When you assume you’ve by no means heard of Leigh Steinberg, it’s possible you’ll need to rethink. Steinberg is an achieved sports activities agent, who’s loosely depicted by Tom Cruise within the movie, Jerry Maguire. In his 41-year profession, Steinberg fuel represented over 300 skilled athletes.

In this 2013 episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts and Steinberg dive into his distinctive strategy as an agent, presenting his mannequin for each buying athletes and serving to them obtain what they worth most. Steinberg covers matters like disaster administration and cohesively rising the sport of soccer with every social gathering concerned in contract negotiations on this fascinating dialogue with Roberts.



1- Steinberg discovered success in creating a singular mannequin for the athletes he needed to draw. In recruiting shoppers, he favored athletes who needed to be function fashions and who hoped to springboard their very own private model whereas having athletic success as effectively.

Steinberg additionally realized the marketability and capital forming high quality of the quarterback, in addition to the benefit of regionality in controlling prices and income. What different revenue maximizing methods would serve brokers effectively in seeking to begin a profitable enterprise right now? What different qualities of athletes right now (in addition to being a quarterback!) can present a breeding floor for an agent’s growth?


2- Steinberg’s strategy in maximizing an athlete’s personal company is fascinating—he needs to push the athlete to change into the captain of their very own ship by offering them with a mannequin for post-athletic success in addition to mentoring them. Steinberg encourages each financial planning and a construction of tracing again roots to create a significant affect on the athlete’s group.

How a lot worth ought to athletes place on setting themselves up for a possible profession after sports activities? Ought to sports activities brokers be as concerned in athletes’ lives as Steinberg has? How else can athletes maximize their particular person potential whereas growing a super residing atmosphere after sports activities?


3- Steinberg and all sports activities brokers should be capable of successfully handle crises. When his shoppers make a public mistake, Steinberg has a step-by-step technique for controlling model blowback. Steinberg believes that the athlete ought to take accountability as somebody with an enormous platform, and that they need to additionally apologize and provide their steps to stop the motion from occurring once more.

How typically will we see athletes right now following this course of, and to what extent does it really feel real? Have private manufacturers and the incomes potential of athletes taken a higher hit in the previous couple of years because of the prevalence of cancel tradition?


4- Steinberg asserts that the NFL is competing with all different types of leisure which individuals spend cash on, and that brokers ought to cooperate with house owners in rising the sport and constructing a pie sufficiently big for everybody to share. In line with Steinberg, contract negotiations are a closed system with house owners, GM’s, and gamers all being concerned frequently. He thinks that negotiations needs to be much less about labor versus administration and as a substitute, every social gathering ought to present inventive methods to extend the income pot. As an agent, Steinberg focuses on constructing a income circulation for the athlete with inventive enterprise ventures.

How have we seen athletes lengthen their model to change into cultural phenoms? What areas of enterprise are untapped which might present nice incomes potential for athletes and brokers?


5- Steinberg believed that contract negotiations following the NFL draft are an “synthetic assemble” as a result of gamers would robotically be incomes greater than they’d in the event that they have been to remain in faculty an additional yr.

How do NIL alternatives change the function of brokers and basic managers when athletes are contemplating a return to school athletics as a substitute of getting into the draft?


6- Steinberg believes {that a} sports activities agent ought to perceive his or her consumer’s valuation of particular options of a contract as a result of it’s not at all times about receiving the very best wage. Roberts and Steinberg mentioned Tom Brady’s new contract on the time, which can have supplied the Patriots extra spending flexibility. Usually, followers see this as a sacrifice by a participant to assist their staff win, however different elements of the contract, like assured cash, weigh extra on the participant’s resolution than every other incentive.

Are there as many conditions because it appears the place gamers are actually taking a pay reduce for the betterment of their staff? On condition that athletes are already making tons of cash, which elements of their contract ought to they worth most?


Brennan Beausir is a scholar at Wabash Faculty finding out Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and is a 2023 Summer time Scholar at Liberty Fund.

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