ESPN journalist Mina Kimes first joined the company in 2014 after writing an essay about how she and her dad bonded over watching the Seattle Seahawks together. In the past decade, she’s continued to create content that embraces the emotional side of sports while also making smart observations about what’s happening on the field.
Kimes has contributed to written, visual, and audio formats with ESPN, and now she’s being rewarded in a big way. The company announced it had signed Kimes to a deal that will pay her $1.7 million annually.
The timing is a little tough, as ESPN laid off about 20 on-air personalities in June. But Kimes has proven to be a valuable resource for the network. While the length of her deal is unknown, she’ll likely stay at least through the 2026 NFL season, when ESPN hosts the Super Bowl.
Kimes was making six figures prior to this deal, so it’s a hefty pay raise. But it also highlights her impressive business skills — she’s diversified her media portfolio to sign deals with multiple companies.
Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions signed Kimes’ podcast, The Mina Kimes Show Featuring Lenny, to a contract last season, pushing the production of the show from one to two times per week.
Kimes also recently secured a deal with Dan Le Batard’s Meadowlark Media, where she’ll continue appearing on the network’s shows. Le Batard joined ESPN in 1998 as a writer for ESPN The Magazine and continued working with the company for more than two decades before departing in January 2021.
Most notably, Le Batard hosted The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, featuring Kimes as a regular contributor and person who was not afraid to get silly if the situation called for it.
In an age when sports media is driven by personalities, Kimes has done a fantastic job building her brand. She’s parlayed that into multiple contracts that will pay her more than $2 million per year. And based on her history, we bet she’s not quite done yet.