The Hybrid Sports Agency
Athletes have unique financial needs that require specialized attention. A registered investment advisor (RIA) is an ideal candidate to serve as an athlete advisor due to their experience and qualifications in financial planning, investment management, and fiduciary responsibility.
This white paper will explore the reasons why a Hybrid RIA can make a great athlete advisor and the benefits it can provide to athletes.
While there has been significant support for Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rights for athletes, there has also been some backlash and concerns about the potential negative impacts of these changes. Some of the current backlash for NIL for athletes includes:
Concerns about the impact on amateurism: Some critics argue that allowing athletes to profit from their NIL rights goes against the principles of amateurism and could lead to increased commercialization of college sports.
Potential impact on team dynamics: There are concerns that allowing some athletes to profit from their NIL rights could create tension within teams, particularly if some athletes are able to secure more lucrative deals than others.
Fairness and equity concerns: Some critics argue that allowing athletes to profit from their NIL rights could widen the gap between high-profile athletes and those with less visibility or marketability. There are concerns that this could further exacerbate existing inequities in college sports.
Compliance challenges: The NCAA and colleges must ensure that athletes are complying with state and federal laws related to taxes, contracts, and intellectual property. This can be complex and time-consuming, particularly for smaller schools or those without dedicated compliance staff.
Impact on recruitment and retention: There are concerns that schools in states without NIL laws may struggle to recruit top athletes, as they may be at a disadvantage compared to schools in states with more favorable laws.
Overall, there are both positive and negative impacts associated with NIL rights for athletes, and it remains to be seen how these changes will play out in practice. However, many stakeholders are optimistic that allowing athletes to profit from their NIL rights will ultimately benefit both athletes and the college sports industry as a whole.
Athletes can face several problems related to financial management and Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rights, including:
Lack of financial literacy: Many athletes come from backgrounds where they may not have had access to financial education or resources. As a result, they may not fully understand the implications of signing contracts or managing their finances, which can leave them vulnerable to financial exploitation or mismanagement.
Trusting the wrong people: Athletes may be approached by people offering financial advice or services, but not all of these individuals may have the athlete’s best interests in mind. Some may try to take advantage of the athlete’s lack of financial knowledge or naivete, leading to poor financial decisions or even fraud.
Short-term thinking: Athletes may be tempted to focus on short-term gains rather than long-term financial planning. This can lead to overspending or investing in risky ventures that may not yield long-term financial stability.
Complex financial situations: Athletes may have complex financial situations, such as multi-year contracts, endorsement deals, and various types of income sources. This can make it difficult to manage their finances effectively, especially if they lack financial literacy or expertise.
Legal and regulatory issues: With the recent changes to NCAA rules allowing athletes to profit from their NIL, there are potential legal and regulatory issues that athletes may need to navigate. For example, they may need to ensure they are complying with state and federal laws related to taxes, contracts, and intellectual property.
Overall, athletes face several challenges when it comes to managing their finances and navigating the complex landscape of NIL. Working with experienced financial advisors and other professionals can help athletes avoid potential pitfalls and make informed decisions about their finances and future opportunities.
For Athlete Advisors
Athlete agents and financial advisors may face several challenges when trying to serve athletes, including:
Limited access to athletes: Many high-profile athletes have established relationships with agents and financial advisors, making it difficult for new advisors to break into the market. Additionally, some athletes may be reluctant to work with new advisors or may be hesitant to make changes to their current team.
Complex and changing regulations: The regulations governing athlete representation and financial management can be complex and may vary by sport, state, and country. Advisors must stay up-to-date with the latest rules and regulations, which can require significant time and resources.
Limited earning potential: While agents and financial advisors can earn significant commissions or fees when working with high-profile athletes, there is no guarantee of consistent income. Advisors may need to spend significant time and resources building their client base and may face periods of low earnings.
High-pressure environment: The world of professional sports can be high-pressure and fast-paced, which can make it difficult for advisors to build strong relationships with their clients. Advisors must be able to provide value quickly and efficiently to establish trust and build long-term relationships.
Reputation management: Agents and financial advisors must be able to protect their reputation and that of their clients, which can be challenging in a world where athletes are under constant scrutiny. Missteps or poor advice can quickly damage an advisor’s reputation and lead to a loss of clients.
Overall, athlete agents and financial advisors must be able to navigate a complex and competitive industry while providing valuable services to their clients. Those who are able to establish strong relationships, build trust, and stay up-to-date with changing regulations and market conditions are most likely to succeed.
For Sports Management Majors
Sports management majors in college may face a range of challenges in their careers, including:
High competition for jobs: The sports industry is highly competitive, and many students graduating with sports management degrees may find that there are more candidates than available positions.
Limited entry-level opportunities: Many sports organizations require entry-level employees to have prior experience, making it difficult for new graduates to break into the industry.
Volatile job market: The sports industry is subject to fluctuations based on team performance, changes in management, and other external factors. This can make job security and career stability more challenging.
Long hours and irregular schedules: Many sports jobs, particularly those in coaching or event management, require irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. This can make it difficult to maintain work-life balance and may impact personal relationships.
High pressure and stress: Sports management jobs often come with high stakes and intense pressure to perform, particularly in coaching or front-office roles. This can create a stressful work environment.
Need for industry-specific knowledge: Sports management professionals need to have a deep understanding of the sports industry, including trends, regulations, and business models. Staying up-to-date with the latest developments and innovations in the industry can be a challenge.
Overall, the sports industry can be both rewarding and challenging for sports management majors. To succeed in this field, students should be prepared to work hard, develop a strong network, and continually build their skills and industry knowledge.
The solution includes building community based franchise sports agencies in strategic markets throughout the United States (and globally).
The vision is that each franchise will consist of key service providers which is led by a registered investment advisor. Management teams included licensed advisors and sports agents.
The team members of the hybrid sports agency will focus on providing services to athletes and their parents as early as age 13. The vision includes educating parents on basic financial management. The advanced level of financial management includes planning for the cost of sports including uniforms, equipment, apparel and transportation.
In addition, there is a path for sports management majors in colleges and universities. Our vision is to establish sports management majors as service providers for athletes by building sponsorship relationships with businesses in each community.
What is a Hybrid RIA?
Hybrid registered investment advisors (RIAs) are governed by the same laws and regulations as other investment advisors registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state securities regulators.
The primary federal law that governs investment advisors is the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, which requires RIAs to register with the SEC if they manage more than $110 million in assets, or with their state securities regulator if they manage less than that amount. Hybrid RIAs that operate as both fee-based and commission-based advisors must comply with the same regulations as other investment advisors, including:
Fiduciary Duty: Hybrid RIAs must act in the best interests of their clients, putting their clients’ interests ahead of their own.
Disclosure: Hybrid RIAs must disclose all material conflicts of interest to their clients, including any compensation arrangements that could create a conflict of interest.
Recordkeeping: Hybrid RIAs must maintain accurate and complete records of their advisory business and transactions, and must make these records available for inspection by the SEC or state securities regulator.
Advertising: Hybrid RIAs must comply with rules regarding advertising and marketing, including prohibitions against making false or misleading statements.
Anti-Fraud Provisions: Hybrid RIAs must not engage in fraudulent or deceptive practices, such as misrepresenting investment performance or making unsuitable investment recommendations.
In addition to these regulations, hybrid RIAs must also comply with any state laws or regulations that apply to investment advisors in the states where they do business.
What is NIL?
NIL stands for “Name, Image, and Likeness.” The NCAA’s definition of NIL refers to an individual’s right to control and profit from their name, image, and likeness.
Previously, NCAA rules prohibited college athletes from profiting off their NIL, which meant they were unable to receive compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness in commercial ventures. However, in 2021, the NCAA changed its rules to allow college athletes to profit from their NIL, subject to state laws and institutional policies.
Under the new rules, college athletes can now receive compensation for activities such as endorsement deals, social media sponsorships, and personal appearances, among others. The NCAA’s definition of NIL recognizes the importance of individual rights and economic opportunities for college athletes, while also seeking to maintain a level playing field for all athletes and preserve the amateur status of college sports.
Athlete Agent Rules & Regulations
The federal law that applies to athlete agents is the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act (SPARTA), which was enacted in 2004.
SPARTA is a federal law that establishes regulations and standards for athlete agents who represent professional and amateur athletes. The law applies to agents who represent athletes in negotiations for employment contracts or endorsement deals.
Under SPARTA, athlete agents must register with the appropriate state agencies and comply with specific rules and regulations related to athlete representation. The law also prohibits certain actions by athlete agents, such as providing gifts or other benefits to athletes to influence their decision-making.
The purpose of SPARTA is to promote fairness and transparency in athlete representation, protect the rights and interests of athletes, and prevent unethical and illegal practices by athlete agents. States may also have their own laws and regulations related to athlete representation, which may supplement or expand on the requirements of SPARTA.
The Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA) is a model law that was created by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 2000. The UAAA has been adopted by many states in the United States as a way to regulate athlete agents and protect the interests of student-athletes.
The purpose of the UAAA is to establish uniform standards for the conduct of athlete agents and to protect student-athletes from unscrupulous or unethical practices. The UAAA requires athlete agents to register with the state, provide notice to the educational institution of the athlete they represent, and comply with various disclosure and contract requirements.
Under the UAAA, athlete agents are prohibited from providing any benefits to student-athletes or their families, unless they are specifically permitted by the NCAA or the student-athlete’s educational institution. The UAAA also requires athlete agents to disclose their background and experience, as well as their financial interests in the contracts they negotiate for student-athletes.
States that adopt the UAAA are responsible for enforcing its provisions, which can include fines, suspension or revocation of an athlete agent’s registration, or other penalties. The UAAA is intended to provide a framework for regulating athlete agents and protecting student-athletes, while also ensuring that athlete agents can operate within a clear and consistent regulatory environment.
The NCAA rule that governs Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is called NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168. This rule previously prohibited student-athletes from receiving any compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness. However, as of July 1, 2021, the NCAA has updated its NIL rules to allow student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness.
Under the updated rules, student-athletes can receive compensation for activities such as social media endorsements, sponsorships, and other commercial opportunities related to their athletic abilities or reputation. The NCAA’s new NIL policy allows student-athletes to sign endorsement deals, make appearances, promote products, and monetize their social media accounts without losing their eligibility to compete.
However, the NCAA’s updated NIL rules have certain restrictions, including:
- Student-athletes cannot receive compensation for their athletic performance or participation in NCAA-sanctioned events.
- Compensation cannot be used as a recruiting inducement or reward for athletic performance.
- Schools and boosters cannot pay student-athletes directly for NIL activities.
- Student-athletes must disclose their NIL activities to their school and comply with any school or NCAA guidelines.
These rules are subject to change as the NCAA continues to evaluate its NIL policies and respond to legal and regulatory developments in this area.
Athlete Service Providers
Most athletes never experience the support and services they need starting with guidance as early as age 13. By working with an RIA, athletes can ensure that their financial needs are well taken care of, allowing them to focus on their athletic performance and achieve long-term financial success. Financial management starts with the parents of athletes under the age of 18.
Registered Investment Advisors
An RIA is a financial professional who is licensed and registered with state and federal regulatory agencies. They have extensive experience in financial planning, investment management, and risk management, which are critical skills for advising athletes.
Athletes have unique financial needs that require careful planning, such as managing cash flow, preparing for post-career expenses, and minimizing tax liabilities. An RIA can help athletes develop a customized financial plan that addresses these needs and aligns with their long-term goals.
Investment Management Expertise: Athletes often have substantial wealth that needs to be invested to achieve long-term financial success. An RIA has the expertise and experience to manage a diversified investment portfolio that aligns with an athlete’s risk tolerance and investment objectives.
Additionally, an RIA is held to a fiduciary standard, which means they are legally obligated to act in the best interests of their clients. This level of accountability and transparency ensures that an athlete’s investments are managed with their best interests in mind.
Risk Management: Athletes face unique risks that can impact their financial well-being, such as injuries, endorsements, and contract negotiations. An RIA can help athletes manage these risks by developing a comprehensive risk management strategy.
An RIA can work with an athlete’s insurance providers to ensure that they have adequate coverage and protection in case of injury or other unforeseen events. They can also help athletes navigate endorsement deals and contract negotiations to ensure that they receive fair compensation and protect their financial interests.
An independent broker-dealer is a financial services company that buys and sells securities on behalf of clients, but is not affiliated with a larger financial institution or bank. Independent broker-dealers operate as stand-alone businesses and often have greater flexibility and freedom in their operations and services than those affiliated with larger firms.
Independent broker-dealers typically offer a wide range of investment products and services to their clients, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and alternative investments. They may also provide financial planning, wealth management, and other advisory services.
Because they are not affiliated with larger financial institutions, independent broker-dealers may have more freedom to set their own commission structures, fees, and product offerings. This can make them an attractive option for investors seeking more customized investment solutions or greater transparency in the investment process.
However, independent broker-dealers are still subject to regulatory oversight by organizations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
State Licensed Athlete Agents
A state-licensed athlete agent is an individual who is registered and licensed by a state regulatory agency to represent athletes in negotiations for employment contracts, endorsement deals, and other business opportunities.
The state licensing process typically involves completing a registration form, paying a fee, and passing a background check. Some states may also require prospective athlete agents to meet additional education or experience requirements.
State licensing of athlete agents is designed to protect the interests of athletes and ensure that athlete agents operate ethically and transparently. The licensing process may require athlete agents to provide detailed information about their background, experience, and business practices, as well as their financial relationships with athletes.
Athlete agents who are licensed by a state regulatory agency are subject to state laws and regulations related to athlete representation. These laws and regulations may include requirements for agent registration, contract disclosure, and agent conduct. States may also have penalties for agent violations of their regulations, which may include fines, suspension, or revocation of an agent’s license.
Athletes who are considering hiring an agent should verify that the agent is licensed in their state and has a good reputation in the industry. A state-licensed athlete agent can provide valuable assistance in negotiating contracts and securing business opportunities, while also ensuring that the athlete’s interests are protected.
Certified Contract Advisors
A certified contract advisor in sports is an individual who has been certified by a players’ union or professional league to negotiate and sign player contracts on behalf of an athlete.
In many professional sports, such as football, basketball, and baseball, the players’ unions or leagues require that contract advisors be certified before they can represent athletes in contract negotiations. For example, the NFL Players Association requires that all contract advisors be certified and pass a background check before they can represent NFL players in contract negotiations.
Certification requirements vary by sport and union/league, but generally involve passing an exam and meeting certain education, experience, and ethical standards. Contract advisors may also be required to maintain their certification through ongoing education and training.
Certified contract advisors can provide valuable assistance to athletes in negotiating and signing contracts, ensuring that the athlete’s interests are protected and that the terms of the contract are favorable. Athletes should research and carefully consider their options when selecting a contract advisor, and verify that the advisor is certified by the appropriate union or league.
Introducing the Hybrid Sports Agency
Products and Services
By the Hybrid RIA
A hybrid Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a financial professional who is registered with both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state securities regulators. Hybrid RIAs typically offer a combination of services and products, which can include:
Investment management: This is the core service offered by most hybrid RIAs, and involves managing clients’ investment portfolios. Hybrid RIAs typically offer a range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other financial products.
Financial planning: Many hybrid RIAs also offer financial planning services, which can include retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, and education planning.
Wealth management: In addition to investment management and financial planning, hybrid RIAs may also offer wealth management services, which can include advice on asset allocation, risk management, and other wealth-related issues.
Insurance: Some hybrid RIAs may also offer insurance products, such as life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance.
Retirement plans: Hybrid RIAs may also offer retirement plan services, including setting up and managing 401(k)s, IRAs, and other retirement accounts.
Alternative investments: Some hybrid RIAs may offer access to alternative investments, such as private equity, hedge funds, and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
It’s important to note that the products and services offered by a hybrid RIA can vary depending on specific expertise, focus, and business acumen.
The amount of money that a sports agent makes each year can vary widely depending on several factors, including the level of clients they represent, the types of deals they negotiate, and the percentage of commissions they charge.
Sports agents typically earn their income by taking a percentage of their client’s earnings, typically ranging from 1-10% depending on the sport and the type of contract. For example, a sports agent negotiating a $10 million contract for a professional athlete could earn anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million in commission.
According to a survey conducted by Forbes in 2019, the average annual income for sports agents in the United States was $186,299. However, this figure can vary widely depending on the level of clients represented, the amount of commission charged, and the number of deals negotiated each year.
It’s important to note that sports agents must also incur expenses related to travel, marketing, and other business-related costs, which can further impact their net income. Additionally, sports agents are subject to regulations and laws related to athlete representation, which can vary by state and country and may require additional costs for licensing and compliance.
Registered Investment Advisor
The amount of money that a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) can make each year can vary widely based on a number of factors, such as the size of their client base, the types of services they offer, the fee structure they use, and the geographic location of their practice.
As of May 2021, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for personal financial advisors (which includes RIAs) was $89,160. However, it’s important to note that this figure represents the median salary for all financial advisors, not just those who are RIAs.
Many RIAs charge their clients a percentage of the assets under management (AUM) as their fee. The industry standard for AUM fees is around 1%, but some RIAs may charge more or less than this depending on various factors such as the size of the client’s portfolio, the services provided, and the complexity of the client’s financial situation.
For example, an RIA with $100 million in AUM and a fee of 1% would generate $1 million in revenue per year. However, this figure is before accounting for expenses such as overhead, employee salaries, and regulatory compliance costs.
It’s important to note that the amount of money an RIA can make each year is also subject to market conditions, fluctuations in the value of client portfolios, and other factors beyond their control.
The amount of money that a broker-dealer can make each year can vary widely based on a number of factors, such as the size and complexity of their operations, the types of securities they sell, and the fee structure they use.
Broker-dealers typically generate revenue through various types of fees and commissions. For example, they may charge clients a commission on securities transactions or a fee for managing their assets. Broker-dealers may also earn revenue through underwriting and distributing new securities issues, providing research and market analysis to clients, or by acting as a market maker for specific securities.
The financial performance of a broker-dealer can also be influenced by market conditions, economic cycles, and regulatory changes. As a result, it can be difficult to provide a specific figure for how much a broker-dealer makes each year.
According to a 2020 report by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the US broker-dealer industry generated total revenue of $324.2 billion in 2019. However, it’s important to note that this figure represents the aggregate revenue for all broker-dealers in the US, ranging from small boutique firms to large multinational corporations.
It’s also important to note that broker-dealers are subject to various regulatory and compliance requirements that can impact their profitability, including capital requirements, reporting obligations, and recordkeeping requirements. These requirements can result in additional costs and expenses that can impact a broker-dealer’s bottom line.
The cost of launching and operating a hybrid Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) can vary widely depending on a number of factors such as the size of the firm, the scope of services offered, and the geographic location of the practice. However, here are some potential costs to consider:
Registration and compliance fees: RIAs must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state securities regulators, which can involve fees ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the jurisdiction.
Technology expenses: Hybrid RIAs often use various software tools and platforms to manage client accounts and portfolios, which can involve ongoing costs for licensing and maintenance.
Office space and equipment: Depending on the size of the firm, hybrid RIAs may require office space and equipment such as computers, printers, and furniture. Rent, utilities, and other related expenses can add up quickly.
Employee salaries and benefits: Hybrid RIAs that have employees must factor in salaries, health insurance, retirement benefits, and other employee-related costs.
Marketing and advertising expenses: Hybrid RIAs may need to spend money on marketing and advertising efforts to attract and retain clients.
Professional services: Hybrid RIAs may need to hire outside professionals such as attorneys, accountants, or compliance consultants to help with legal and regulatory issues.
Overall, the cost of launching and operating a hybrid RIA can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the firm. Some estimates suggest that it can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 or more to launch a hybrid RIA, with ongoing annual expenses ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 or more depending on the size and scope of the practice.
We built the framework for a solution at 360SportsAgency.com
Building a national sports agency franchise from scratch can be a complex and multi-step process. The following are some key steps that may be involved in this process:
Conduct market research: The first step in building a sports agency franchise is to conduct thorough market research to identify the target audience, competitors, and opportunities for growth. This research will help to inform the franchise’s business plan and overall strategy.
Develop a business plan: Based on the market research, develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines the franchise’s goals, operations, financial projections, marketing strategy, and other key components. This plan will serve as a roadmap for building the franchise.
Secure funding: Building a national sports agency franchise from scratch will require significant financial investment. Securing funding from investors or lenders will be necessary to cover initial startup costs and ongoing expenses.
Establish legal and operational infrastructure: To operate as a franchise, the business will need to establish legal and operational infrastructure, such as a registered business entity, operating agreements, contracts, and other key documents.
Recruit and train staff: Building a sports agency franchise will require a team of experienced professionals, including sports agents, financial advisors, and other support staff. Recruiting and training this team will be a critical step in building the franchise.
Build a brand and marketing strategy: A strong brand and marketing strategy will be essential for building a successful sports agency franchise. Develop a brand identity that resonates with the target audience, and create a comprehensive marketing plan that includes both traditional and digital channels.
Expand and scale operations: Once the franchise is established and has proven successful in its initial markets, it may be time to expand operations to new territories or regions. This will require additional investment in staff, infrastructure, and marketing.
Building a national sports agency franchise from scratch is a challenging but potentially rewarding undertaking. Success will depend on careful planning, strategic execution, and a commitment to delivering exceptional service to athletes and sports professionals