What LinkedIn has done for business recruitment, SportJobz hopes to do for basketball players looking for teams to sign with.
A Bloomberg report ("Can a Linkedin for Athletes Ever Replace Sports Agents?") puts the spotlight on SportJobz, a social network website that invites basketball players to create free profiles—equipped with their photos, highlights, stats and other vital info—in which recruiters from teams around the world can search and spot them, perhaps even giving them a deal.
SportJobz already boasts more than 3,000 players, mostly Americans, and there's about 200 teams, mostly European, that use the social network to look for talent. As an example, Bloomberg reports that Diamond Foggia, an Italian League team, found Laurence Donelson through SportJobz and signed him to a one-year contract for $45,000.
Can a networking site like this eventually replace sports agents? It's not likely because star players usually align themselves with star agents to leverage max salary. However, for the middle-of-the-pack player, SportJobz does seem to be a vital tool and a movement that can seemingly only grow.
"You can always get the next crop of athletes who aren't quite good enough to be represented by the super agents of the NBA," Rick Burton, a professor of sports management at Syracuse University, told Bloomberg.
Added founder of SportJobz and former sports agent Roe Stimler: "There are hundreds, if not thousands, of basketball players each year who are just graduating from different colleges in all different levels, and are not good enough for the NBA. Those players are getting this exposure in the summer league and looking to take it to the next level outside of the U.S."