Story at glance

  • Danita Johnson will be the new President of Business Operations for D.C. United.
  • She will be the first Black and third female president in the MLS organization.
  • Johnson formerly served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Los Angeles Sparks.

Major League Soccer’s first Black club president and just the third woman in the position comes from a league where Black women dominate.


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“I’ve learned a lot from my time with the WNBA, especially the Los Angeles Sparks organization, and I’ll be forever grateful to the league for how it has lifted me up, both personally and professionally. I look forward to bringing my versatile background and leadership experience from my time working for various organizations for other professional sports leagues across the country to Major League Soccer,” said Danita Johnson, in a release

The former President and Chief Operating Officer of the Los Angeles Sparks, Johnson came up through basketball, where she spent 15 years between the Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA and the NBA G League. The North Carolina native went from the Washington Mystics across the coast to the Sparks, where she launched the annual #WeAreWomen campaign, which drew a historic attendance of 19,000 to Staples Center for a WNBA game, and seeing ticket sales and attendance grow.  Now, Johnson is bringing her talent back to Washington, D.C., for D.C. United.  


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“After conducting a thorough search process, we are confident that Danita Johnson is the right person to lead our business and help take our club to new heights,” said Jason Levien, co-chairman and CEO of D.C. United, in a release. “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. We are thrilled that she has agreed to join us at this critical moment in D.C. United's trajectory.”

 

“It is my belief that establishing a winning culture off the field impacts every aspect of the business, from fan interactions to community engagement, and I am committed to doing just this for one of the most storied and decorated clubs in American soccer history,” Johnson said in the release.


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Published on Dec 23, 2020