Dominique Stapleton is the CEO and Founder of Stapling Success. Dominique spent the majority of her collegiate time studying abroad in Trinidad & Tobago. She then transferred and completed a B.A in Business Administration from Bowie State University.
Before founding Stapling Success, Ms. Stapleton explored the world of business and finance; she worked with various organizations from the Orange Bowl Committee to Carib Brewery. Dominique also co-founded a marketing technology company called SwipeDOWN. There, she helped brand and manage the marketing and finances for several companies throughout Atlanta, New York, and Washington D.C.
Dominique has worked with athletes in the NBA G League, NFL, and FIBA on various financial projects such as credit consulting and tax planning strategies. She has also created courses such as the “Extra Credit Program” and “Financially Fit Athletes.” Dominique has educated and impacted the lives of countless athletes and their families.
After working with athletes and their finances for a few years, Dominique wanted to offer her clients more. In 2020, she became a Certified NBA sports agent. As an agent and athlete advocate, Dominique vows to be the bridge between athletes’ success on and off the field.
Jason Morrin: Tell me how your various roles in high school led you to form the belief that you could one day work in sports and, specifically, financial education?
Dominique Stapleton: I was the class president, a cheerleader, manager of the band, and sports statistician at my high school. The football coach noticed that I was the only one who the players really listened to and trusted. He noticed that I seemed responsible for them: I made sure they attended classes and were doing the things they needed to do. When my senior year came, the coach acknowledged that a lot of my classmates had the chance to go to D1 schools and asked if I had ever thought about going into sports management. I took on that role and grew closer to a lot of the players, not only as a friend but also on the professional side.
JM: As a financial educator, do you work to equip your clients with a financial blueprint and the knowledge to make smart choices, or does your work come in more day-to-day operations?
DS: It’s a little bit of both. We are moving more into financial education and literacy right now. While working daily on building credit and similar matters, we realized that, foundationally, there is a problem. We are not teaching financial literacy in schools and no one really knows how to manage the wealth they find themselves in. Now, I am building financial literacy programs into schools as virtual after-school programs and seminars to work at creating a foundation of how to open a bank account and understand credit. A lot of times, kids are overdrafting because money has become so digital and they are often unaware of when their money is gone. We are moving towards building the foundation for the youth coming up so we can change the trajectory to building businesses, understanding how debt and credit work, and controlling spending. I’m a firm believer in “you attract what you are,” so luckily, the people who come to me want help. They want to be financially literate and secure.
JM: You mentioned starting businesses, is that something you help facilitate and encourage your clients to pursue?
DS: I am all about building businesses. I went to a VaynerSports super bowl event, and there, they spoke about all the injuries that football players get. Those same players often then don’t want to play anymore but get stuck thinking that this is my check and the only way I get paid. At the time, one of the representatives said we don’t want to face this. We want to start building players’ businesses from the beginning so that when they come to that time when they don’t want to play anymore, they have a business that is generating just as much money as their salary, if not more. When I started my agency, that was something at the top of my mind. I have players who haven’t even been signed yet and still we are blueprinting, figuring out their interests. Ok you like gaming, lets look at the market. I teach them as we are going through this process together. I show them how I am building my business to help them understand how they might want to build their businesses.
JM: What are one or two skills that have served you best when working with clients?
DS: My communication skills. I am a listener, all day. It could be that thing that you said a year ago that will resonate with me and I’ll bring it back. Also, I am younger, so all the players that I work with say ‘Dominique you understand things that our parents and an older agent wouldn’t.’ Also, I can let them know, from an experience standpoint, that we are coming up from a different generation- we are the millennials- but you still have to do things a certain way. So, I kind of act as a big sister, in a way.
JM: What would you want a potential new client to know about Dominique Stapleton?
DS: A lot of people in the industry are hardworking, but something unique about me is, my clients say ‘Dominique you answer the phone when I call. We talk at least once or twice per week and I know you will answer a facetime at 1:00 in the morning if I have a question. A question can never be too small and I’m never afraid to ask you.’ My clients can be themselves. As an African-American female with red hair and dreadlocks, I let my players know: be who you are. Be your authentic self and it will serve you well in the future. If you say something today that does not represent your authentic self, you may have to address and explain that in the future. You might as well say what you mean and how you truly feel now so that it will translate today, tomorrow, and 10 years from now.
JM: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
DS: A lot of people ask me how I feel about being an African-American female in a male dominated industry. One thing I am big on is that I don’t want people to get caught up about those things, I want to be viewed within the masses as the best sports agent. I don’t want to be categorized as the female agent. I want to be on the same playing field and competitive level as the rest. I want people to say, ‘Dominique Stapleton did x, y, and z.’ Not the ‘female agent.’ My father always told me ‘don’t try to be the best female in the class, be the best in the class, period.’ I want that to translate to my career.
Dominique’s journey can be followed at the online destinations listed below: