The players may always take center stage in the eyes of the masses, but it’s the people behind the scenes who hold all the cards that make a successful team/player. Remember Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire as a high-flying sports agent or Jon Hamm, who plays sports agent J B Bernstein in the film 'Million Dollar Arm'?J B Bernstein is a real person and his story is the one which dreams are made of. Don’t we all aspire to be like these gentlemen? And to give these masterminds their share of the limelight, there have been many cinematic representations of great sports agents like Entourage, Jerry Maguire, Two For The Money, Any Given Sunday and Million Dollar Arm, to name a few.Incidentally, Pearl Academy will offer students in India the opportunity to take up this desirable, all-important role from next year. Here, we look into the lives of some high-profile sports agents in the world.
#1 Neil Fairbrother
Fairbrother was born in 1963 and started his career as a cricketer. But he had a fairly lacklustre spell in the sport until his retirement in 2002.
Following that, he took up the position of the Director of Cricket at a well-known sports agency, International Sports Management. Through this agency he went on to represent a number of famous clients like Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, Marcus Trescothick and Graham Onions.
With his business acumen and sharp insights, Fairbrother guided his clients to successful playing careers, thus carving a special place for himself in English cricket.
#2 David Falk
Falk is one of the best-known sports agents in the field of basketball, best known for representing the legendary Michael Jordan. Both he and Jordan were inseparable for the entirety of the latter’s career.
Originally Falk kick started his sports agent career by managing tennis players before he moved to the more lucrative option, basketball.
That was the year Jordan first entered the basketball court and Falk, seeing something in the youngster, immediately signed him on. There was no looking back from there, and the rest is history.
#3 Jorge Mendes
The Portuguese agent is also a major big fish in the industry, having established his own sports agency company GestiFute.
He has been an agent for many world class athletes like Diego Costa, Jose Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Radamel Falcao, Ricardo Carvalho, Nani, James Rodriguez and most notably Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mendes and his clients have won many accolades together, like the Globe Soccer Player of the Year (Falcao), Team of the Year (Atletico Madrid) and Coach of the Year (Jose Mourinho). Mendes himself has won the Agent of the Year award for three consecutive years.
#4 Keke Rosberg
The 1982 Formula One world champion stepped into a managerial role after retiring from the racing scene for good. After his Formula One days he came back to race in the Spa 24hrs race in 1989.
He went on to manage Finnish drivers like JJ Lehto and Mika Hakkinen, the latter going on to win two world championships with McLaren in 1998 and 1999.
Rosberg also managed his son, current Mercedes driver Nico, until 2008.
A personal record both he and Nico share is the distinction of being the first father-son duo to ever win in Monaco, with the pair taking victory 30 years apart.
#5 Willi Weber
The German agent is considered to be a shrewd negotiator, along with being a franchise owner of A1 Team Germany (series now defunct). He has also been the manager for many German racing drivers like the Schumacher brothers, Nico Hulkenberg and DTM racer Timo Scheider.
Weber's first client was Joachim Winkelhock, who won the 1993 British Touring Car Championship as well as the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It was Weber’s keen eye that helped seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher get his big break, and he remained with the driver until Sabine Kehm took over that role.
Weber is one of Formula One’s best known sports agents in the 50+ years of Formula One Racing, and is held in high regard by fans and drivers alike.
A special mention goes out to Miss Latika Khaneja who managed Virender Sehwag for a long time.