Old fashioned hard work and lots and lots of networking! To be honest, I had no idea where to start. I was a former athlete and had always loved sports. But I knew nothing about the sports industry or how to get started. So I started from scratch. I researched NFL teams and agents. I contacted anyone and everyone, trying to get advice and develop connections. Initially, very few people responded. But I refused to quit. Just after I found out I had passed the certification exam, I sent out letters to every NFL front office introducing myself and asking to set up a call or meeting. Only one response came in – from a lawyer working in the Tennessee Titans front office. He recommended I get in touch with one of their scouts, C.O. Brocato, who was going to be coming through Oklahoma on a scouting trip. I reached out to C.O., and luckily he was willing to meet with me the following week. C.O. was pushing 80 years old, but was sharp as a tack. We met for dinner (at 4:30 in the afternoon) at an Outback Steakhouse in Norman. I told C.O. about my aspirations and questioned him endlessly about the business. I will never forget the many, many lessons he shared that day. But the thing I remember most was him pointing at me and saying “You’re going to be one of the best in the business. I can already see it.” When someone else believes in you – and tells you they believe in you – it is a total game-changer. C.O. would later introduce me to dozens of scouts, coaches and other front office personnel at the NFL Combine. My advice to you? Be a constant student of the industry. Never stop learning and always look for opportunities to connect with others. Opportunities come through people; therefore, relationships will always be key to your success.
What did you do to break into the sports agent business?
Recognized as one of the most influential women in sports business, Kelli Masters often hears, "You have a DREAM JOB." But she chooses to inspire others not with her successes, but with her vulnerability, sharing not only the victories but also the battles and failures along the way. Kelli is an attorney, an NFL sports agent and Founder and President of KMM Sports, a full-service sports management company with offices in New York, Los Angeles and her hometown of Oklahoma City.