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The result of a merger between two of the biggest and most-respected agencies in sports management – First Artist and Mission Sports Management - First Artist Mission has foundations deep in the roots of British sporting culture.
With more than 100 years combined experience in sports management, and offices in central London and Liverpool, we have extensive contacts within all aspects of the industry and pride ourselves on our personal relationships, not only with our clients, but with everyone we work with.
While First Artist Mission is the future, we’re also very proud of where we’ve come from.

First Artist

First Artist
The agency was founded by hugely-respected agent Jon Smith in 1986 and from its inception represented the England national football team for a decade and developed the commercial structure known as “Team England” that still exists today. First Artist was involved in the formation of the Premier League and was instrumental in assisting Sky launch this in 1992.

Having managed the interests of many of the world’s top footballers over the years, including Diego Maradona, and having conducted literally thousands of football transfers, First Artist – under the guidance of Jon and his brother, Phil Smith – are the experts in football player representation. 

Mission Sports Management

Mission Sports Management
Co-founded by First Artist Mission CEO and Sir Ian Botham, Mission Sports represented many of the world’s most recognisable talent in the worlds of cricket, Olympics and Paralympics, and broadcasting.

Having overseen the careers of the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Ellie Simmonds, Ian Bell and Steve Cram, Mission Sports Management has negotiated broadcast and commercial contracts worth millions of pounds with networks and brands across the globe. 
“The team has developed my commercial and personal brand and have successfully negotiated deals all over the World on my behalf. They have been there for me every step of the journey.”
Kevin Pietersen

“I’ve been part of the team from the age of 13 years old and I can train and compete safe in the knowledge that everything else is looked after by Nick and Adam, which is incredibly reassuring.”
Ellie Simmonds

“Jon has only ever wanted the best for the players he’s representing. I respect that in a person, to fight hard in what you believe in – and Jon certainly does that.”
Arsène Wenger

“Jon is a very caring guy, who is not like most agents and puts his clients first.”
Paul Gascoigne

Meet the Team

Jon Smith



Jon is one of the world’s most well-respected football agents, having been at the forefront of the industry for more than 30 years. Jon launched the world-famous First Artist agency in 1986, with the England football team and Diego Maradona as his first clients and has gone on to guide the careers of many of the nation’s most celebrated players and managers.
He created the initial concept of 'Team England', which is still used now by the FA, and introduced product placement to football. Jon has masterminded many of the world’s biggest transfers and, alongside Sky Sports, was part of the team which helped create the Premier League. Jon was also the first commercial representative of the England Cricket team and the first promoter of all the North American sports in the UK, including the major early NFL games at Wembley. His autobiography, The Deal, was published in September 2016 by Little Brown / Hachette

E: jon@firstartistmission.com

Phil Smith



One of the most experienced agents in world football, Phil was a former co-owner of First Artist and is widely considered one of the most well-connected people in the industry. In a career spanning more than thirty years, Phil has been involved in countless multi-million pound transfers and remains one of the most-trusted names in the sport, by players, managers and owners alike. Phil prides himself in knowing everything about his clients and their needs, and works closely with them in all aspects of their development. Aside from football player representation, Phil is highly experienced in all forms of football consultancy and also specialises in other services such as arranging friendlies, tournaments and pre-season tours. Phil started his career in the music industry and was Head of Promotion of several agencies, before launching his own label, Double Impact, where he worked regularly with the likes of Simon Cowell and Pete Waterman.

E: phil@firstartistmission.com

Kevin Pietersen


Kevin is widely regarded as one of the most captivating cricketers ever to play the sport. In an international career spanning a decade, Kevin played 104 Test matches, scoring 8,118 runs at an average of 47.28, and in 2013 became England’s all-time leading run-scorer in all formats of the game. He was part of four Ashes-winning teams, a team to win a Test series in India for the first time in 24 years and was Player of the Tournament in England’s sole ICC World Twenty20 success in 2010. Known for his audacious shots and attacking prowess, he even created his own shot - The Switch Hit - whereby he switched his hands to play left-handed; a shot which has since been mimicked by many of the greatest players to play the game. Kevin is a director of First Artist Mission and combines his role as a global T20 cricketer with consultant for the agency.



Commercial Director

Nick brings a wealth of sponsorship, marketing, PR and brand activation experience to First Artist Mission, having previously held the position of Head of PR at Mission Sports Management and prior to that, several years in marketing and communications at sports agency Fast Track.
At Mission, he negotiated commercial partnerships and TV contracts on behalf of their clients, and managed the PR/media strategy of the entire roster of clients. Nick has worked with a number of global brands and governing bodies, including British Athletics, where he was responsible for coordinating and delivering the marketing and communications strategy for the internationally-televised Aviva Series events.
He was part of the LOCOG Live Production team at London 2012 and coordinated the award-winning publicity for four-time World Champion boxer Ricky Hatton in the lead-up to and post his comeback bout.

E: nick@firstartistmission.com 

Burt Laurent


Director of Football

Burt is a licensed FA intermediary and represents a number of the finest young footballing talent in the country. With decades of experience in the sports and entertainment industries under his belt, and his son Josh, a player himself for Hartlepool, Burt combines his knowledge and expertise in the sport, with his understanding of the importance of player welfare and development. Burt has experience in guiding youngsters all the way through age-group football, to scholar level, to becoming fully-fledged internationals, and has extensive contacts throughout all levels of the football league. Burt works closely with the player’s family to ensure all aspects of the player’s progression is well looked after and ensures no small detail in their development is overlooked.

E: burt@firstartistmission.com

Romario Redley


Scout and Player Liaison

A talented footballer himself, Romario has spent his entire life in the footballing world. As a Charlton scholar in his teens, Romario knows exactly the qualities needed to progress in football and a vital part of his role at First Artist Mission is spotting emerging talent and doing everything within his power to aid in the development of that talent. Romario is always there for our clients and will always be on hand to help out with a range of services. Romario prides himself on his personal touch and is never far away from a football pitch.

E: rredley@firstartistmission.com




Kerry is the PA to Adam Wheatley and manages the day-to-day running of the office. She offers a friendly and professional approach, which makes her the best contact when checking the availability of First Artist Mission staff and clients. Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, Kerry has always been a keen sportswoman. Growing up, she played a number of different sports including swimming, water polo and tennis. She was also a strong hockey player, having represented her local area, before competing for her country in triathlon. Since moving to England in 2012, Kerry has spent much of her time passing on her sporting skills to youngsters, before joining the team at First Artist Mission.

E: kerry@firstartistmission.com

Zheng Zhang



Having spent a decade in the financial industry in her native China, Zheng graduated from Exeter University in MSC Finance and Investment in 2010 and has since worked at several global organisations both in the UK and abroad. Most recently, she managed the Financial department of China Beijing Bioengineering & Pharmaceutical Industrial Park (CBP), a State-owned company in China, and before that at BDO over here in the UK. She started her career at fashion outlet Uniqlo, after graduating from Renmin University of China in accounting, before taking up the role at Bensa Ltd in the accounting department. Zheng is in charge of all First Artist Mission’s accounts and invoicing.

E: zheng@firstartistmission.com

Lisa Lian


Client Liaison Executive

Lisa is First Artist Mission’s Client Liaison Executive and a finance graduate from Ocean University of China. Coming from a strong sporting background, Lisa was a keen ballet dancer and something of a taekwondo enthusiast, before focusing on a career in finance.

Back in her native China, Lisa worked for HSBC, where her role involved developing effective marketing strategies with team members to stimulate annual sales growth. Following this, Lisa worked in the prestigious China Merchants Bank from 2008-2016 as an accountant. She has vast experience in preparing asset, liability, and capital account entries by compiling and analysing account information and detailing balance sheets.

E: lisa@firstartistmission.com