What Type of Agent is the Right One?
There are hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of basketball agents worldwide. Some are specialized and have either an NBA or FIBA agent’s license. Some have neither, which technically makes their activities illegal. Bottom line: an agent needs an NBA license in order to represent players in the NBA. No exceptions. And in order to represent players throughout the rest of the world, an agent needs a FIBA license. Again, no exceptions.
Only a handful of agencies have both NBA and FIBA certifications, and Court Side is one of them. This gives the player the widest possible audience for his talents.
Individual Agents Versus Agencies
Most agents operate as individuals, emphasizing their ability to develop a closer personal relationship with clients versus the bigger agencies. At Court Side, we feel this approach is limiting for players. A single agent simply does not have the time or resources, not to mention the mastery of multiple languages, local customs, legal differences between countries, etc., to truly market players on a global scale to secure the very best contracts.
Indeed, many individual agents attempt to get around this problem by either restricting player promotion to the area of the world he is most comfortable with, or entering into fee-splitting cooperatives with other agents. But in the case of fee splitting, each cooperating agent has less incentive (a smaller fee) to negotiate on behalf of a shared player versus a non-shared player he receives full commission for. Players split between two or more agents are too often placed at the “end of the list” as far as available contracts. The problem only worsens when a third agent is invited on board and the fee is split three ways. When “middle men” become involved, communication slows, the process slows, and the chance for a lucrative contract decreases. One can see how the individual agent approach can be problematic.
Additionally, individual agents cannot work “around the clock” and promote his players as can a large agency with a global approach like Court Side. And if that individual agent gets sick, retires, or worse, the “What now?” for players – who find their career trajectory ground to a halt – can be very frustrating. On the contrary, players suffer nowhere near the level of disruption at a large agency, which can carry on with business as usual if a single agent happens to become unavailable.
For all of these reasons and more, we feel a large, global agency like Court Side has numerous and distinct advantages for players over what an individual agent can offer.
The Importance of a Proven Track Record
The agent business is very competitive. Very few agents last longer than a couple of years. Because of this competition for players, many agents tell players what they want to hear instead of giving them a balanced perspective on how the business works and how a good agent can help with planning a long and fulfilling career.
Court Side has a proven track record not just of securing contracts, but of developing careers and livelihoods for our players. While we aim high just as players have done their entire basketball lives, we don’t make promises we can’t keep, and we don’t artificially inflate expectations.
At the end of the day, players need an agency with a history of success on the international level, an agency who is looking out for their long-term careers in an ambitious yet realistic way. This is the commitment Court Side delivers on every day.