LA Veteran Sports Executive to Lead Sparks Business Operations
LOS ANGELES (May 16, 2022) – The Los Angeles Sparks have named sports industry veteran Vanessa Shay as President. Beginning today, Shay will oversee all Sparks business operations and will report directly to Sparks Managing Partner, Eric Holoman. SRI Executive led a national search to fill this role.
“We are ecstatic to name Vanessa Shay the next President of the Los Angeles Sparks,” Sparks Managing Partner Eric Holoman said. “Through an exhaustive, national search, it became clear that Vanessa was the right leader for our organization. Her strong commercial background in the LA sports and entertainment market will be instrumental to the Sparks continued growth. She has a deep passion for women’s sports and is committed to leading the Sparks through a new era of success.”
Shay comes to the Sparks from the NWSL’s San Diego Wave FC, where she served as Chief Revenue Officer since the team’s inception in 2021, guiding the new franchise through a successful expansion effort. Shay oversaw all revenue generation for the team, highlighted with the signing of the team’s kit sponsors and medical partner. Additionally, she guided the team to its first set of consecutive sell-out games and consistently was a NWSL leader in team merchandise sales.
“In partnership with Sparks ownership and General Manager/Head Coach Derek Fisher, I look forward to making an immediate impact on the franchise for fans, partners and our players,” Sparks President Vanessa Shay said. “The Sparks are one of the premier franchises in women’s sports, and I am committed to innovating our business operations and building on the championship legacy of the organization.”
Prior to joining the Wave FC, Shay served as Vice President of Global Partnerships for Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG Worldwide) for 13 years. In the role, Shay oversaw the launch of L.A Live, the $2 billion entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles, selling marquee sponsorships for the property, and was part of building out one of the most robust corporate partnership portfolios in entertainment.
Shay is active in the LA business and philanthropy community, including sitting for 10 years as an Executive Board Member for the LA chapter of Women in Sports and Events, Inc. (WISE). She was named a 2018 International Sports Leaders Under 40 award winner, and completed an invite-only Women in Sports Executive Leadership program at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
Follow Vanessa on Instagram and Twitter @LASparksPrez.
The Sparks Home Opener is Tuesday, May 17 against the Minnesota Lynx at 7:30 p.m. PT at Crypto.com Arena. Single-game tickets can be purchased at https://sparks.wnba.com/.
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES SPARKS
Founded in 1996, the Los Angeles Sparks are one of three original franchises in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Sparks have won three WNBA Championships (2001, 2002, 2016), have qualified for the playoffs in 20 of their 25 seasons and remain the only active team in the league to win back-to-back titles. The Los Angeles Sparks are dedicated to ensuring each home game at Crypto.com Arena has a championship level entertainment experience while showcasing the best female athletes from around the world on the court. LA Sparks 2022 season tickets are available here for purchase.
Contact: Corrie Hemry, Manager, Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org | (714) 461-8713