- Commitment to your personal and professional growth both on and off the basketball court.
- Accessibility: Offering 24/7 Experts Availability
- Loyalty: It is our obligation to render loyal and faithful services to our clients. Clients’ loyalty is an ongoing positive relationship between you and our agency. It’s what prompts existing clients to choose our agency over a competitor offering similar services.
- Organizational Character – Not motivated by money but rather the players success. Our primary motivation is to build something lasting, not to make a lot of money.
- Life Agent – Our commitment extends far beyond the scope of servicing contracts.
- Life Agents – Committed to your success whether it’s to become the best basketball player in the world or the most prudent Accountant post NBA Career.
- Ratio of agents to player.
- Network of Professionals in countless Industries to aid with post career employment opportunities.
3. What guarantee can your prospective client receive from you that he will always be viewed by you as a valued client?
First and foremost, our primary concern is the well-being of the individual who just happens to be an athlete. There’s a data point that many lose sight of and that’s the average duration of an athlete’s career which is 3.5 – 4 years for NBA Players. So we realize how important it is to the athlete and family to have a post career plan that they can employ.
We partner with industry leading marketing organizations to develop a strategy and business plan based on the Goals of the athlete.Our Marketing Partners are dedicated to manage athletes’ marketing and promotional activities from concept to execution to fulfillment.Our Partners will manage every element.
Extremely transparent. To represent an athlete in an ethical and professional manner, an agent must be transparent in every aspect of the relationship. Tough motivational conversations are often needed and expected. That can be uncomfortable for some at times, but as the relationship grows and progresses so does the trust and appreciation for transparency.
- If agent offers you money or gifts….not good. When you’re good at what you do, you should not have to incent players/families with gifts. Your work should be sufficient.
- If the agent only appears when you’re in the final year of your contract.
- If the agent doesn’t know your parents name and your background.
- If the agent can’t provide you with written references.
- Conduct a legal background check
- If serving in the capacity of a Financial Agent, research the individual on FINRA
- Ask to see a copy of their official NBPA Certification
- Ask for four (4) written references of current and previous clients
- Reach out to the NBPA to see if there have been any grievances filed against the agent
- Remember – You are the EMPLOYER. Consistent with other companies, you have to protect your brand and assets. Everyone around you will receive a paycheck from you, the EMPLOYER.
- Resources – We have an abundance of credible and hi-performing employees and partners that have a proven track record of exceeding the expectation of their respective clients. Whether you need a Certified Nutritionist to assist with elevating your performance by developing a customized plan that will enable you to perform at peak level or a Certified Financial Planner to help guide and advise you on money matters. We have them at your disposal if and when you need them.
- Accessibility – ISA will be there for the athlete 24/7 to address any Question or issues that they are contending with both on and off the court. Unlike agents for larger organizations, we are committed to extending support whenever called upon.
- Network – ISA’s rich and expansive network of professionals in and outside of the Sports and Entertainment is nicely positioned to help you meet your off the court goals pre, present and post career. As a subsidiary of My Future Consulting, Inc., an Award Winning Executive Search and Recruitment Firm, we have full access to countless Fortune 500 companies to effectively position our clients with post NBA career options in various industries. Something that we feel gives ISA a competitive advantage particularly when considering the fact that the average tenure in the NBA is 3-4 years. Post career options are critical when entering into the next phase of your life’s journey.
- Accessibility– Will the agent be there when you need them most? Ask for references in writing with signatures of past and current players to validate.
- Integrity– In every aspect of the relationship are they operating in the spirit of Integrity, Trust and Respect?
- Resourceful – Aside from negotiating your contract, Agents should serve as a source of information, guidance and reliability to meet your needs both on and off the court.
- Reputation – Don’t just ask for written references; ask for phone numbers of clients so that you can have a one-on-one discussion with them about the agent or agency. Furthermore, do your research. Google the agent and see what appears. Remember you’re not simply the player, you’re the Employer. Protecting your brand is critical to your success on an off the court. An unethical agent can do great harm to your brand and company.
10. Most Agencies focus on the Physical skill of the athlete.Does your firm provide resources to deal with the emotional and psychological challenges that come along with being a star athlete?
Albeit ISA does not consider themselves licensed professionals in the health field, we understand and respect the fact that there are times when an athlete needs psychological evaluation and resources to deal with life’s stressors, particularly those that are driven by their profession. Working with the NBPA and the NBA to invite the player to meet with health care professionals to address the concerns and/or issues that have been presented by the athlete. ISA also has a Best Practices Guide that will help offset some of the challenges associated with being a Professional athlete. It’s important to note that, under no circumstances we will compromise the confidence and confidentiality of matters related to the athlete, once disclosed.
We work hard to understand the athletes’ goals and career objectives and we partner to develop a post career game plan this is aligned with those very goals. We evaluate the players’ skills and the required skills of the role/job that the athlete plans to pursue to determine if there is a gap that needs to be addressed. From there we identify key actions that must be taken on the athletes’ behalf to close the gap to make himself a viable candidate for the role. We also tap into our expansive network to make connections with key professionals to make this happen.
At ISA, our Values drive our process and relationships. Transparency is a critical pillar as we believe that an athlete should be afforded the opportunity to provide input in every stage of the planning process. Whether it’s contract negotiation or brand management, the athlete should have a voice in those very important decisions. An all-inclusive approach tends to establish ownership and accountability. A perfect formula for success.
13. Should a young professional athlete sign with a high notoriety agent who has a plethora of clients and experience vs. an agent with fewer clients that can focus more time on promoting said individual's professional growth?
It depends on the need of the athlete and/or Family. It’s no secret that Big Sports management companies with high profile agents tend to pay little to no attention to athletes that are not in the Top 1-5% of their profession. That means 80-90% are on their “roster” but being grossly neglected. Big Agencies are going to extend the greatest support to the athlete that can bring them the most money. At ISA, every player is a priority and we treat them accordingly.
14. How can I be sure that the sports agent has my best interest as athlete as the #1 priority as opposed to their self-interest of making money from my athletic ability?
Establish a selection criteria:
- What’s important to you and your family? Write the answers down and incorporate them into your interview
- Establish your goals and be forthright in presenting them to the agent. Ask for their assessment and more importantly the role in which he/she will play in you attaining your goals
- Solicit the involvement of a senior family member and request that they sit in on all interviews. They may not have the necessary basketball knowledge but their spirit of discernment is second to none and can prove to be invaluable in your selection process.
- Ask agents for examples/success stories of how they have aided prior or current players in achieving their goals both on and off the field. EXAMPLES – EXAMPLES- MORE EXAMPLES.
15. Can you provide or help with facilitating a loan to an athlete before contract or before their first paycheck?
Yes, ISA officials can certainly direct you to our partners in the Banking industry to help solidify a loan. This is not something we encourage however, as there are several options that athletes can explore prior to requesting a loan. We would be more than happy to discuss the options with you.
NBA and FIBA
We are always available for consultation. We take tremendous pride in being a resource for the community at large, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you feel we can assist you in any way.
Speak with your Coach(es). Have him/her offer an honest assessment of your skills, talent and potential. After the evaluation, dedicate yourself to working on the Developmental Opportunities that have been identified.
Unfortunately we are not certified to work with the WNBA therefore we cannot represent the awesome woman that proudly represent that league. We do however offer other services to help position them for success both on and off the courts. Please see list of services.
- Prospects have a tendency to get caught up in the Size of the company vs. the company that’s going to better position them for success both on the court and off
- Failure to conduct a thorough research of the Agents credentials
- Failure to seek references that can speak to the agents performance and credibility
- Choose an agency based on name and not performance
- Failure to establish a selection criteria
- Failure to set expectations
- Failure to review the contract for the purposes of understanding and establishing accountability prior to signing it.
- Develop a comprehensive set of questions prior to the official meeting, both basketball and non-basketball related
- Limit the number of Agencies to four (4) that you plan to interview. We refer to it as the “Home Depot Methodology. If you show up in the paint section and ask to see all of the earth tone colors they’ll present 50+ swatches for you to review. However, if you narrow the criteria you’ll be presented with a smaller sample size which reduces the stress associated with the process enabling you and your team to make a final decision in a timely and efficient manner. Same applies to selecting an agency. Too many agencies can lead to frustration which makes the final selection process not only stressful but more importantly, it may result in you selecting the “wrong” agency because there was simply too much noise in the process.
- Create a Committee to evaluate and subsequently interview the agent. Should try to limit the size of the team to 5-6. The old adage “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth” can apply to this process. Assemble your team wisely. Uncle Bob may not be the right person, but Deacon Samuels may be a perfect fit for the team
- Do not announce this prior to the meeting
- Establish two (2) rounds of in-person interviews narrowing it down to a final round of two (2) agencies.
- Establish a 45 minute time limit for each meeting.
- Be prepared to discuss your goals and ask the Agent for examples of how they can help you achieve your goals on and off the court. Also ask for examples of how they have played a role in helping non-star athletes meet their off the court goals.
- Try to determine if you have similar interests. If this is someone that you can’t imagine hanging out with on occasion, it’s probably not the right agent for you. If he’s not likable during the “recruitment” process, he will be extremely unlikable when he’s on the payroll and you rarely see him /or her.
- Establish a rating system to determine who the finalist are. Quantitative data takes the emotion out of the discussion but enables you and your team to make a final decision based on facts and quantifiable data.
22. College recruitment can become very stressful and often time result in daily distractions on behalf of the athlete and parent. What tips would you offer to help control the stress while continuing to strive on the court and in the classroom?
ISA has created a Best practices Guide that we encourage each athlete and their respective family to apply when attempting to alleviate some of the stress that comes along with one’s journey as a student athlete.