Michele Kang, Spirit’s majority owner, wins Sports Business Journal’s ‘Deal of the Year’ award from Washington Spirit
Washington, DC (05/25/2023) The Sports Business Journal (SBJ) has announced that Michele Kang has won the “Deal of the Year” award as part of its 16th Annual Sports Business Awards for its 2022 acquisition of Washington Spirit.
Kang, who was selected by SBJ as the 2022 Power Player in Women’s Sports, was one of five nominees which included the Walton-Penner Group’s acquisition of the Denver Broncos, Major League Soccer and the deal Apple’s ten-year media rights agreement, the Big Ten Conference’s seven-year media rights agreement with FOX, CBS and NBC, among others. She was the only woman depicted.
“As a woman entrepreneur who has resources, I felt it was my responsibility. But more importantly, I see this as a business with incredible commercial viability,” Kang said in his acceptance speech. “We are not a charity.”
Upon purchasing the Washington Spirit for a record $35 million on March 30, 2022, Kang became the first person of color to hold a majority stake in an NWSL club. According to SBJ, “The $35 million acquisition, the most expensive in league history at the time, reset the NWSL franchise market, directly leading the league to extract a record $58 expansion fee. million dollars from the owners of the recently announced expansion team in the bay. Area.”
His SBJ “Deal of the Year” win also came on the heels of his acquisition of eight-time Champions League-winning French club Olympique Lyonnais (OL). OL play in Women’s Division 1, the highest level of women’s professional football in France.
This move will unite the Spirit and Lyon in a global network of women’s football clubs. It will become the first such organization owned and led by a woman, cementing Kang’s new mission to rewrite the narrative of what is possible in women’s professional football.
Her commitment to building the Washington Spirit into an enduring powerhouse and world-class professional sports organization has been evident since she acquired the club.
Kang’s overriding mission was both to hire a fleet of highly skilled professionals in multiple roles within the organization and to establish an exclusive, state-of-the-art stadium located in Washington, DC.
Not even a year into his tenure as owner, Kang has successfully achieved both of those goals as the club struck a multi-year deal to call Audi Field its new home and hired some of the sport’s brightest minds. and Business – President of Football Operations and General Manager Mark Krikorian, President of Business Operations Emma May, Head Coach Mark Parsons and Vice President of Performance, Medicine and Innovation Dawn Scott .
Among Spirit’s newly established leaders, one theme is consistent: Kang’s commitment to establishing Spirit as a world-class organization.
Part of Kang’s deal to acquire the Spirit came with a mandate to deliver a world-class experience and professional product to fans. There are now more options at all price points than the club has ever offered, including affordable season plans, premium pitchside seating and an extended roof at Audi Field for greater coverage against the elements.
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About the Spirit of Washington
The Washington Spirit is the professional women’s soccer team based at Audi Field in Washington, DC Launched in 2012, the Spirit plays in the National Women’s Soccer League, the premier women’s soccer competition in North America. For more information about the Spirit, visit WashingtonSpirit.com and follow the club on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.