As your career progresses and you enjoy more and more success, you may find that there are greater demands on your time outside of training and competition.

There may be interview requests from members of the media, enquiries from potential sponsors, personal appearances at events and a whole host of other commitments that you have never had to face before.

This is where a good agent can help. They will be able to negotiate with sponsors on your behalf, provide advice and support, agree endorsements and deal with media and other requests, allowing you to focus on training and competing.

It is important that you’re able to trust your agent, as you need to know that they are working for you and always have your best interests in mind. To help you, the IOC has produced some useful resources that explain the differences between agents, agencies and personal advisors, while there are also some handy tips for you to consider when looking for someone to represent you.

“You need to find an agent that you can talk to, that you can rely on and who is honest with you.”
Dana Torres, 12-time Olympic medallist, swimming

Seven steps to consider when selecting an agent

  1. Take the necessary time to properly research agents to ensure you select the right person for your needs.
  2. Try to contact current and former clients of the agent to find out what they’re like.
  3. You should expect your agent to consult you before making decisions.
  4. They must always represent your best interests.
  5. A good agent will tailor their services to suit your needs.
  6. Their vision should take into account both your short-term career and your long-term plan.
  7. They may receive a percentage of your income, or a percentage of the value of the transactions they negotiate. This should be agreed upon beforehand.