Danita Johnson recently joined Major League Soccer club, D.C. United, as their President of Business Operations, making her the first Black President of an MLS Club and only the third woman in league history to serve in this role.
Johnson joins D.C. United with 15 years of experience in the sports industry, including several roles in the WNBA, NBA, and NBA G League, specializing in revenue generation, community programs, and digital media and marketing. In her short time leading D.C. United, Johnson has already left a lasting mark, introducing a landmark broadcast arrangement, which sees all of the club’s Major League Soccer matches produced live in both English and Spanish – a first for the club – with local network NBC Sports Washington and TeleXitos.
Prior to joining D.C. United, during her time with the Los Angeles Sparks, Johnson led the organization to a league-best in corporate sponsorship dollars earned and launched the annual #WeAreWomen campaign, which drew a historic attendance of 19,000 to Staples Center for a WNBA game. Additionally, under her leadership, the organization saw a 50% increase in ticket sales from 2014-2017 and led the WNBA in attendance in 2017 and 2019, including a 17.8% increase in fans per game in the 2017 season, her first as President and COO.
Prior to her time in Los Angeles, Johnson developed and led the Ticket Sales and Service department for the Washington Mystics while with Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Johnson also boasts NBA experience with the Los Angeles Clippers and played a pivotal role in launching professional basketball franchises, the Bakersfield Jam.
A native of Fayetteville, North Carolina and a graduate of Western Carolina University, Johnson sits on the board of the Share Winter Foundation, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is a WISE Within Mentor
What do you love about your current job?
I love connecting with people each day and the ability to impact the industry. Each day is slightly different from the last; I am challenged to think differently and put my best foot forward.
What skills do you use every day?
Using my listening skills is one of the most important things I do each day: listening to a client, staff member, or fan. Becoming a better listener gives me the ability to work better with those around me.
How do you see women in sport growing in the future? What would you like to see?
I see women playing a crucial part in the growth of sports from the business and playing the game side. I look for us to continue working together to create opportunities for one another and uplift women lead leagues and youth sports.