Dee Haslam and Whitney Johnson are among the prominent investors to contribute to the WNBA's capital raise announced Thursday that will help the league generate new revenue and continue to grow.
The groundbreaking transaction, the largest-ever capital raise for a women's sports property, is part of a multi-faceted financial growth strategy designed to generate revenue through increased investment in priority areas as part of the league's long-term business transformation.
"We are thrilled to be a part of the WNBA and supporting the continued growth of women's sports," Whitney Johnson said on behalf of Haslam Sports Group. "Commissioner Cathy Engelbert's vision for the league is strategic and impressive, and we are excited about what the future holds for the WNBA. Representation can play such an important role in inspiring people to reach their full potential, and the profound impact sports can have on individuals and community is something our family and the Haslam Sports Group will always value and look to support."
The investment is fully aligned with HSG's mission and commitment to diversity and inclusion, including advancing opportunities for women to participate in sports at all levels.
In addition to HSG's recent investment in the WNBA, HSG and the Browns have been committed to expanding opportunities for young women to participate in flag football across the state, with the ultimate goal of it becoming a fully-sanctioned OHSAA varsity sport. In October, the Browns hosted its first ever "Girls High School Flag Football Jamboree," where six Northeast Ohio teams competed and engaged with Chief of Staff Callie Brownson in a Q&A session. Additionally, in partnership with the Browns, Northeast Ohio Flag Football has launched the first-ever All-Girls High School Division in the State of Ohio.
Women's flag football is officially a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) varsity sport, following a two-year partnership between the NAIA, the NFL and Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX).