The Atlanta Dream have hired veteran sports executive Morgan Shaw Parker as president and chief operating officer, the team announced Wednesday morning.
Shaw Parker joins the Dream from her position as vice president and chief marketing officer at Arthur M. Blank Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United.
"I bring knowledge from all different facets of sports," Shaw Parker said. "That understanding of how not only how to build a brand, but how to build a business and do it in a way that reflects the community you serve, that matters. And it's very different than what you see in women's sports right now."
Shaw Parker has worked in the sports industry for over 25 years, logging experience at Nike and with the Kansas City Chiefs. She was named one of AdWeek's "Most Powerful Women in Sports" in 2020, and Sports Business Journal has named her as a "Game Changer."
"Morgan Shaw Parker is an absolute force in the sports industry, and she will be a true game-changer for the Atlanta" Dream," Dream chairman Larry Gottesdiener said in a statement. "Morgan's genuine, thoughtful professionalism was an instant fit for our culture, and her passion for women's sports matches our own."
Shaw Parker's responsibilities will include managing day-to-day business operations and revenue growth. A priority of hers, she said, is to turn the Dream into a model WNBA franchise and improve the accessibility of the team to the community.
"Consumers' wants and needs are changing rapidly," Shaw Parker said. "And I truly believe that women's sports are poised to take advantage of that because our community wants to support it. Creating a culture that serves this community isn't going to be hard because the athletes are already doing it."
Shaw Parker's hiring is the first major personnel move for the new Atlanta ownership group that consists of Gottesdiener, Suzanne Abair and former Dream player Renee Montgomery. The group purchased the team following leaguewide protests of prior owner and former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
The team is also searching for a new coach and general manager following the termination of former president and GM Chris Sienko, the departure of former coach Nicki Collen for Baylor, and the July announcement that interim coach Mike Peterson would resign due to health reasons. Peterson was replaced by Darius Taylor.
The Dream also announced in July that 2020 first-round pick Chennedy Carter had been suspended indefinitely.
"It's going to be a long road," Shaw Parker said. "I'm not going to promise that we'll be able to turn things around in six months or a year. It's really going to take a long term investment."
The Dream are currently in 11th place in the WNBA with a 7-20 record.