Notes from Saturday’s AAC General Session, including the Professional Panel, a panel with representatives from WADA, USADA and the new IAAF Athlete Integrity Unit, International Teams for 2018, USOC Report, and a chat with Dawn Harper. Professionalism Panel Panelists: Kimberly Sims, Jill Geer and Aretha Thurmond from the USATF national office, Lance Brauman (Coach), John […]
Who should be my agent? How much is fair for them to charge? How do I keep track of what they owe me or what I owe them? How can I be sure I'm treated fairly?
Navigating the Agent-Athlete relationship is something you don't learn as a high school or collegiate athlete. We want to make sure you're as informed as possible.
How do I find an agent?
The IAAF requires that athletes in the top-30 world list of their event must use an Athlete Representative (“agent”) who has been authorized by the IAAF. Both the IAAF and the USATF have "directories" online with agents who are IAAF-authorized:
What should the contract say?
You and your agent will sign a contract specifying the terms of your business relationship. The standard athlete-representative contract provided by the IAAF can be found HERE. This is a great starting point, and this contract adheres to the IAAF rules and guidelines, which your agent must follow if you're a top-30 in the world athlete.
It's also always a good idea to seek out veteran athletes to give you advice and their experience. The more you know, the better prepared you are for entering into a contractual relationship that may be binding for years. You can also contact the AAC.
How much should I be paying my agent?
In October 2017, medalists from the 2017 World Championship team gathered for an Athlete Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Among other topics, they heavily discussed agents and how we can set guidelines to help other athletes navigate this part of our business as professional track and field athletes.
The following percentages are the maximum fees this group of athlete leaders recommends. Note that these are not the recommended fees but the maximum fees. We do not recommend you pay more than the below amounts for an agent's services. Hopefully this gives you a good starting point. As always, seek advice from your fellow athletes or contact the AAC for help.
- National Champs Prize Money - 10%
- World Champs/Olympics Prize Money - 10%
- Regular Season Meets:
- Appearance/Bonus/Negotiated Prize Money: 20%
- Standard Prize Money (set by the meet): 10%
- USATF Athlete Support Money (Tier + RDP): 0%
- Shoe/Apparel Sponsors: 20%
- Everything else (Marketing, PR) - separate deal
We also recommend that the notice for termination be 15 days.
How do I track my finances?
It is important to not simply trust your agent to handle everything with regards to your money. It's your money. It's your responsibility to double-check the numbers and be sure no mistakes were made. It's your responsibility to ask questions, and you have every right to the answers.
Below are two versions of an Athlete Finance Template: a blank template for you to download and use, and a sample template to see how information is entered.
Every athlete agent handles their finances in their own particular way. This template is a great way for an athlete to track their own financial situation and keep checks and balances on the agent.
You need to manually add in the commission percentage and the tax percentage as well for each individual situation.
- Athlete Finance Template - Blank
- Athlete Finance Template - Sample Athlete
- Make sure you look at all three tabs.