June 18, 2019

This email is directed at any NFLPA-certified contract advisor interested in how the NFL draft works as well as the months leading up to the draft. Note: We are not endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with the NFLPA.
2019 Case Study: Kaveh Akbari
Neil's brief primer:  Kaveh moved to New York in 2011 and attended St. John's University. He wanted to become an agent, and obtained an internship working with Alanta-based Ryan Rubin of Gate City Athletics, focusing on scouting and administrative responsibilities. Throughout college had several diverse internships, working with the Knicks, Rangers and Madison Square Garden. Last summer, he took the exam and got certified. 
Active NFL clients:  Kaveh had three players sign UDFA deals after the draft, including Penn State DT Kevin Givens (49ers), Boston College DC Hamp Cheevers (Titans) and Marist WO Juston Christian (Ravens). 
Why did he become an agent?  "I wanted to make an impact on athletes who devoted their lives to a rigorous and specialized craft. I also wanted to be an agent because I felt that I can make a difference and give back to society." 
Day job:  Vice President of Marketing & Partnerships for New York City-based MBK Sports Management.
His take on the NFLPA exam:  "You have to study for the exam. If you are prepared, you will be fine. If not, the exam will be difficult.  Neil's and ITL's practice exam  was a great help and very beneficial. Also, aspiring agents (should) take detailed notes at the seminar, because some answers are given to you, indirectly." 
Hardest part of being an agent:  "The volatility of the industry. Events can fluctuate on a day-to-day basis. Seeing my clients have success is the most rewarding part of this profession. On the flipside, adversity is inevitable in this industry. As a young agent, you must be willing to take it day by day and handle adversity in a positive manner when the situation arises." 
He felt like he'd had a successful first year as a contract advisor when:  "I am a sports agent because I genuinely enjoy helping my clients. I don't see any accomplishments for myself, because it is not about me. Being an agent to me is all about making sure your clients are taken care of in the most professional manner. But I felt like I had a successful year when I secured verbal commitments from potential clients." 

Lesson he learned that he wished he'd known last summer: "You have to know how to deal with stress that will arise from the job. Volatility within the sports agent industry is something that comes with the profession. As an agent, you must learn how to cope with the stress and find what gives you inner peace outside of work. Find a hobby or two that you enjoy and be at peace with the work you have accomplished up to this point."

Inside The League is the consulting service for the football industry. We work with the contract advisors for about two-thirds of active NFL players as well as the combine trainers, financial planners, scouts, coaches and other pro league organizers that make up the game. Cost is $29.95/month, and you can cancel at any time. To register, click here. Also check out our new free blog, Succeed in Football. Copyright Neil Stratton and ITL.

Sincerely, Neil Stratton
Inside the League

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