Sports Career Spotlight

We've been featuring executives from the sports industry since 2001. Naturally, some of these executives have moved onward and upward in their sports careers. We believe these profiles remain relevant and valuable because they highlight the hard work, dedication, brilliant successes, and lessons learned in a variety of career paths through the sports industry.

Kathy Betty

Kathy Betty , Managing Partner

Atlanta Dream


Betty living the Dream with Atlanta WNBA franchise

New Atlanta Dream owner Kathy Betty had been involved in the business sector for more than two decades when her husband, EarthLink CEO Garry Betty, passed away from cancer. Betty went into early retirement until the opportunity to buy the WNBA franchise turned out to be a dream come true.

Age: 53
New title: Managing partner, Atlanta Dream, and CEO of the Garry Betty Foundation
Previous title: Executive vice president of ScottMadden Inc., an Atlanta-based management consulting firm
First job: Jewelry store saleswoman
College education: B.S.B.A., Belmont College (1980)
Resides: Atlanta
Grew up: Decatur, Ala.
Executive most admired: My husband, EarthLink CEO Garry Betty
Favorite vacation spot: Paris
Last book read: “Rogue Forces,” by Dale Brown
Last movie seen: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
Favorite movie: “The Sound of Music”
Favorite musician/band: Kenny G

Your husband passed away two years ago from cancer and you made a decision to leave the business world for a bit. What was it about this opportunity that enticed you to return?
I’m very passionate about mentoring and encouraging young boys and girls to get physically fit and eat right. I am passionate about sports. I am highly competitive. On top of that, I am an entrepreneur. So where else can you combine all four of those together and have one business?

The WNBA is the first league to adopt sponsors’ logos on their game jerseys. Will you seek to continue this practice with the Dream?
I absolutely do. I have had talks with possible sponsors.

What do you hope to be your legacy?
That I gave back to the community. When you are 53 years old, things start changing and it becomes more and more important to give back.

What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Finding the right COO, with lots of sports management experience.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Buying a WNBA team.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
The first time I made partner at Ernst & Young.

What is your biggest professional disappointment?
I retired too soon.

What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
I would like for women to make more of the decisions on what sports they watch on television.

This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.

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