Susan O'Malley

Former President, Washington Sports and Entertainment

Susan O’Malley became the first female president of a professional sports franchise when she took the helm of Washington Sports and Entertainment, which runs the NBA’s Washington Bullets (now Wizards), in 1991. During her tenure, her ground-breaking business ideas and proactive approach to customer service brought her – and WSE – to the top of the sports business world.

Under Ms. O’Malley’s guidance, the company improved both its bottom line and its winning percentage. In her first season handling off-court activities, the team experienced the largest ticket revenue increase in the history of an NBA franchise. The 2005–2006 Wizards season saw the franchise tally 14 sellouts, averaging over 17,000 fans per game en route to their second consecutive trip to the NBA playoffs. Her accomplishments also include innovative marketing and customer service initiatives that are still in use today.

After leaving Washington Sports and Entertainment, Ms. O’Malley earned her law degree from Georgetown University, where she also taught a sports business marketing class and was awarded the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award. She served as St. Joseph’s University’s first sports marketing professor and is currently a full-time faculty member at the University of South Carolina. She is also a consultant with the Sports and Entertainment Company (Sports-EntCo).