I had the amazing opportunity to interview Edward Davis. Edward Davis is a sports agent at Checkmate Sports, which he created. This interview meant a lot because I have wanted to go into the sports world for some time now and I enjoyed talking with a professional.
Q: How did you start Checkmate Sports?
A: I started Checkmate Sports out of necessity. Right out of college I wanted to work at the top five firms but unfortunately it wasn’t an option that I had. It was very difficult to get an internship with anybody without having a best friend or sibling who was going to the league. So instead of giving up on my dream, I just started Checkmate Sports in 2018 and got certified in 2019 and have been going ever since.
Q: How did you decide to start your program? What made you decide to offer sports agency training to people for much cheaper than a degree?
A: It goes back to me trying to get into the business. It upset me how difficult it was for me to get an opportunity and I realized that there are other people in the world who are in my situation. Instead of complaining about it, I wanted to create change so that they could get into this business and become sports agents.
Q: What do you teach in the program?
A: Basically we teach the best practices of being a sports agent. I learned a lot in my first couple of years in the business. Unfortunately, I had to pay for a lot of that information with blood sweat and tears as they say the schools of hard knocks. I learned a lot of information and I patched it up so that whoever joins the program they could join the program and finish in six to seven weeks and be off and running. So basically, all the information a college can’t teach you because they aren’t actually in the business. This isn’t theory. This is based off stuff that actually happens and things that helped me and others become actual sports agents.
Q: How is it only six to seven weeks?
A: Yes, the funny thing about being an agent is that it’s not rocket science, you just need someone to give you the information. Once you have the information it’s up to you to apply yourself. It is kind of like losing weight. You need to burn more calories than you eat. It’s just that most people won’t do it. So this business isn’t rocket science, you just need someone to give you information so that you don’t step into financial death traps.
Q: If someone does your program would they get credibility to become an agent somewhere or just at Checkmate Sports?
A: The cool thing about us is we empower you not to only just work with us or with another company but also by yourself. The information I learned to create Checkmate Sports I teach you or whoever does it. If you’re willing to come in and put the work in then anyone can do it.
Q: At Checkmate Sports you guys have a client named Trajan Stephens McQueen. How do you reach out to these players and say hey Checkmate Sports would love to represent you on your path to the NFL, NBA, etc.?
A: We have a way we do it that we go after the players we talk about that in the program. One thing I can say is that social media is powerful if you just message them.
Q: Why is it that it is a lot harder for a professional athlete to do an interview as opposed to a college athlete?
A: The professional athlete will have a busier schedule so the agent could help fit it into their schedule.
Q: How many clients would you say that you and Checkmate Sports have?
A: We just revamped our philosophy trying to get all the best players that we could but we changed that business model to less is more. We now focus on quality attention over just quantity. Each draft cycle we want to represent three players at max. Last year we represented a bunch of smaller school guys for our first year. Due to COVID-19 it shook up the world and our business. Fortunately, we were able to get two guys to the league, like Travis Reed with the Colts, and these guys were unranked prior to the draft and they didn’t have a pro day or combine and we were able to get them in the league. We learned a lot from that situation and we are focusing more on top talent now. Representing one to two players a draft cycle instead of five to six.
Q: How does the undrafted free agent thing work?
A: After the draft is when the real fun starts. Leading up to the draft they create a draft board and they figure out what players will and will not get drafted then they reach out to the agents and players and just build a relationship that way the player can choose that spot. Undrafted free agents have the option on where to go so teams will try to bring them in.
Q: What do you say the undrafted free agent cycle is better than getting drafted in the later rounds?
A: It all depends. Me personally, I think so because you choose your destination and you get to renegotiate the contract sooner. So if you go undrafted and you land in an ideal situation and you end up killing it you can renegotiate sooner and start making the big bucks. It also is a bigger risk but it depends on the player.
I would like to thank Mr. Davis for letting me interview him. Check him out on Instagram @callmyagent_ or you can check out his training for sports agents at www.sportsagentmasterclass.com. I am very grateful for this interview since with Mr. Davis since he was one out of twenty agents I asked for an interview and he was the only one to take time out of his day for me.
Ethan Carbone is a Contributor for Unwrapped Sports Network. Follow him on on Twitter @ethan_carbone