The Seattle Storm star and five-time Olympic gold medalist joins an NWSL ownership group that includes US soccer icon Carli Lloyd and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
The Seattle Storm point guard, four-time WNBA champion, and five-time Olympic gold medalist joins a growing ownership group that includes majority stakeholders Tammy and Phil Murphy and Steve Temares, managing owner Karen Bryant, and investors like Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman‘s 35V, US soccer icon Carli Lloyd, Kristin Bernert, and Ed Nalbandian.
“As the NWSL franchise in such a major market in New York, investing in Gotham FC was an easy decision,” Bird said on the occasion. “The club has demonstrated sustained business growth and is established as a critical pillar in the community.”
To go along with her four WNBA rings and five Olympic golds, the Long Island native announced plans to retire from the WNBA at the end of the current season after four FIBA World Cup crowns, five EuroLeague titles, 13 W All-Star appearances, eight All-WNBA teams, two NCAA championships at UConn, and an official spot among the WNBA’s 25 greatest players of all time.
“There is a lot of talk about now being the time to invest in women’s sports,” Bird said. “As an athlete in a position to invest, my focus has shifted from talking about investment to leading by example. I am honored to join such a strong ownership group, and look forward to the continued business growth and brand recognition for both Gotham FC and the NWSL.”
In her ownership role, Bird will act as a consultant and advisor to boost NY/NJ Gotham FC’s profile in local, national, and international markets. She’ll also collaborate with Tammy Murphy, Nalbandian, and club leadership on initiatives to promote the team and support its players and community.
“Sue has played such a big role in turning the WNBA into what it is today,” said Tammy Murphy, the club’s chair. “She’s shown tremendous leadership, passion, and work ethic throughout her legendary career, and I cannot wait for her to bring those qualities to Gotham FC.”
NY/NJ Gotham FC plays its home matches at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, and the franchise has been a member of the NWSL since its founding in 2012.
“Sue has won at every level of the game, and I have had the privilege of a front row seat to her impact on and off the court,” Bryant said. “She is an iconic athlete and an inspirational influencer. I’m excited to work with her and we are all so proud to have her join the Gotham FC family.”