lyberger, 2015). Successful agents must apply various leadership strategies in the right way including communication, trust, and respect, goal setting, conflict management among others (Bjälevik & Magnusson, 2009). For example, in this career, as a leader, one must make the player. Additionally, players appreciate agents who can build close relationships with them and inspire the element of trust between them. Management strategies are equally essential for an individual in this profession including budget control, problem-solving and monitoring the player’s activities socially online (Krautmann, 2017).
There may be instances when it may be appropriate to apply management strategies than leadership strategies. An example is when an agent solves a problem involving a player with the authorities such as a scenario where a player is charged for tax evasion. A more recent case was with Christiano Ronaldo just before the onset of the ongoing 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Spanish government was accusing the soccer superstar of failing to pay 17.1million dollars tax for the years 2011-2014. However, after his agent Jorge Mendes was summoned in the court, he testified, pleaded with the judge and got his client only to pay a fine instead of jail time which would have made him missed the most important football tournament in the world. This was not the first time that Mendes had solved a similar problem for his clients. At the beginning of 2018 he had also done the same for his other clients the Manchester United Manager -Jose Mourinho, the Colombian striker Radamel Falcao and the Argentine Winger Angel di Maria. Employing problem-solving strategy in this situation was appropriate because his client was facing a problem that required following proper procedures and processes to reach a solution. The fundamental difference between management and leadership in this profession is that the soccer agent plays a managerial role when he plans, organizes and coordinates the activities of the client while as a leader he or she inspires them to perform better while in the field.
Sports agents need to be conversant with different marketing strategies so that they may promote participation of growing talents into sports, attract sponsors, and spectators. Conventional marketing strategies such as promotion and advertising are linked to this industry. (Shank & Lyberger, 2014). Today, websites are a common marketing strategy by the most famous agents in the world. One only needs to hire an IT team that would be responsible for its development, maintenance, and update. Another important strategy is to press conferencing through various media sports outlets. Through sports channels, an agent can communicate valuable information about the player such as transfer news to another football club or fitness of a player to compete in a major tournament. (Lazarus, 2015). Advancements in technology enabled the rise of social media and social networking which are instrumental in sports marketing. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are widely used today by soccer agents in content creation, interaction and collaboration with the fans of a player that they represent.
A soccer agent supports marketing strategies surrounding mobile technologies through checking on the online activity of their clients on social media to determine if anything unsettling was posted on their social accounts. This action is essential because their reputation influences their image to the public (Krautmann, 2017). Sports agents also play a significant role in attracting spectators, investors, and talent. They get their clients to participate in motivation talks that demonstrate their willingness towards social responsibility (Bjälevik & Magnusson, 2009). Additionally, when they post videos on YouTube and another digital marketing framework while showing soccer skills, they attract potential investors and several spectators.
Two essential practices are used while setting the prices for tickets in this industry including variable and dynamic pricing. Variable pricing is when different rates are charged for separate seats in the stadium depending on the match being played. Dynamic pricing is when there is a fluid movement of prices once the season commences. Ticket pricing then is determined by different factors including a change in the purchasing behavior, shifts in demand or both elements (Morehead et al., 2017). On the other hand, naming rights and sponsorships in sports are acquired after successful negotiations between the corporate sponsors and the team management. Sponsors purchase the naming rights with the aim of enhancing awareness and recognition of their firm. The team gains commercial exposure and funds to support the expenses of the group. These practices have contributed to profitability within the sports industry in various ways. The na...