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Los Angles Sparks hire new president from San Diego Wave front office

(Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Sparks announced Monday that they have hired Vanessa Shay as their new president.

Shay joins the Sparks from the NWSL, where she was chief revenue officer for San Diego Wave FC since the team’s inception in 2021.

She oversaw all revenue generation for the NWSL expansion franchise, and she was key in the signing of the team’s kit sponsors and its medical partner. Also during her tenure, the club had its first consecutive sellouts.

“Through an exhaustive, national search, it became clear that Vanessa was the right leader for our organization,” Sparks managing partner Eric Holoman said in a statement. “Her strong commercial background in the L.A. 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.”

Before joining the Wave, Shay was vice president of global partnerships for AEG Worldwide for 13 years. While with AEG, she oversaw the launch of L.A. Live, which is a $2 billion entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles.

“I look forward to making an immediate impact on the franchise for fans, partners and our players,” Shay said in a statement. “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.”

Shay also has been an executive board member for the LA chapter of Women in Sports and Events for the last 10 years. In 2018, she was named an International Sports Leaders Under 40 award winner and was invited to and completed a WISE leadership program at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

The Sparks are back in action for their home opener Tuesday against the Minnesota Lynx.