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Volume 21 No. 6

Labor and Agents

R
oc Nation Sports agent Kim Miale continues to set benchmarks for female agents in the NFL following the signing of Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

Miale is representing Barkley on the field and is co-representing him for all off-the-field endeavors with Michael Yormark, Roc Nation president and chief of branding and strategy. If Barkley is drafted in the top 10, as expected, it will be the fourth time in four years that Miale has represented or co-represented a top-10 NFL draft pick.

She already holds the record for a female NFL agent, representing multiple top-10 picks, and has experience representing the best running back in the draft. She represented or co-represented Rams running back Todd Gurley, No. 10 in 2015; Ravens tackle Ronnie Stanley, No. 6 in 2016; and Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, No. 4 last year.

NFL Draft Scout senior analyst Rob Rang has Barkley ranked No. 3, behind USC quarterback Sam Darnold and UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, on his mock draft.

“Barkley is the best athlete in the draft, in my opinion, and should be in contention to be the first pick,” Rang said. “However, the greater impact quarterbacks have on teams winning and losing in the NFL could cause the clubs at the top to opt for one of them over Barkley.”

Saquon Barkley is a projected top-10 pick in the NFL draft.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Barkley put up nearly 5,600 all-purpose yards and scored 54 touchdowns over three years at Penn State. He has won numerous awards, including being the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017.

Not surprisingly, Miale agrees that Barkley is the best athlete. “He is a transformational player who can go in, contribute on day one, whereas with a quarterback there may be some time where they have to develop,” she said. “I do think he has a real chance at No. 1.”

One of the reasons he signed with Roc Nation Sports is that the agency launched by Jay Z in 2013 is selective about the clients it signs and that was important to him. Asked if Jay Z had an impact, Miale said, “Jay Z’s vision is what drives the company, so to that extent, yes. But Saquon didn’t meet with Jay until he signed.”

Miale and Yormark are fielding interest by shoe companies in Barkley, she said. A human-highlight film on the field, he has long-term aspirations to become a broadcaster and businessman when he retires from playing football, Miale said.

> TLA WORLDWIDE KNOWS BO: TLA Worldwide has signed former NFL and MLB player Bo Jackson for exclusive representation in endorsements, speaking, licensing, memorabilia and business endeavors.

Jackson will be represented by TLA Worldwide partner Russ Spielman. TLA had been working with Jackson but not on a formal or exclusive basis.

Jackson, the 1985 Heisman Trophy winner, was the only athlete to be named both an NFL and MLB all-star. Jackson played for the Los Angeles Raiders from 1987 to 1990 and the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and California Angels between 1986 and 1994.

In a prepared statement, Jackson said, “I’ve been doing business with TLA for the past six or seven years and decided that we should put something in writing to benefit both parties.”

> MONTAG GROUP SIGNS ROLLINS: The Montag Group has signed former National League MVP Jimmy Rollins for broadcasting and endorsement work.

TMG agent Gideon Cohen will represent Rollins, who has been a member of TBS’s MLB studio show for the past two seasons. He was not formerly represented for broadcasting.

Rollins, nicknamed “J-Roll,” played shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox from 2000 through 2016 and won numerous awards, including being a three-time all-star and four-time Golden Glove winner. He was on the 2008 Phillies’ World Series champion team and was represented on the field by MVP Sports Group.

OCTAGON SIGNS HAWKINS: Octagon has signed former NFL wide receiver and ESPN broadcaster Andrew Hawkins for broadcasting representation. He’ll be represented by Tim Scanlan, Octagon vice president, sports broadcasting.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.