We had the good fortune of connecting with Arielle Moyal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arielle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
While Moyal Enterprises is a place for me to carry out my vision for what a sports marketing agency and athlete advocacy can be, it is also a place where I don’t focus strictly on my success, but also the advancements of those around me. We all spend countless hours thinking about the ideal working environment, one where we are valued, challenged, and compensated appropriately. But those are just a few of the factors that go into our decision making process; do we enjoy what we are working on, with the people we’re collaborating with in an environment that fosters successful relationships, are we making a difference? While I received some of those elements at various times in my career, they were hardly all present together. It was time to build a place where I provided all of that and more for everyone on my team, and our clients. Being a woman in the sports industry, it is important for me to be a role model for the next generation, to be the mentor that I desperately wanted early in my career. I have worked with athletes for 17 years, but I didn’t find a female mentor until I was 29yo. That needs to change. I am an advocate not just for our athletes, but for women that want to take their place at the decision-making table. While women in leadership positions are trending in a positive direction, we still have room to grow as an industry when it comes to representation and Moyal Enterprises will be a vessel for those advancements on and off the field / court / or where ever you play.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I stand before you as living proof of what it has meant in terms of opportunities for women in sports and the business world. My “how I got here” is wildly unique, but it teaches a few valuable lessons. One, you can reinvent yourself whenever you want. Two, no two person’s path has to be the same to get to a similar end point. And three, sometimes the universe guides you and it’s up to you to either embrace that guidance or fight it. I would implore you to embrace it.
I was an athlete. A very good one, who played multiple sports but excelled the most in soccer. I would travel year round to tournaments, wake up early to attend 6am practices at high school before class started, spend my weekends dedicated to playing, and everything else it takes to excel at the highest level. I had some schools looking at me, interested, no offers yet… and then, during an away high school soccer game I stepped on an uneven part of the field at Notre Dame Academy and tore everything in my left ankle. I mean everything. I couldn’t walk for 6 months and had to rehab. My ankle wasn’t the same the next season and eventually I was told to consider ankle surgery. I wasn’t even 18 years old.
I graduated high school in 2005. Before I had to chose where I was going to go to college, I had to make a different, very hard decision. Interest from some DII Universities to play soccer was still available, but they were contingent on me getting surgery, rehabbing, and seeing if I came out strong enough to make the team. My spot wasn’t guaranteed. In 2005, there was no NWSL. In fact, there was hardly women’s professional soccer unless you were a national team player. Obtaining a career playing soccer professionally was nearly impossible. I had to ask myself whether I would follow my passion or follow logic. I followed logic and enrolled at UCLA. That decision changed my life.
I started my college journey as a chemistry major. I had always wanted to be a doctor. While in school, I needed to get a job and my mom knew someone in the athletic department who needed student hires. Excellent; “I know sports, this will be easy,” I said to myself. I interviewed for a position in the UCLA Compliance and Recruiting department, being one of the faces of campus to evaluate and convince high-profile student athlete recruits to come to UCLA, and spent four years in that department through the duration of my time on campus. Normally, they don’t keep seniors but I had showed how knowledgeable I was on athlete profiles and was given accelerated tasks my senior year, working more closely with the department Director and assisting with 5-star recruits, like Kevin Love. It was a journey; when all my friends were tailgating at football games on Saturday, I was chaperoning players and their parents on the football field side line. I worked very hard to make something of myself through those four years. When I look back now, it’s crazy to think that not only was I going to school full time, double majoring (I eventually went to Pre-Med + Poli Sci), I was interning in the neuroscience department at Cedars Sinai, interning in the suicide watch ER facilities at Kaiser Permanente, and working full time for UCLA Athletics. But I found my niche; I wanted to help people and I was good at working with athletes. I just didn’t know, at the time, that eventually those two things would merge together.
I spent a lot of time on that backstory for a reason. Because it’s the foundation for what became my career and who I am. Whenever I needed a pulse on whether I was on the right path, I reference that time in my life. College is a time when you figure everything out. It’s about making mistakes, taking chances, and leaning into what life is presenting to you. I think it’s one of the only times where willpower, impulsivity, and your gut drive your decisions more than your logical mind. It’s why I think some of your choices can be the most pure, the most honest what you actually want and who you are. Many people push those feelings to the side and I think it winds them up in careers they “should” do. I took the MCAT eventually, and had planned to go to med school, but something told me not to. My gut told me not to. Instead, I pursued an insane idea at the time to follow a career in sports, working with athletes specifically. In August 2022, it will be seventeen years of this athlete driven career. Listen to your gut.
After my first job in UCLA compliance, I was hired by the UCLA Men’s Basketball team when I graduated college as their second administrator. I did executive assistant duties for the Head Coach, as well as team operations, player development, alumni relations, booster schmoozing, video coordinating assistance, and really anything the department needed. I created the UCLA Men’s Basketball Twitter and Instagram, and the same handles are used to this day. I created their alumni database, something UCLA didn’t have despite it’s basketball legacy with John Wooden. But I think my proudest accomplishment was the burdens I fought against as the only woman in the department. The Title IX victories I accomplished that will leave a direct impact on UCLA Men’s Basketball forever and have bettered the jobs of the females that followed me. (I CAN PROVIDE ACTUAL EXAMPLES IF YOU WOULD LIKE THEM.)
From 2014 – 2016 I worked for the Sacramento Kings in their Player Development department. Anything that touched the athletes, I was involved in. This included any other department wanting to get in front of the players; you had to go through me. In 2016, I came back to Los Angeles to work for the legendary agent, Bill Duffy. I did PR and Marketing for his client roster, which included Luka Doncic, Steve Nash, Zach LaVine, DeAndre Ayton, Yao Ming, Joakim Noah, Kelly Oubre Jr., and many others. This was the first time I generated revenue for players and I was really good at it. I did some firsts, like having Zach LaVine be the first athlete ever in a Starbucks marketing campaign, and created some really unique campaigns, like the virtual dunk content with Aaron Gordon and Intel. But what I was most proud of at this job was what it taught me about failure. Asking someone to give you money isn’t easy. You also cannot force someone to give you that money or like your idea. I realized quickly I had to welcome the idea that failure was a part of my job. I embraced what each NO taught me instead of allowing it to discourage me. That amounted to my being one of their most successful marketers, especially in generating revenue dollars in uncommon ways and for players considered less than valuable.
I left BDA Sports in 2019 to go to REP1 Sports as their Head of Baseball Marketing. This was a new challenge, my bread and butter was basketball. In two short years, I went from a department of one (I was in control of all off field items for their 125 baseball roster), to growing a department of 15, assisting in a baseball acquisition which brought me Ronald Acuna Jr, creating their basketball division including staff hiring, the announcement plan, branding, release and everything else that goes into a new sport, creating a collegiate NIL division, assisting the CEO and aiding in the new building purchase and training center design. All while being the major revenue generator, negotiating almost 5+ times what my predecessor made before me, during a 1/3 baseball season played in 2020 and the only woman of decision making power across the whole company. I was promoted throughout this and ended my time at REP1 in October 2021 as the Vice President of Baseball, Basketball and Collegiate NIL. But burnout, having my concerns continually fall on deaf ears, and being underpaid led me to quit.
Moyal Enterprises was announced on March 1st, 2022. My company wasn’t something I thought would happen, but circumstances surrounding my first, personally signed client, Lauren Sesselmann, changed how I envisioned entrepreneurship. Initially, I was fielding requests from many of REP1s competitors to be a contractor. I wanted to work for myself, I knew that much, but I didn’t know in what capacity and I was still emotionally drained from the aftermath of REP1. Lauren was sent to me by an NFL agent I knew, and in my intro call I took with Lauren, she detailed the predatory nature of past teams she had been on, the money stolen from her, the issues with her past representation, and so much more. The bottom line was a theme of greed. It was taking from a talented woman for greed, and she felt hopeless but needed help. I was angry. And even though I didn’t know where my life was going, I said I would help her.
Everything changed that day. I thought about my own experience and what Lauren told me. I partially quit my old job because I was sick and tired of making other people wealthy, but being bound myself to someone else determining what I was worth, even though I was integral in the acquisition and retention of athlete agency clients who’s agents only saw a dime from their playing contract. And here I was, also hearing another woman, someone who has an Olympic medalist, who’s been to the world Cup, who played 15 years of professional soccer tell me she was hopeless. I knew what that felt like. My vision for my future no longer became about me, but about doing better for athletes, especially for women. And with that, Moyal Enterprises was born.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In Los Angeles, we have millions of things to do. But there is something about the Pacific Ocean I can’t seem to move away from. If money was no option, my weeklong trip with my bestie would be mainly dedicated to a “best of the coast”. I’d start in Santa Barbara, which I know is technically not in LA, but close enough. The first stop would be Mony’s Mexican Food, followed by roaming the Funk Zone (especially Pali Wine Co), and ending in a shared table dinner at The Lark. Heading back to LA, where do I begin? Redondo Beach. Hermosa Beach. Playa. Spend a day playing beach volleyball with strangers and meeting new people. Definitely a bonfire at Dockweiler with friends, smores and some good music. Mid-week, venturing to where I grew up, the Fairfax area, and exploring LACMA, the La Brea Tar Pits, the Farmer’s Market and Melrose Blvd. Catch a show at the Hollywood Bowl, a fireworks night preferred. And ending the week exploring Grand Central Market in downtown LA, capping it off with a rooftop cocktail at Perch on a live jazz night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The rulebreakers. I’ve always been inspired by people who chose “the other”. In grade school when we had to do a project on a famous scientist, I picked Marie Curie. My high school AP English freshman project was on Toni Morrison. I grew up watching Kobe Bryant and his “prove them wrong” mentality. I will have the moment Brandi Chastain slid across the pitch in her bra after her game-winning penalty kick in the 1999 World Cup burned in my memory forever. There is something about the right kind of rulebreaker; they seem to live the most authentic lives.
Instagram: @ajmoyal / @moyal_ent
Twitter: @ajmoyal / @moyal_ent
Other: TikTok: @ajmoyal / @moyal_ent
None! All my images to use.