- Executive Vice President, Human Capital and Special Projects
The HEAT Group
A veteran of the dynamic South Florida sports market for more than two decades, Kim Stone’s experience spans almost every functional area of a professional sports team. She has been an integral part of building the success of the Miami HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena by developing and implementing sound business strategies and management practices.
Promoted to her current position of Executive Vice President, Human Capital and Special Projects & General Manager in 2006, Stone is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the award-winning AmericanAirlines Arena.
The arena is home to the three-time World Champion Miami HEAT (2006, 2012 and 2013) and has hosted four consecutive NBA Finals (from 2010-2014). Stone’s leadership has propeled AmericanAirlines Arena to achieve top rankings in overall fan satisfaction and in-game experience according to the NBA’s annual game experience survey.
For the past six years, the facility has consistently ranked as one of the world’s busiest. According to Pollstar Magazine’s 2017 year-end rankings, the waterfront venue maintains its position as #1 in Florida, #6 in the United States and 16th in the world for total ticket sales.
Additionally, the “home of the HEAT” has proudly hosted megastars such as Adele, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, U2, Madonna, Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand, Shakira, Marc Anthony, The Eagles, Pearl Jam, Maná, and Ricardo Arjona to name a few. It has also welcomed recurring events including the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina and the Miami HoopHall Basketball Invitational as well as family shows such as the Harlem Globetrotters, Cirque du Soleil, WWE, and Disney on Ice.
Under Stone’s guidance, in 2014, the facility became the world’s first sports and entertainment facility to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Recertification by the U.S. Green Building Council for being an international leader in operational sustainability. LEED is USGBC’s leading rating system for designing, constructing and operating the world’s greenest, most energy-efficient, and highest performing buildings.
Additionally, Stone oversees several business departments including Business Intelligence, Data Analytics and Digital Strategy. She is responsible for the service and retention of the Miami HEAT’s season ticket holder base, which ranks among the top five in the NBA. This unique combination of responsibilities allows Stone to create an atmosphere at AmericanAirlines Arena that begins and ends with a laser focus on exceptional guest service.
Stone’s accolades are varied and numerous. In 2013, Venues Today named her to their “Women of Influence” list and the Sports Business Journal has recognized her talents twice: as a “2016 Game Changer” and in June 2017 as a “Power Player In Venue Management.” In the summer of 2009, the South Florida Business Journal honored Stone as part of its inaugural class of “Influential Business Women.” And in 2014, Stone’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communications inducted her into their Hall of Fame.
Because of Stone’s leadership, AmericanAirlines Arena won the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security’s (NCS4) 2013 Facility of Merit award for performing above and beyond normal operations and for demonstrating an innovative approach to enhancing safety and security.
Stone has risen through the ranks of the Miami HEAT organization during her 20+ year tenure. Hired initially into the Sports Media Relations department in 1996, she worked directly with players such as HEAT All Stars Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning as well as Coach Pat Riley and his staff on a daily basis. She coordinated the media operations during the HEAT’s playoff runs from 1996-1999. She worked several NBA All-Star Weekends, including the league’s star-studded 50th Anniversary celebration in 1997. In 1996, she handled the media relations duties for the men’s and women’s basketball competitions at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
On July 16, 1999, she led the organization’s efforts to launch the WNBA’s Miami Sol and was named the Senior Director of Operations. She played a key role in all facets of the startup of the expansion franchise from building awareness and developing the brand to basketball issues such as hiring of the coaching staff. Later, she was charged with overseeing every area from marketing and promotions to the basketball operations.
Stone’s responsibilities changed in 2003 when she became Chief of Staff to HEAT President, Business Operations, and Eric Woolworth. In that role, she helped develop the current version of the service department that is based on an innovative approach to providing superior customer service through a balance of technology and personal touch.
Prior to joining the HEAT, Stone was the Sports Publicity Director for the University of Texas women’s athletics department from 1992-94. She came to South Florida in 1990 as an assistant in the University of Miami’s sports information office, where she worked with many sports including the 1991 National Champion football squad. Stone's publicity efforts for the women’s basketball team helped Miami claim National Coach of the Year and Sports Illustrated Player of the Year honors in 1992.
Stone’s career began at the University of North Carolina, where she assisted in the sports information office while completing her degree in journalism and public relations. In December of 2003, she graduated with honors from the University of Miami with a master’s degree in international business administration. She serves as a board member of the Miami Downtown Development Authority, University of Miami’s President Council, International Association of Venue Managers and the Florida Facility Manager’s Association. Stone is formerly an adjunct professor in the St. Thomas University master’s of sports administration program.