D.C. United Names Danita Johnson President of Business Operations, First-Ever Black President in Major League Soccer
Photo Credit: Emily Assiran/Getty Images for Bustle
It does not have to be February for us to celebrate Black achievements here at AfroTech.
According to a press release, Danita Johnson has made history as the new President of Business Operations for D.C. United soccer team — the first-ever Black president of a Major League Soccer (MLS) club.
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At 37-years-old, Johnson is one of the handful of women that are in the highest executive ranks in the league’s history, as stated in the release. She previously served as president and CEO of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. Under her leadership, ticket sales increased by 50 percent between 2014 and 2017, in addition to an increase in attendance in 2017 and 2019, among other accomplishments.
No stranger to the sports industry, she has also worked with the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and Tulsa Shock along with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and the NBA G League’s Bakersfield Jam, according to the press release.
“I’ve learned a lot from my time with the NBA, especially the Los Angeles Sparks organization,” said Johnson in a statement. “It is my belief that establishing a winning culture off the field impacts every aspect of the business, from fan interactions to community engagement, I am committed to doing just this for one of the most storied and decorated clubs in American soccer history.”
Johnson comes with nearly two decades of sports career experience, something that D.C. United CEO and co-chairman, Jason Levien says will help her exceed expectations of not only leading the team’s business but also bringing developments to the club.
“Throughout her career, Danita has demonstrated the ability to develop a positive and inspiring work culture, and she has done a tremendous job connecting with the communities in which she has lived and worked,” said Levien. ” We are thrilled that she has agreed to join us at this critical moment in D.C. United’s trajectory.”
In her role, Johnson has been tapped to assist with advertising the team in an effort to grow its sponsorships and fanbase. She also will be responsible for overseeing Loudoun United’s business — a second-division team also owned by the D.C. organization — and arranging non-MLS events.