Q&A With President Steve Swetoha
Tulsa Shock: The season ended over two months ago – what do you do in the off-season?
Steve Swetoha: This is a question we all get as Shock employees. There really is no offseason in professional sports. We are all busy working on all facets of our organization in getting ready for the 2011 season. We really did not have a offseason this past year with us having only four months to get our organization off the ground. The offseason is where we can make a huge impact in preparing for next season with implementing our business plans. We are busy renewing and selling new season tickets, corporate partnerships, along with working on our game presentation, community relations, customer retention - in essence the offseason is as busy as the regular season.
TS: What was the mood like in the WNBA Draft Lottery room before the drawing? After the drawing?
SS: The mood was pretty calm for the most part. We always thought wherever we fell in the draft we were going to get a good player. We had a lot of other executives from other teams ask us how we felt and wished us good luck. After the drawing, we were extremely excited to get the second pick and I was happy for Minnesota and my good friend Conrad Smith (Minnesota Lynx COO) for being awarded the first pick.
TS: First reaction when you found out the Shock were awarded the second overall pick?
SS: Relief that it was finally over and now we know where we stand and will begin to work really hard on this second pick.
TS: Moving towards the holiday season, what are some exciting Shock initiatives that you and your team are currently working on?
SS: Well we have been working on our holiday packs along with our partial plan ticket packages that will be released the day after Thanksgiving. We are also working on our free school assembly program that will begin the first of the year. We are also hard at work on our youth basketball program where we will begin our youth programming at Good Shepherd Church on Skelly Drive. Those are probably the most important initiatives at this time.
TS: Comparing your team and organization to this point last year and where you are now, how are your expectation different both on and off the court?
SS: The team was just purchased in October last year so the team that was assembled with the help of the NBA was just trying to secure the number of seats and sponsorships. We are certainly leaps and bounds ahead of where we were this time last year. We have our marketing plan in place, a full staff and time to plan for elements that we never got to start prior to the first season. Our expectation off the court is to be in a sold out situation and we certainly have a ways to go but we have built a strong foundation. We want to earn the trust of the Tulsa community and continue to build a solid season ticket holder and corporate partnership base. On the court, we were disappointed however we have a chance in this draft with two picks in the first seven picks to make a leap in 2011.