On Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King was celebrated and remembered all over the world. Dr. King’s dream of equal opportunity began in Atlanta and it is still thriving there today - especially through the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.
14 months ago, Atlanta businesswomen, Kathy Betty, took over the reigns as the Dream’s majority owner. She purchased the team with a vision to “provide accessible and affordable world-class entertainment for the families of Atlanta.” At the same time, Betty believes that young girls need role models, and the CEO’s of tomorrow are on the basketball courts of today.
Last season, the Dream lived up to the expectation of providing world-class entertainment. The team not only made its second appearance in the playoffs, they advanced to the WNBA finals!
In an interview during the playoffs, Betty was asked about the Dream’s future. She said, “You better believe I have a plan. It’s like anything you do in business. You set out a plan, you understand what you have to invest to get there, then you’ve got to get it on course. I’ll tell you, winning a conference championship really jump-starts that plan. I didn’t plan for this.”
While it’s clear Betty didn’t plan to go to the 2010 WNBA Finals this soon, she certainly hinted at better things to come on the financial front.
This week Betty made good on that promised, and announced two new investors in the Dream’s ownership group – Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler. Brock is a philanthropist and sports advocate. While Loeffler is the Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate communications for IntercontinentalExchange. Betty is also no stranger to the business world. Her background is in finance and computer science, and she was one of the first female partners at Ernst & Young. Betty, Brock, and Loeffler are the only all-female pro sports ownership group in Atlanta, and one of four all-female groups in the WNBA.
When I watched the press conference announcing this new venture, I was so excited to see these amazing businesswomen genuinely interested in investing their money and time in women’s basketball; especially since it’s no secret that the WNBA has fought long and hard to get fans, sponsors, and the media to support the league.
Behind every great sports franchise is someone with heart, determination, and a PLAN! The franchises that thrive are the ones with true leaders from the top down. Kathy Betty is showing Atlanta and the sports world that she’s willing to lead the Dream into a prosperous future and she has a plan to do it.
Good Luck Kathy Betty and the Atlanta Dream! We will all be watching!
Good Night Sports Fans,