SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – The Korea Baseball Organization has announced plans to introduce a sports agent system from next year, which will see agents contact baseball teams on behalf of players to negotiate salaries and marketing activities.
The organization representing South Korea’s professional baseball players made the announcement during its third board of directors meeting this year at its office in Seoul on Tuesday. A number of topics were discussed, including an agent system, rules for the management of the national team, and support for youth baseball players.
At the end of the meeting, the board of directors received information regarding common ground between both the Korea Professional Baseball Players Association and the Korea Baseball Organization, and decided to introduce a sports agent system from next year.
Candidates will be given a certificate when they pass an official test before becoming an agent to represent up to 15 players, with three for the same team.
The move to introduce sports agents, akin to celebrity management companies, follows in the footsteps of the football industry, the first professional sport in South Korea to have adopted an agent system.
After taking effect next year, agents will represent players at the negotiating table with baseball teams to negotiate choice of team, salaries and transfers. They will also be responsible for other activities outside sports, including commercials that star players.
In 2001, efforts to introduce a sports agent system in South Korean professional baseball were thwarted by a lack of standards and processes, and disagreement between organizations over whether or not it was premature.
In addition, other measures were introduced during the meeting earlier this week, including a full time director policy for better management and consistency, which will see the national baseball team run under the guidance of the same director until the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
The requirements for players to join the national team also became stricter, with those previously censured by the Korea Baseball Organization over involvement in match fixing, drug abuse and sexual offenses, as well as draft dodging no longer eligible for the national baseball team.
The Korea Baseball Organization also pledged to provide more financial support for youth baseball teams, allotting 60 million won for three years to elementary school teams, and 220 million won over the same period for middle school baseball teams.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)