Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Los Angeles Sparks hire Danita Johnson as president and COO

Published on January 7, 2019


The Los Angeles Sparks hired Danita Johnson as president and chief operating officer of the franchised the team announced Monday. She replaces Christine Simmons who left in December after five seasons to become the first-ever chief operating officer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Johnson was most recently the director of business operations for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. In the past, she served as the Sparks’ senior vice president.

From the Sparks:

“It’s an honor to name Danita Johnson the next president and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks,” Sparks managing director and governor Eric Holoman said on behalf of ownership. “Danita is one of basketball’s top sports executives and one of the few to serve in high-level positions in both the WNBA and the NBA. Knowing the Sparks and the Los Angeles community well, she will not only quickly build on our current successes but will offer accretive new ideas as well.”

In Johnson’s time with the Sparks, she helped launch the annual #WeAreWomen campaign and ticket sales increased by 50 percent. With the Clippers she oversaw the business operations of their G League affiliate. Johnson has 14 years of experience in the WNBA, NBA and G League and has also worked for the Phoenix Suns, Tulsa Shock and Washington Mystics.

“I’m thrilled to return to the Sparks as team president and COO,” Johnson said. “This is a special organization that not only wins championships but is also a leader in Los Angeles when it comes to making an impact in the business of sports and community engagement. I want to thank our ownership group for the opportunity and I’m excited to step into this role at such an exciting time for the WNBA.”

The Sparks hired former NBA player Derek Fisher to be the team’s head coach early last month after Brian Agler resigned in early November. Agler was named head coach of the Dallas Wings on Dec. 18.


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