Retired WNBA legend Candace Parker named president of Adidas women’s basketball

A little over a week after announcing her retirement from the WNBA, Candace Parker is moving into a new role as president of Adidas women’s basketball.

According to Adidas, Parker will “collaborate with the brand to create a powerful platform aimed at influencing and elevating the future of women’s sports. She will drive innovative strategies and empowering initiatives to push the game further while inspiring the next generation of hoopers to dream bigger and reach higher under her guidance.

“Parker’s role will also involve overseeing the adidas Women’s Basketball product line, and spearheading further development of the brand’s storied women’s roster — which boasts all-stars like Aliyah Boston, Erica Wheeler, Sophie Cunningham, and Kahleah Copper, to name a few.”

As Parker told Fast Company’s AJ Hess, once she knew she was going to stop playing she felt like she could be an asset to Adidas, a brand she has worn since high school.

“The brand and I have grown together, and we’ve done some amazing things,” Parker said. “I’m excited about what the future holds on this side of things, because I’m so passionate about growing the game of basketball.”

In her new role, Parker, who in 2010 was the first woman to have a signature shoe with Adidas, will have a say in product development, branding and which athletes to target. She’ll also push the company to create products that put women first. Adidas is looking for her to help them “speak to the women’s basketball consumer,” said Eric Wise, the company’s head of global basketball business.

While the relationship between Parker and Adidas has spanned three decades, they did not begin speaking about her joining the business side until last February. Parker let it be known she wasn’t looking to be the face of women’s basketball for the company.

“I said to [Adidas], ‘I don’t want to be a mascot,” Parker said. “I really want to be in the meetings, and I want to be a part of making decisions.'”

Parker played 16 seasons in the WNBA, 13 of them with the Los Angeles Sparks, who drafted her No. 1 overall in 2008 out of Tennessee, where she won two national championships.

She won three WNBA championships during her career, in addition to WNBA Finals MVP honors in 2016. Her list of awards is extensive, including two MVP awards, Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. She is the only WNBA player to win MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season (2008). Parker was also named to seven WNBA All-Star teams.




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LA Times
Caitlin Clark’s L.A. debut and two other Sparks games moved to Arena
Iliana Limón Romero, Thuc Nhi Nguyen
Tue, May 7, 2024, 11:58 PM GMT+6·2 min read

The Sparks’ Lexie Brown is cheered by teammates as she is introduced before a preseason game
The Sparks’ Lexie Brown is cheered by teammates as she is introduced before a preseason game against the Seattle Storm at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Canada. (Jordan Jones / NBAE / Getty Images)
The Sparks were poised to host Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever on May 24 at the snug Walter Pyramid, a venue that seats 4,000.

It was an odd choice that left lots of potential revenue on the table, as other WNBA teams tried to maximize the number of seats they had available for games featuring Clark, college basketball’s all-time scoring leader and the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft.

With the Lakers, Clippers and Kings knocked out of the playoffs, the Sparks announced they moved the game against the Fever along with contests against the Dallas Wings on May 26 and Minnesota Lynx on June 5 to Arena. The venue seats 19,067 for basketball games.

Season-ticket holders will have early access to purchase additional tickets starting Tuesday and single-game tickets will be available to the general public on Thursday at 8 a.m. PDT.

Read more: Caitlin Clark is worth millions. Why will she only make $76,535 in base salary as a WNBA rookie?

Clark’s college games set attendance records and ticket orders spiked around the league as soon as she announced she was entering the WNBA draft. The Indiana Fever selected her with the No. 1 pick, headlining a star-studded draft class that included the Sparks’ No. 2 pick Cameron Brink and No. 4 pick Rickea Jackson.

When asked about potentially moving the game during the Sparks’ recent media day, general manager Raegan Pebley said team officials understood the interest and demand for tickets that has been steadily growing.

“This is an incredible class, we’re going to see continued classes start to rotate into the WNBA in the years to come. Again, that’s part of the impact of a Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker and all the other Sparks that have come before,” Pebley said. “But absolutely, we’re very aware of the energy surrounding the WNBA and positioning ourselves in an arena and an atmosphere that this game right now deserves.”

Read more: Acting as if they won the draft lottery, Sparks say ‘we’re going to shock a lot of people’

The Sparks will still play their season opener May 15 against the Atlanta Dream and a May 21 game against the Washington Mystics at Walter Pyramid on the Long Beach State campus.

“We appreciate the partnership that we have built with Long Beach State and are excited to open our 2024 season in front of the Long Beach community,” Sparks president Christine Monjer said in a statement. “Women’s basketball is experiencing unprecedented viewership and attendance numbers so moving these games back to Arena provides us the ability to have more fans in the stands and have our players back to competing on their home floor.”

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