RI native Kim Miale’s career at Roc Nation, a woman working in the NFL

Yes Kim miale focused on odds, she wouldn’t be where she is today.

Miale is a pioneer. She is an inspiration. Her journey is living proof that you can make your dreams come true, regardless of your gender. Of course, that is not his goal. Miale is too busy and working too hard to think about the impact she has had in an industry dominated by men. Since 2013, the Rhode Island native has worked as an NFL agent and general counsel with Roc Nation Sports, which was founded by rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z.

Miale is a first agent in the NFL, representing some of football’s biggest stars.

A native of Johnston and an NFL agent, Kim Miale represents some of football's biggest stars.

But as a woman, she is in the minority in a highly competitive business. According to Sports business journal, women make up less than 5% of NFL officers. Miale paved the way for girls to pursue their dreams, but her goal was never to be the best female agent.

“I don’t tend to focus on that,” she told the Providence Journal, “because if I spent my time worrying about it – statistically, my chances of being successful in the business. company would be very low, and if I focus too much on that I think it can impact your confidence level and you just start to worry about the wrong thing.

“So I just approached him like I was just another NFL agent. I want to be a successful agent, regardless of my gender.

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“As an ancillary point, the fact that if I can be successful it can potentially inspire other young women to break into industries, not just the agent world, but any male dominated world – to feel like it It is possible not only to work in this field, but to succeed and prosper in these fields. I think if you work hard, if you are resilient – and you focus on being the best at your job, not the odds.

A 5-foot-4 woman who doesn’t shy away from wearing heels to a soccer game, Miale shattered stereotypes during her rapid rise as an NFL agent. His journey to represent the biggest stars in the NFL for a company owned by one of the greatest rappers of all time has been built on resilience, hard work and determination.

Who is Kim Miale?

The story begins in Johnston. Miale doesn’t want to admit it, but the only sport she played in Johnston High School was cheerleading. She was not an exceptional athlete, but thrived in school while growing up in a home that taught her important lessons.

Her mother, Linda, worked as an assistant to a local teacher, and her father, David, president of Apogee Precision Parts in Warwick, held two jobs. His parents’ hard work has rubbed off, as has the family’s love for the sport. David Miale adored the Patriots and stayed with his hometown team during those difficult pre-dynasty years. His love for sports, especially football, resonated with his daughter.

“He was a die-hard Patriots fan so I always loved the sport,” said Miale. “In New England it’s such a big part of culture and bringing people together, so I definitely grew up as a lifelong sports fan and football fan.”

After graduating from high school, Miale majored in English and Political Science at College of Providence. The focus has always been on law school, but she was torn between sports law and entertainment law when she graduated in 2001. Her life changed at Suffolk University Law School in Boston when she graduated in 2001. enrolled in a sports law course. The teacher was NFL agent and pioneer colleague Kristen Kuliga.

In 2001, Kuliga became the first female agent to negotiate an NFL quarterback contract with a client. Doug Flutie. She started her own business, K Sports & Entertainment LLC, in Boston and offered internships to students.

“Taking this class really reduced me, being a football agent was what I wanted to pursue,” Miale said. “I was fortunate enough to land the internship and interned with her every semester I could and during the summers and so that’s where the seed was planted that’s what I wanted to do. for my job, for my career. “

Miale graduated from Suffolk in 2004, but she still had a decade to fulfill her dreams.

With two college student loans owed, Miale had bills to pay, so she practiced law in the traditional sense for eight years before receiving her big luck. After spending a year as a clerk at the Connecticut Superior Court, she worked as a civil litigation lawyer for a Boston-based firm from 2005 to 2013.

The road to realizing his dream was not going to be easy.

From secondary activity to full-time work

Miale’s work in Boston has only strengthened his goals.

The days in an office didn’t match his passion and his dreams of becoming an NFL agent intensified. In 2009, Miale passed the NFL Players Association Agent Certification Test in Washington. After becoming a certified NFL agent, she worked alongside, representing local players while continuing to work full time.

Working out of her Boston apartment, she took advantage of her vacation to travel to Pro Days and the NFL Combine to recruit clients. After two years, Miale was hired as a consultant at a sports agency in New York, Madison Avenue Sports & Entertainment, while retaining her full-time job.

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It was a difficult balancing act.

“When I worked at the law firm, I used my vacation to go to the Combine,” Miale said. “There was a partner in the firm who wasn’t exactly thrilled that I had this kind of second job, as you will, and who devoted some of my time to it. He was very hypersensitive there and watched if I was spending my time in the office doing anything that could be interpreted as a sports agent business. So I really had to do everything in my free time.

After seeing her father take on two jobs, Miale didn’t consider the idea crazy. His time was scarce, but when you want to work in an industry like sports law, sacrifice is necessary. Becoming an NFL agent isn’t easy – it doesn’t matter as a woman – but Miale’s work as a consultant has impressed those in the industry.

She saw the light at the end of the tunnel in 2013. It was then Roc Nation wanted to add sports to his growing portfolio. Miale was recommended for the job and was hired by Jay-Z to lead the company’s NFL division.

“I think in any industry that it’s desirable to work in, you have to be prepared to make those sacrifices,” Miale said. “Again, it doesn’t matter if you are male or female – anyone who has had some success in these competitive industries has had to go through this. Nothing will be returned to you, so you just have to be prepared to make those sacrifices. “

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Breaking down barriers in a male dominated industry

Miale immediately made an impact in the NFL world and not everyone was thrilled.

During her first year with Roc Nation, she signed quarterback Geno Smith, who was drafted in the second round by the New York Jets in 2013. At the time, other NFL agents lined up. complained to the NFL Players Association and the media because Jay-Z had met Smith prior to signing. They said the quarterback signed with Miale only because of the acclaimed rapper’s attention.

Former Jets quarterback Geno Smith was the first player signed by agent Kim Miale at Roc Nation.  His client list today includes Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Leonard Fournette, Dez Bryant and more.

To add even more insult as this unfolded, it was written in the Boston Globe that “The most newsworthy thing Kimberly Miale ever did was marry her college sweetheart. Suffolk University law, John Kelley, “before joining Roc Nation.

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“I used this article as motivation,” Miale said. “He would never have made such a comment about a male agent.”

Since this story was published, she has become one of the NFL’s most accomplished agents, representing five Pro Bowlers. She currently has 10 NFL clients – Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Ronnie Stanley, Leonard Fournette, Dez Bryant, Romeo Okwara, Julian Okwara, CJ Henderson, Gabriel Davis and Bryce Love.

Saquon Barkley is selected as the New York Giants' second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft First Round at AT&T Stadium.

Every year Miale has made bigger waves in the industry.

In 2018, she was named in the Forty Under 40 magazine of the Sports Business Journal. From 2016 to 2019, Miale represented four of the top 10 consecutive picks in the NFL Draft along with Gurley, Stanley, Fournette and Barkley. That’s a record for most of the top 10 picks for a female agent. When Barkley was drafted second by the New York Giants, he became the most drafted player to be represented by a woman. Last October, Miale negotiated an extension of Stanley’s five-year contract worth up to nearly $ 112.9 million. This deal is the biggest NFL contract ever negotiated by a woman.

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“Look, I think that’s awesome – it’s good to have these accomplishments on my resume,” Miale said, “but I’m still thinking about the next deal, what to do, what next client to do. I have to recruit. If I hang on to these things and rest on my laurels I think you get a little complacent then I never want that to happen. So I think that’s great, but I can’t focus on this book; I’d better focus on just continuing to do a good job for the clients I have and getting new clients as well.

Miale will continue to break down barriers as a force in an industry dominated by men. Go ahead and judge her by the heels she wears to NFL stadiums in the fall, but it won’t matter. Kim Miale has come too far to fail now.

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