Shock President Steve Swetoha Looks Ahead to 2011
Tulsa Shock: Last month you attended the Board of Governorís meetings in New York city. What were your takeaways from these meetings?
Steve Swetoha One of the first things I have to say is that the energy and excitement in the room with all of the owners was extremely positive and refreshing. This was the first time we all got together since the announcement of Donna Orender leaving the WNBA. I have been part of the league over the last 15 years and I have never felt as good about our league as I did those two days in New York. Commissioner David Stern was present for both days and his presence, knowledge and his continued commitment to this league is as strong as it ever has ever been. He is committed in helping us make this league even more viable and successful. The owners of our league are committed, passionate and unified in growing the business across all business units. At the end of the day, we all realize the potential this league has with our players, fans and communities on many different levels.
TS: What does the addition of Teresa Edwards bring to this organization?
SS: We are thrilled and fortunate to have Teresa Edwards become part of our basketball staff. Teresa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience about our league and players. She has a strong reputation around the womenís basketball circles both nationally and internationally. Her experience in the Olympics, numerous gold medals along with playing and coaching in this league is really going to elevate our reputation in this league. Her relationships within the league and her knowledge of the players coming out of college and current players in the league is an asset for our organization going into the 2011 season.
[Related Story: Fall 2010 Q&A With President Steve Swetoha ]
TS: What was your first reaction when you found out that Shanna Crossley would miss the 2011 season?
SS: How terrible I felt for Shanna because I know she has battled through her share of injuries in her young career in the WNBA. She is a fan favorite amongst many of our season ticket holders and there were quite a few fans sad to hear the news. We know Shanna will work extremely hard in the offseason to get healthier and we look forward to seeing her return to the Shock.
TS: What do you anticipate the addition of Andrea Riley will bring to the Shock on and off the court?
SS: We are excited to have Andrea become part of the Shock family. I have heard nothing but great things about her on and off the court. I had a chance to talk with Andrea briefly the day she was traded and she is so excited to become part of our organization. I had a chance to talk with the President of the Los Angeles Sparks about her and he talked about how great she was with the fans and how we are getting a really good player. He shared a story about a basketball clinic she was a part of and how she was engaged with the kids and how inspirational and caring a person she is. On the court, Andrea being a point guard will add leadership to our backcourt and someone who can shoot the basketball.
TS: With the roster beginning to take shape, how are your expectations being molded on the business front?
SS: Well with our first true offseason our staff continues to work diligently in improving in all phases of the business operations. We are having a strong season and corporate sales campaign. Our marketing efforts over the last few months have been exceptional and we look to implore those strategies and programs in the coming weeks. We continue to build relationships and earn the respect of the community. Our ownership is committed to the city of Tulsa over the long-haul and we know this is not a sprint, it is a marathon. So we feel good where we sit today from a business perspective.