Jill Ellis Tabs Shay as First Executive Hire for
San Diego wave FC

SAN DIEGO (Wednesday, September 8, 2021) – San Diego NWSL President Jill Ellis has hired Vanessa Shay as the club’s first Chief Revenue Officer, the club announced today. Shay, a sports and entertainment veteran, joins San Diego NWSL after spending the last 13 years with AEG Worldwide. In her new role Shay will work in collaboration with Ellis to run all facets of the San Diego NWSL business including Corporate Partnerships, Ticketing, Premium Seating, Brand, Marketing, and Fan Engagement.

“Vanessa is a strong and insightful business leader and she will help drive San Diego NWSL forward as we grow and establish our club,” said San Diego NWSL President Jill Ellis. “She brings a wealth of knowledge in effectively growing brands, and creating long-term revenue streams. We are thrilled to add Vanessa to our team of talented executives and look forward to seeing her impact as we engage our community in San Diego and beyond.”

Shay joined AEG in 2008 and was tasked to help identify revenue streams for what was then the construction of the L.A. LIVE entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles. With the successful launch of L.A. LIVE, she spent more than a decade at AEG creating pathways for national brands to access AEG’s global sports and entertainment properties. Shay also built branded destination marketing events, led property sales and marketing teams, and supported all facets of the AEG business including ticketing and premium seating.

“The chance to join the industry renowned Jill Ellis and build a U.S. sports franchise from the ground up is an opportunity of a lifetime,” said San Diego NWSL Chief Revenue Officer Vanessa Shay. “Jill and this ownership group are committed to delivering a world-class club both on the field and in the community. I am passionate about the growth of women’s sports and soccer in the United States and believe that we can create an organization that our peers will respect and the San Diego community will be proud of.”

Shay is a member of the International Sports Leaders Under 40 Award 2018 Class and completed the invitation-only Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business’ elite Women inSports Executive Leadership Program.

The appointment of Shay follows the announcements earlier this summer of Casey Stoney and Molly Downtain as the first Head Coach and General Manager, respectively, in club history. It completes the hiring of three significant leadership roles within Ellis and the club’s hierarchy as the team prepares to begin play in Spring 2022.

NWSL San Diego is the 12th and newest club in the National Women’s Soccer League. The club’s name, crest and permanent venue will be announced at a later date.



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