According to the Chinese Basketball Association (“CBA”), questionable activities by basketball agents revealed limitations of the current agency system necessitating a revision of the regulations guiding agency activities. In the 2006 “Administrative Measures from the CBA on Basketball Agency” (“Measures”), the CBA defines a basketball agent as an individual or legal person holding a basketball agent license involved in basketball agency, including intermediation, commission agency, entrustment and/or other for-profit promotional activities.
The 2006 Measures established guidelines for broker eligibility and the two types of agents. Category A agents may manage foreign players, commercial entrustments or commercial promotion related to foreign players, manage Chinese National Basketball Team players and their commercial entrustments or commercial promotion, the commercial entrustment or commercial promotion of matches held by the International Basketball Federation, Asian Basketball Federation or CBA, and other basketball brokerage activities. Category B agents are prohibited from all activities except for basketball brokerage.
Current agent-related issues in the CBA range from uncertainty surrounding players’ legal representation due to frequent ‘agent-swapping’ to publicized failures of clubs to fulfill contractual obligations and an overall lack of transparency surrounding agent activities in the league. In response to these issues, the CBA has drafted the “Supplementary Regulations on the Administration of Measures for Basketball Agents in the Chinese Basketball Association,” which areintended to supplement the 2006 Measures. The CBA also has issued a circular to basketball clubs and agents that included a “Survey on Basketball Agent Activities,” which requests people to submit their general opinions on agents, the relationship between agents and players, and suggestions on ways to improve the current system.
The 2009 supplementary regulations established minimum qualifications for basketball agents, their rights and obligations, limitations on agent activities, and repercussions for violations of the regulations.