An Introduction to being an NFL Agent: Part 2

A couple weeks ago, I started developing a “process” for myself, for the last few years, I’ve known what I want to accomplish, but I knew I needed to write down my process and refocus myself. First, I want to tell you about the man behind the process.

My mentor during my college years was a great friend by the name of Dr. Kevin Elko. He is currently the “head” coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida State Seminoles, so he has been a part of four of the last five national championships. He’s won Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints. He’s also won national championships with LSU (2004), Miami, and the North Carolina basketball team.

Dr. Elko is the best in the business in terms of mental performance and motivational speaking. I’ve never heard him speak to a team, but friends of mine who have listened to him at Alabama, Florida State, as well as Rutgers and Pittsburgh in the 2000s discuss how he always got the team feeling that level of supreme confidence that they would win. Many of you have seen Elko’s work first hand, he is the man behind “The Chop” at Rutgers Football during the Schiano years.

Elko is someone whom we will come back to discuss later this week, if you’re interested in him, check him out at

Anyway, I began developing my process because to become a great NFL agent, you’re going to have a lot of different stuff going on and I need to keep my eyes on my life goals.

As followed is a list of what I’m currently involved in as well as the relationships I’m building with businesses that will be major assets for our clients and Athlete Advocates. Of course, in turn, we believe that we will also be a major asset to the people we do business with, every business relationship should have mutual gain.


• Like I’ve previously said, I’m an MBA student at Rutgers. I have a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship, you’ll see why over the course of this series.

• I own a small business in Currently, we simply sell “Be American” apparel, but we’re going to pivot as I become a certified NFL agent and gain clients as we can turn it into a retail site for the products and companies that our clients are involved with. As I’ll discuss on here, we have brand management strategies that include content creation, marketing, endorsements, entrepreneurship, charities, and other business dealings.

• Over the first half of this year, I wrote a business plan with my entrepreneurship teacher to start an “Amazon style online retailer for American made goods,” but I found out that launched during the time I was writing my plan. American Certified launched in May after 18 months of preparation as well as investing over $500,000, so I decided I should join forces with them, rather than compete.

I contacted their CEO Marvin Weinberger and have begun working with them as an intern. They like my marketing strategies that I’ve presented them with as well as my strategies of endorsements through athletes, celebrities, and content creators. American Certified will be a major asset for my clients for endorsement deals from American manufacturers and my clients will be an asset for these businesses and American Certified. This is something I will go into in a business blog this week.

• I sell Onnit products on my website and I’m always and I’m always trying to stay abreast with everything happening with them. I discovered them on the Joe Rogan Experience, which opened my eyes to marketing strategies that we will be using with our athletes. They are also a part of the future plans of our agency as we see the potential for endorsement deals for our clients along with supplements. (Onnit)

• Off of the lessons I’ve learned from Joe Rogan and Onnit, I should mention our content creation strategies that we hope to implement with our players. If you’ve followed, then you’ve seen some great guest articles from players like Russell Wilson, Vernon Davis and many other players. The NFL is full of highly intelligent guys and our firm intends on helping our clients take advantage of their unique life experience and build their brands.

As we’ve seen, many players enter into post-football careers in jobs on radio, TV, podcasting, writing among other media outlets. When I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a professional football, basketball and baseball player, then I wanted to host SportsCenter after my career. Which red-blooded American boy didn’t have those kinds of dreams?

Instead, with the Internet, we can have so much more fun creating our own content in our own voice and Athlete Advocates will help players create their own content. There is such a large market of NFL fans out there just begging for more football content for them to consume all year round. The NFL has become the biggest sport in the country because of crazy people like us! We’re always looking for content to learn about the game, learn about the business of the game or just learn about fantasy football.


(As a side note, I do a podcast myself and I would love to have some guests on in the near future, if you know anyone who might be interested in coming on a podcast that discusses the NFL, current events, economics, business, political issues, entrepreneurship, American manufacturing or anything else of that nature, please e-mail me at I have a lot of different passions and I want to make my podcast a sort of Joe Rogan Experience on the east coast with a football flavor to it as well rather than the MMA.)

• Of course, DeFranco’s Gym is a major part of our business plan, so continuing to build our relationship with my friend Joe DeFranco is key to our success. Again, like I said yesterday, Joe D. is the best in the world at what he does and he’s a better person. At Athlete Advocate’s we couldn’t be more blessed to work with a guy like Joe. It’s an honor to be surrounded by so many high quality people, it motivates you to let you know that you can accomplish great things. (

• And of course, writing here at This is an opportunity for me to not only build my own personal brand as a writer and agent, but, more importantly, it’s a chance for me to learn about the most important aspect of being an agent: player contracts. By learning from Jason and the rest of the staff here, if I just keep plugging away reading and learning about contracts, I’ll be able to understand player values, market values, free agency, and all salary cap issues. Your job as an agent is to get your player a fair value for his worth and this opportunity will help me improve my knowledge in this field and, thus, help me with negotiations in the future.

Going back to what I started this article off with, I’ve been developing my process for my goals and at the top of that sheet I have this in big bold letters:

How do I become the best me that I can be? How can I become the best NFL agent of all time? What activities will help me get to where I want to go? What do I have to know?

Below that, at the top of my list, my goal is to be the first NFL agent inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Obviously, guys like Leigh Steinberg, Tom Condon, Jimmy Sexton, Drew Rosenhaus or even Happy Walters (the inspiration for Happy Gilmore and an overall cool guy, check out his story) might beat me there first, but that’s the attitude I want to have going into this business.

When I focus on that one goal of being the best agent of all time, everything else falls into place. If you’re a young aspiring NFL agent, this is exactly how you should think.

When I was going to the Sports Law Symposiums this winter, I met a lot of nice kids, a lot of kids thinking about getting into being an agent and a lot of kids who knew they wanted to be in the business.

What struck me most was that many of these kids were in law school, but they didn’t have a plan for how they were going to be an agent, start their firm or get a job with one of the big firms (a very difficult task and a route I personally did not want to take as I want to create my own thing rather than be a cog in a huge machine). One thing I learned in starting my own small business already is that you have to have a plan. My idea with All American Hustle was simple, but I had no plan other than just start selling t-shirts, that is why I have made my fair share of poor decisions.

Granted, those lessons I learned at a cheap cost, all things considered, will help me greatly in the long run. I started AAH in 2011 when I had very little formal education in business or even just through reading. Over the last year, since I started at Rutgers, I’ve begun just consuming as much information as possible in the fields I’m interested in, things I know I’ll need to understand to be a great agent. This is critical. Understand as much as you can about an industry before you put the money up to dive into it.

A t-shirt business is the simplest form of business ever, so it’s been a great learning tool. I’ve gotten the lessons that I’ll be able to put into my future ventures and I’ve been able to form an LLC, secure a domain and get some other finances out of the way.

Another piece of advice to anyone trying to get into this industry, which is something I heard reiterated by Leigh Steinberg was to make yourself stand out to potential employers. Like I said yesterday, I got my job with Athlete Advocates because I began discussing my business plan with Ryan during last fall and I eventually sent him the completed version of it and let him know I’d love to work with him. I later met Jeff Dobin and was really excited to see that we had another great agent on our team. Ryan was more than open to the idea of me working for them and after a few months of going back and forth with him on some projects, he let me know that he’d love to bring me on as a partner.

Do you understand how many kids must ask agents how to break into the industry? Do you understand how many times they give kids advice that they know probably isn’t being followed up on? Never before have so many people been competing to get into this industry as, like entrepreneurship, being an agent has gotten a lot of great publicity over the last few years as the industry has grown and many kids see it as an avenue to follow their passion for sports in an exciting way. What are you doing to make yourself stand out? Over the last eight months, I’ve gotten involved with three businesses I’m very passionate about in Athlete Advocate’s, American Certified and Over The Cap and not a single one of them asked me for my resume. They saw the work I had put in already. I had written a business plan for the first two businesses and Jason had seen some of my previous writing on my personal blog and we had communicated about some salary cap issues through Twitter and e-mail.

If any of that sounds like too much work, then you’re not passionate enough about the business you think you want to get into. You’ll never work a day in your life if it’s something you would be willing to do for free. That’s what a dream job is, your dream should be to get paid for doing something you love.

Like I said above, develop your process. Dr. Elko states in Touchdown, that “the first step in implementing your vision is developing a process, a step-by-step plan you use consistently everyday to get to the desired outcome.”

Right, so you want to be an NFL agent, how are you going to get there? What do you have to know? Where can you find information that will help you get there? Look at the industry and ask yourself questions about it that you then have to answer.

At some point, I will probably share with you guys the questions I’ve been asking myself over the last few months as a way of making sure I stay on task and learn the things that I need to learn to become a better agent.

So, moving forward this week, I’m going to break down the various services an agent needs to provide for their clients and I’m going to detail how everything I’ve detailed above fits into these categories of services.

As always, #BeAmerican out there my friends.

Zack Moore
Supplements: Onnit