SBD/Issue 221/Franchises

WNBA Storm Seeks New Staff, Lease Deal After Sonics Departure

Storm Seeks Staff In Wake Of Sonics' Departure
The WNBA Storm, following the Sonics' move to Oklahoma City, needs to "hire up to 30 people for key positions ... in marketing, public relations and corporate and ticket sales, adding to the team's overhead costs," according to Greg Lamm of the PUGET SOUND BUSINESS JOURNAL. The Storm had a shared services agreement with the Sonics, and in addition to "building the front office, the Storm also will relaunch negotiations with the city of Seattle in hopes of locking up a long-term lease" at KeyArena. Storm CEO Karen Bryant said that the team this season is averaging almost 8,000 fans per game, up about 5% from '07. The Storm also has sponsorship deals with 34 companies and organizations, and the team this season renewed deals with Starbucks, Microsoft, Children's Hospital and "10 others that supported the team when it was owned by the Sonics." But the city of Seattle "isn't raking in much money from the games." In '07, there were around 25 Storm events at KeyArena, including 17 regular-season games where the city "averaged a net income of $111 a game, adding up to a total of about $1,900 in net revenue for the regular season" (PUGET SOUND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/1 issue).

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