NEW YORK, July 27, 2017 – The WNBA announced today that Ann Rodriguez, an accomplished operational leader with more than 15 years of management experience, will join the league as Senior Vice President, WNBA League Operations, effective Aug. 7. She will report to NBA President, League Operations Byron Spruell, with a dedicated focus on the WNBA.
In her role, Rodriguez will oversee all on-court basketball operations, including playing rules, scouting, scheduling and venue compliance. She also will oversee the management of referee operations and the administration of player-related policies and programs.
“Ann is an experienced leader with diverse skills in both the sports and corporate sectors,” said Spruell. “Her background, her strong track record in management and operations combined with her leadership skills and keen sports knowledge will be invaluable as the WNBA continues to grow as a business and deliver the highest quality of play on the court.”
“As someone who has been in and around sports throughout my life and my professional career, it is a privilege to join a league such as the WNBA that is home to immensely talented athletes who exemplify what it means to be a modern-day female athlete — women who excel at what they do on the court and are positive role models in their communities,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez comes to the WNBA from Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United FC, where she most recently served as Vice President of Business Operations. She spearheaded the team’s marketing strategy and business plans, focusing on ticket sales, marketing, events, digital and social media, broadcast, sponsorships, retail, communications and community relations. In its inaugural season, the team leads the league in season tickets (more than 35,000) and attendance (over 46,000 fans per game).
Prior to joining Atlanta United FC, Rodriguez worked with NextGen Angels, an investment group focused on early-stage companies, where she served as Senior Vice President in its Washington, D.C., office. Rodriguez also held a variety of leadership roles at Under Armour, working in strategy as well as global brand and sports marketing. She led Under Armour into the Premier League with its landmark partnership with Tottenham Hotspur and completed the brand’s first soccer sponsorship in South America, signing Colo Colo FC of Chile. She previously served as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes.
A native of Annapolis, Md., Rodriguez was recognized as a winner of SportsBusiness Journal’s “Forty under 40” Award in 2017. She has a B.A. degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business.