Sports marketing is being highly influenced by changes in technology stirred in with social media according to a report entitled The Future of Sports, published by TheFuture.org. As sports clubs, franchises and professional athletes leverage on technology tied to social media networks and platforms to boost their marketing efforts and engage with fans the impact is felt in sports marketing economics. Digital mobile games, digital video contents, fan-created contents using league footage, fantasy sports games, and other sports-themed digital media is on the rise. Sports marketing in its digital format is almost presence everywhere in major sports brands from club to retailer. Compared to 1990, sports marketing has not only changed from static to digital but in terms of economic impact has seen exponential growth. The availability to use stats in almost real-time has also impacted sports marketing in the sports gambling industry. bookmakers
are now able to market using an occurrence from a few minutes or even seconds ago.
A sports agent is a legal representative (hence agent) for professional sports figures such as athletes and coaches. They procure and negotiate employment and endorsement contracts for the athlete or coach whom they represent. Because of the unique characteristics of the sports industry, sports agents are responsible for communications with team owners, managers, and other individuals. Also, they are responsible for making recommendations. In addition to finding income sources, agents often handle public relations matters for their clients.
Sports agents may be relied upon by their clients for guidance in all business aspects, and sometimes even more broadly. For example, hockey agents start recruiting clients as young as 15, allowing the agent to guide the athlete's career before the NHL draft, which happens usually at 18 years of age.
Due to the length and complexity of contracts, many sports agents have lawyers or have a background in contract law. Agents are expected to be knowledgeable about finance, business management, and financial and risk analysis, as well as sports. It is important for a sports agent to follow trends in sports. Other skills an agent must possess are excellent communication and negotiation skills. Agents must be highly motivated, willing to work long hours, and capable of multitasking. It is very common for agents to be in negotiations on behalf of several clients at one time.
Before the 1990s, most football players did not use agents. In some cases, they used their parents as agents. Because of most parents' naivety about the football business, these young footballers were often given less-than-stellar contracts by football clubs, which yielded lower salaries than they thought they deserved. In Sweden, there were only three licensed agents in 1995. As of 2002, there were 33. According to FIFA, there were 5,187 licensed association football agents worldwide, with 600 agents in Italy alone.Since 2001, agents have not been licensed by FIFA. Instead, agents are now licensed directly by each association.