Going the Distance with Sports Law
It takes some people years to figure out their career path. However, for Joseph Frio ’19 CLAS, ’22 CWSL, the path has been clear since an early age. He wants to become a sports agent, representing professional athletes. Everything he does is laying the groundwork to reach his goal, which is how he found himself at Villanova Law.
The son of an attorney, Frio was well-acquainted with the legal field already, but as an undergraduate student at Villanova University, he learned of the opportunities and skills necessary to accomplish his goals. One of those opportunities was Villanova Law’s sports law program and The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law led by Professor Andrew Brandt. He recognized it would be an invaluable asset to his future and transferred to Villanova Law in his 2L year.
“I knew of Professor Brandt before I came to Villanova Law,” commented Frio. “I respected his work and his career and knowing that he ran the Moorad Center was a huge draw for me to come to Villanova Law. I knew being at Villanova Law would give me a critical advantage in my education and create opportunities to network in the professional sports world.”
When he began looking for hands-on experience, Frio landed an externship with EnterSports Management, a team of industry professionals that specialize in National Football League and Major League Baseball representation. During his externship, Frio worked with a client who was trying to sign with a team in the Canadian Football League (CFL). With his supervisor’s guidance, he created highlight tapes, met with teams to assess their interest and helped negotiate the player’s deal with CFL executives.
Frio learned a lot of valuable lessons throughout his experience, which he will take with him into his career. He credits his externship with helping him improve his skills, especially in negotiations. He worked with his supervisor to hone his negotiation skills and improve his market knowledge, which helped him prepare to compete in the 2021 Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition.
“I didn’t realize when I began law school how valuable the skill of negotiation is,” recalled Frio. “I didn’t even know it was a class I would have to take, but so much of my last semester revolved around negotiations.”
Frio has been angling to enter the field of athlete representation since he was young. As an assistant coach for a local high school, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, he mentors players going on to play collegiate football. This summer, he is still working with EnterSports Management, while also working with a local startup marketing agency, which aims to help student athletes navigate the emerging name, image and likeness laws.
“Through my externship, along with my classes and sports law competitions, I gained firsthand experience and knowledge about negotiating in the field I want to be in and feel even more confident to reach my goals.”