It is a popular misconception that in order to be a sports or entertainment agent, you must be based in either New York or Los Angeles. Sure it helps to be close to the entertainment meccas on the east and west coasts, but not every person who wants to be a successful agent needs to pack there bags and head to the big city. Some have families and others simply do not like big cities.
There are several sports and entertainment agents that are doing quite well for themselves in various other locations across the country.
For example, a local law firm where I am currently attending law school, Harrisburg, Pa., represents various big-name musicians and other talents. They do everything that a normal agency would do for a client.
It just so happens they represent other clients in legal matters as well. Some of the firm’s more known clients include the band Tantric and the lead singer for the Doors. Not bad for a city more known for being the home to the National Civil War Museum than for being a hot spot for agents.
Another example is Dynasty Entertainment, the CEO of which happens to be this blog’s creator. Darren’s business is based out of Hollywood, Florida. Yes, it has the same name as the biggest entertainment city in the world, but it is far from the same. Darren got his start by representing professional bowlers.
Now he has moved on to represent numerous athletes in baseball, football, and basketball as well as coaches and front office personnel. He has recently started to represent entertainment figures as well.
This is perhaps the best example I know of a non-law firm agency that is not situated in a big city. Darren decided to do what many people thought was impossible. He started his own agency in a smaller city.
And not only that, he did so while going to college. His experience offers those who want to become an agent hope that they can become successful without having to move to L.A. or N.Y.C.
There are many other examples out there that I failed to mention as well. These examples prove my point that starting an agency in a small city can be done, and it can be done successfully.
One thing I did pick up on while looking at both Pennsylvania and the Florida agencies was that they were still fairly close to a big-time entertainment city.
Harrisburg is within a 3-hour drive of NYC and within 2 hours of Philadelphia. Hollywood is within 30 minutes of Miami. The proximity to these big cities allows smaller companies to remain in close contact and develop close relationships with the groups contracting with their clients.
Also, the location away from the big cities allows these small-town agents to charge less than a big town law firm would charge. This can only help improve the agent-client relationship.
Another piece of information that could be helpful is to find your own niche. Last year, I interned for an agent whose clients were all long-snappers in the NFL.
That has never been done before. While an obscure niche, if your clients do well, you can end up making a name for yourself within a particular sport or position. The same is true for entertainment agents.
If you like action movies, why not start an agency that only represents stuntmen? If you like a particular genre of music or literature, why not try to build a niche representing only that particular genre?
Also, don’t give up and think you could never make it in a small city in such a competitive industry. The fact is industries change all the time.
If you want to start your own agency in a small town, go for it. Wh0 knows, maybe it will take off and you could end up living your dream without ever having to leave the comfort of your friends and family for a big city.