Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dream It AND Be It: Dream Sold to Kathy Betty

Left to right: Atlanta City Council President Lisa Boarders, new Dream owner Kathy Betty, WNBA President Donna Orender, Atlanta Dream Head Coach Marynell Meadors and Dream player Jennifer Lacy.

We now have the word that we've been waiting for. No, not word about the infamous Surfin' Bird, but word that the Atlanta Dream has safely landed in the arms of a new managing partner, Kathy Betty. However, in the colloquial sense of the term, Betty is the new owner. The existence of the Atlanta Dream is assured to at least the end of the 2010 season, and hopefully, many years beyond that.

According to the WNBA news release, the Atlanta Dream will be owned by Dream Too LLC, an investment group headed by Kathy Betty. She becomes the first woman in Atlanta history to own a sports team. Here is the same article (essentially) from:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution story, one which gives more background into Betty's motivations for purchasing the Dream. This is an update from an earlier article this morning.

USA Today

Atlanta Business Chronicle

For those who haven't been following along, Betty is the widow of Earthlink CEO Garry Betty. She's been a major supporter of Georgia Tech women's basketball, so purchasing the dream is simply a logical extension of her interests. (Mr. Betty was a graduate of Georgia Tech.) She also has further Atlanta ties as a former executive vice-president of Scott Madden Inc, an Atlanta-based consulting firm.

Apparently, Dream Too LLC had some help from Atlanta mayoral candidate Lisa Borders, currently president of the Atlanta City Council. Borders "carved out time to bring sponsorships to the table and find investors who will make the Dream a continued reality for the staff, players and, of course, our fans" according to Betty. (It doesn't hurt that Borders is running for re-election.) The news has gone up on her political website as Borders claims that the Dream staying in Atlanta increases the flow of tourist money in the coffers of Atlanta businesses.)

According to Steve Visser's additions to the updated AJC article above, it is implied that Mr. Terwilliger no longer has any ownership stake in the Dream. I do not seek to condemn him, but to praise him. Just remember, without Mr. Terwilliger we might not have had an Atlanta Dream for the last two years. Thank you, Mr. Terwilliger, for all of your support of the greatest team in the WNBA. (My opinion.)

As for certain staff members of the Sports Department of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it looks like they'll have to wait at least another year to pull out that "Dream folds" article they've had queued up since 2008. To quote Cleveland Indians manager Lou Brown:

The local press seems to think that we'd save everyone the time and trouble if we just went out and shot ourselves. Me, I'm for wasting sportswriters' time. So I figured we ought to hang around for a while and see if we can give 'em all a nice big shitburger to eat!

And now, let's sing! "We're a wild and an untamed thing...we're a bee with a deadly sting...!"


afoundingfan said...

Thank you Ron!

Thank you Kathy, Lisa and the group!

My goodness, Lacy looks like a giant next to everyone else. And she's leaning over!

Fantastic news! Very happy for the org and for all the Dream fans and STHs.

The countdown starts to see when the AJC takes down Betty Big Bucket's picture and removes Ron's name as the owner.

Any wagers? I say maybe mid-season 2010, because I am an optimist. ;)

afoundingfan said...


Keep clicking on those links, folks.

I can't wait to see who the sponsors are. Please, please be sure to support those businesses whenever you can.