Part 1: Personal Ethics plan
As of now I plan on perusing a career in being a sports agent. A sports agent handles the business/legal deals for professional athletes and manages their money. I’ve always had a strong passion and played sports throughout my life, which is why I would like to stay in the sports industry and become a sports agent. But as you can imagine, sports agents can be faced with many ethical dilemmas that must be resolved in the right manner. Throughout the semester, I gained significant knowledge on the right moral and ethical behaviors that should be applied when faced with one of those dilemmas.
For instance, let’s say one of the athletes that I represent is taking steroids and that I’m aware of it. I then have to decide if I let them continue to use the performance enhancing drug or follow the rules and report the violations. The reason why this is such a big dilemma is because the player who is using the illegal steroids is likely to perform significantly better. This could result in an increased level of income which would also benefit the agent. The agent who doesn’t report the violations would be a person who is greedy, arrogant and selfish. On the other hand, the agent who does report the violations, would be doing the right thing and is a person who has integrity, honesty, accountability, and leadership. These are some of the virtues I would need to perfect in order to benefit from them.
My course of action simply would be to only work for a sports agency and only partner with athletes who core values align with mine. If their core values don’t align with mine, then I would remove myself from that situation. If there’s anything I’ve learned from these kind of unethical business decisions, it’s that eventually people get caught. Therefore, I will not put myself in that situation by working for an indecent agency and clients because I place a high value on integrity. Integrity is based off the ability to act honestly and precise based on the particular core and moral values within the company and in yourself.
Part 2: Professional standards
There are many skills required to be a sports agent, but the most important one is knowing how to effectively negotiate. This is an important skill to possess because it has a direct impact on the client and agent’s salary. Agents typically receive anywhere between 2-5 percent of the contract and any additional percentage from endorsement contracts. Many sports agents have a law degree which enables them to navigate through complex legal provisions. These attorney-agents receive valuable information about the legal aspects of contracts and ethical standards in law school. Therefore, the professional ethical standards are held high when it comes to law and being a sports agent.
Each individual has built up some arrangement of standards and values by which they live by. While these standards and values generally vary from individual to individual, they do exist. In other words, this is what we call someone’s ‘reputation.’ Sports agents are constantly trying to improve their client’s reputation along with their self-image as well. The codes of ethical standards are meaningless if someone lacks integrity and courage to do the right thing at all times. Personal integrity is one of the most important attributes a sports agent should strive for when it comes to ethical standards.
As a marketing major, I took the liberty to visit the American Marketing Association (AMA) website to examine their ethical standards. Marketing can be defined as an authoritative capacity and or set of procedures for making, communicating, and conveying value to clients and managing customer relationships in ways that benefit both parties. AMA was formed in order to advance marketing science and improve marketing management through the use of research, recording, and distribution information. They strive to assist marketing professionals to further develop their career and educate them on ethical standards.
Although being a sports agent sounds intriguing and is a career that I want to peruse, competition in this industry is at an all-time high. This competition could create unethical behavior within the industry and organizations that I could potentially be exposed to. If faced with one of these unethical dilemmas, I must call on the virtue of integrity and make the right decisions moving forward. To align this with my personal ethics plan, I either will refuse to work with professional athletes and companies who willingly take part in these illegal activities.
Throughout the semester we had several guest speakers come and give us some real-life examples of unethical behavior that they’ve experienced. Many of these instances are things that could happen to me at my future job of employment. These speakers gave us advice on how to handle these particular situations. If I’m not careful and don’t follow a personal ethics plan, I could get roped into these same situations. I believe that through my integrity and perseverance to follow my personal ethics plan, I will chose to do what is morally and ethically right at all times.