Barbara Slater, England
BBC Director of Sport
Slater has carved out a proud career in sport, both in front of and behind the camera. The 59-year-old became the BBC’s first female Director of Sport in April 2009, landing one of the most-influential jobs in British television. More than three decades prior, the high flyer – in a literal sense – had carried the United Kingdom’s flag at the 1976 Olympics, where she competed in the gymnastics section. A move into television production followed and she steadily worked her way up the corporation’s hierarchy as a producer, senior producer, and executive producer. Slater has gone on to organise coverage for the 2012 London Games, plus manage BBC Sport’s relocation from the capital to Salford. Winning back broadcast rights for the FA Cup was a recent success, but cuts – across the BBC – of £800 million make managing the sports portfolio an increasingly fraught task.
– Slater is responsible for 20,000 hours of BBC sports programming.
– A third of women now make up BBC Sport’s workforce, according to Slater.
– Slater was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to sports broadcasting.
Did you know…
Slater’s father, Bill, was named Footballer of the Year in 1960, played for England and is the scorer of Blackpool’s fastest-ever goal (11 seconds, versus Stoke in 1949).
“I’ve been in the industry a long time. It is transformed. If you said when I first joined as an assistant producer that there would have ever have been a woman in my position I would have laughed at you.” – Barbara Slater (Source: The Guardian)
Kim Miale, USA
NFL Agent and General Counsel
When you think NFL agents, you think Moneyball. Men in suits shouting ‘show me the money’. Kim Miale is positive proof of someone who fought for her dream and broken every stereotype in her industry. Miale had been working as an agent, but in 2013 the Suffolk Law School graduate joined Roc Nation, an entertainments agency established by Jay-Z – where she now represents some of the biggest names in American football. The 38-year-old has something of a specialism in representing running backs – with 2019 standout Todd Gurley also on her books.
– Miale has represented or co-represented a top-10 draft pick in each of the last four drafts.
– On some negativity in the early parts of her time with Roc Nation, Miale said: “It’s interesting because I was with a lot of the male agents I think that may have said a lot of things off the record or anonymously, but when I was there no one approached me.”
– In 2018 she was named in Sports Business Daily’s Forty Under 40 list of the best and brightest in the industry.
Did you know…
Miale made history at the 2018 NFL draft when Saquon Barkley was the number two pick – the highest picked athlete to have a female agent.
“I feel more confident with Kim Miale negotiating a deal that I am involved in than any attorney I’ve ever worked with, and that is a big statement.” – Former Carolina Panthers CEO Michael Yormack
Marina Granovskaia, Russia
Chelsea FC Director
Marina Granovskaia may well lay claim to being the most powerful woman in sport, and yet we know so little about her. This is what we know for sure. The Russian-Canadian executive joined the Chelsea board in 2013 and has been mainly responsible for player transfers, a role which has seen her both praised, but more recently critcised, by the club’s fans. She has the final say on all transfer transactions and is known for her iron-like negotiation tactics. A central part of Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich’s vast business empire for over two decades, Granovskaia has been described as the most powerful individual at the club not named Abramovich. However, there are reports her influence is on the wane with the corridors of power at Chelsea beginning to question her judgement after appointing Maurizio Sarri. Still, the 44-year-old is the dealmaker for one of the biggest clubs in international sport and as long as Abramovich remains in London, so will she.
– She has been a trusted alley of Abramovich since joining his oil company Sibneft in 1997 before moving to London after he bought Chelsea six years later.
– The respected publication Forbes listed Granovskaia as the fifth most powerful women in international sports when they released their list in 2018.
– Granovskaia is credited with being the driving force behind the club’s massive Nike sponsorship deal which sees them net £60 million per year until 2032.
Did you know…
There is very little known of Granovskaia’s background but she does hold dual Canadian-Russian nationality and speaks both Russian and English.
“She is basically the power at Chelsea. Roman trusts her implicitly.” – A source talking to the London Evening Standard