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Checkmate Scaling Blog/Navigating the World of Sports Agent Networking: A Lesson in Building Relationships with Scouts

Navigating the World of Sports Agent Networking: A Lesson in Building Relationships with Scouts

Monday, January 15, 2024

One of the most common questions I get from young agents is, how do I befriend scouts? How do I make contacts in evaluation who can tell me who to look for, or at least give me feedback on the players I’m recruiting? To answer this, let me tell you a story.

We hold two Zoom sessions for rookie agents each week in the sports agent accelerator, and I regularly bring in guest speakers from the industry. One of the guests from this past November was a longtime friend who’s an established agent with an independent firm. In other words, he’s making money as an agent, but he’s not getting rich, and primarily working with Day 3 prospects.

Anyway, during his Zoom session, my friend would repeatedly get texts from scouts. He knew why they were reaching out in November. They were calling with fringe draft picks, the kind of players who could make a team and help out as a solid backup at a key position and a reliable special teams player. These are the cheap finds that form the foundation for a team so it can win with its elite players.

So why call him, in particular? No. 1, he’s a good agent. However, No. 2, they were hoping he’d sign them, then watch them fall through the draft into undrafted free agency, and at that point, he might feel like he owed that scout that tipped him about the player.

So here’s the bottom line: it’s a quid pro quo industry. I’ve seen young agents pull every trick in the book to curry favor with scouts, from friendly LinkedIn messages to stacks of solicitous emails to free drinks and food.

That’s all well and good, but ultimately, no scout will want to talk to you until you’ve got a client he wants. It’s as simple as that. You can be Mr. Charm, but you’ll never get calls back from scouts if you’re continuing to fish in the no-talent pond. Scouts are like anyone else – they want to succeed, and they succeed by finding good players. So don’t stress too much if you don’t have scouts to talk to in the early going. Focus on doing your job – signing good players – and you’ll find that scouts seek you out.

Of course, knowing more about where scouts come from, how they do their job, and other aspects of their industry helps, too. Tomorrow we'll discuss scouting more in-depth.

Also if you are not a member of the sports agent accelerator program and would like help becoming a professional sports agent in the next 30 days without having to go back to law school or quit your hard earned job

To stay informed about best practices and timeless sports agent business principles, consider subscribing to our NO B.S Sports Marketing Masterclass.