SEATTLE - The Seattle Storm announced today that Karen Bryant, Chief Operating Officer for the Storm, has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. The Storm is owned and operated by the Women's Basketball Club of Seattle. Until the end of February, the Women's Basketball Club was part of the Professional Basketball Club, led by Clay Bennett, which had owned and operated both the Sonics & Storm.
As of March 1, the Club is now owned by a group of four Seattle women, Force 10 Hoops L.L.C. Force 10 Hoops announced in early January that they had secured an exclusive option with Bennett's group to purchase the team in order to keep it in Seattle, and had until the end of February to get League approval for the transaction and complete the sale.
"Then, before we did anything else, there was no question that our next action would be to promote Karen. The Storm is known across the country as an impressive, well-run organization, and for that Karen Bryant deserves the credit. Her leadership has been fundamental to the success of the Storm from day one. We are very pleased to have her at the helm."
"I am thrilled to continue to play a leadership role for the Storm,” said Bryant. “The new owners bring with them an unprecedented amount of passion and vision for the future or our organization and I’m grateful for the chance to work on their behalf. We have the best fans in the WNBA, Coach Agler is putting together an All-Star caliber team, and I am excited about the future of the Storm. There’s no place I’d rather be.”
An original architect of the Storm franchise, Karen Bryant has been instrumental in the team’s growth. She joined the Sonics & Storm on June 18, 1999, just 11 days after Seattle was awarded a WNBA expansion franchise, and is now in her eighth year with the organization. Bryant’s leadership contributed to the Storm’s 2004 WNBA Championship, the first major professional sports title in Seattle in 25 years. Bryant is well known in the basketball community, having served as the director of operations and later as assistant general manager and general manager of the Seattle Reign and having played at Woodway High School as a member of the 1986 AA High School State Championship team, at Green River Community College, Seattle University and University of Washington.
On Monday, the Storm announced the signing of Sheryl Swoopes. Two weeks before that, the Storm acquired two-time WNBA champion and two-time WNBA All-Star Swin Cash from the Detroit Shock. Season tickets for the Storm's 2008 season are on sale now, with the season opener on May 17 against the Chicago Sky. For fans and businesses who want to show support for the Storm and the new local owners, season tickets and group ticket packages can be purchased by calling (206) 217-WNBA or at storm.wnba.com.