SBJ/October 10-16, 2011/Game Changers

Game Changers: Stacey Allaster

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COURTESY OF WTA
Allaster’s family accompanied her during her induction into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame.
Stacey Allaster
WTA
Chairman and CEO

Stacey Allaster’s first job in tennis was as a youngster cleaning the courts at her local club, earning just enough money, she said, to buy a soda. Allaster has a bit more change in her pocket these days as head of the WTA, having moved up the ranks tirelessly to the group’s corner office. As the head of the top pro sport for women, Allaster says it’s important for a woman to be in charge of the circuit, even if that has not always been the case.

“The fact I am female, it is a little easier for some of our younger athletes to sit with me and open up,” she said. “Sometimes, they are not as comfortable when it is a male.”

— Daniel Kaplan
  • Crowning professional achievement: Becoming chairman and CEO of WTA.
  • Biggest professional disappointment: Losing my trusted, right-hand, incredibly talented colleague and friend David Shoemaker to the NBA, where he is now CEO of NBA China.
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received?: Get sales experience if you want to succeed in the sports industry.
  • What keeps you awake at night?: Player, staff and fan safety.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Dutchy Doerr, my first tennis coach. Dutchy introduced me to the sport, launched my teaching pro/club management jobs during college, and created networking opportunities to secure my first full-time job with the Ontario Tennis Association.
  • One attribute I look for when hiring is …: Integrity, and respect for others.
  • If I had to do it all over again, I would …: Have my family earlier in life.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“No executive is more committed to her constituents than Stacey is to hers. She brings a rare combination of creativity, forthrightness and pragmatism to her role at the WTA, and this is why she is one of the great leaders in sports.”

  • Gordon Smith, USTA executive director and COO
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