By: Adam White, @FOSAdam
Front Office Sports is proud to have sat down with Alan Botwinick, President of Big League Sports Management LLC. Alan is an alumnus of the University of Miami where he graduated with a degree in Marketing and Finance. He was gracious enough to offer up his insight on what it takes to succeed in being a player agent especially the marketing aspect and how many fields’ agents actually touch other than just focusing on their players.
What previous positions did you hold prior to your current position? How did they help you get to where you are today?
I started in the finance business. I worked for a couple financial firms where I had a couple athletes as clients and that interaction led me to wanting to work in the sports business. I had worked for an arena football team for a while doing everything from player personnel to finance work and from there I went into my own business.
What is a normal day like for you? What are some day to day challenges for an agent?
I keep in touch with my clients and the companies I work with. I’m doing a lot right now with sports concussions and head injury awareness so that’s kept me busy for a while now. The day to day challenges are just trying to balance everything and the many hats I wear to make sure both the client and companies are happy.
In your opinion what does it take to succeed in running your own sports related business?
I think that you need to have the ability to work on your own and be independent but to be organized, because your clients depend on you to be organized whether it is phone calls or setting up meetings you have to be organized all the time. Listening to your clients is very important so you know what they want to do and want from you. You also need to know how to budget well since you do a lot of independent work.
What is your favorite part about working in the player representation side of sports?
I used to like to hang out with the players and to take the kids to the games, but that eventually wears off after a while. My favorite part is now the independence because it allows me a little more freedom. The independence can also be a curse if you aren’t careful.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Treat the players like normal human beings. Be honest and respectful. They want transparencey and to know what’s going on. You need mutual respect to succeed. Don’t do anything shady to get a client. Be persistent and be patient.
If you were going to hire someone today what would the ideal candidate possess to be able to succeed in the field of player representation?
They would have to be well rounded, persistent and honest. That’s what the clients are looking for and by providing that, that is how you will succeed.
What is the hardest part about being a sports agent?
Travel and the independence of the whole business because you have to motivate yourself. Another part is the money. It’s hard to make money while you’re in school and when you start as an agent.