Starting Five: Things to know about Colie Edison, new WNBA Chief Growth Officer

Photo Credit: Lamar Carter

If one may not have previously been familiar with the name Colie Edison, those within the WNBA family are about to become very familiar since she has joined said family.

This week, it was announced that the WNBA had tapped Edison to become its new Chief Growth Officer. She will assume her new role at the end of the month.

As we continue to execute on the league’s five-year transformation plan, Colie brings extensive business experience managing strategic projects and alliances as well as negotiating marketing and media partnerships and we look forward to her making an immediate impact on our growth aspirations.

–Cathy Engelbert, WNBA commissioner (press release)

The momentum for the WNBA continues to grow and I look forward to working with Cathy and the WNBA leadership team to help further elevate the league.

–Colie Edison, incoming WNBA Chief Growth Officer (press release)

One may ask who is Colie Edison? Here are some facts one may learn (or already have learned) about the latest hire in the W’s front office.

CEO of PBA

Before she assumes her new post within the WNBA, she will, of course, resign from her old post as she is currently serving as the CEO of the Pro Bowlers Association. Much of her previous background comes from the realm of bowling, making her a particularly curious hire given she is crossing over from one sport to another.

Her final day at the PBA will officially be January 21 – 10 days before she is set to head to her new role within the WNBA’s front office.

Edison managed to get PBA into a television partnership with Fox and was named one of Sports Business Journal’s Game Changers 2021 class for Women in Sports Business.

Chief Customer Officer – Bowlero

At the same time as she was the CEO of the PBA, she also assumed a position as the Chief Customer Officer of Bowlero. Edison will not have far to go, travelwise as Bowlero is based in the same New York City that is home to WNBA headquarters.

One may have heard of AMF Bowling as well as Bowlmor Lanes – those two brands are under the Bowlero Corporation umbrella. Another entity that is under the Bowlero umbrella is the PBA, which was bought out by Bowlero in the fourth quarter of 2019. Per the Bowlero website, it has locations in 30 states as well as Puerto Rico.

The Estee Lauder Companies

Two things we are aficionados of here at Beyond The W are the WNBA and beauty products. Edison herself also has a bit of a beauty background. According to Edison’s LinkedIn account, she was an assistant for the global packaging arm of Clinique, which is under the Estee Lauder umbrella and is also based in New York City.

Edison held that position from September of 2007 until May of 2008, per her LinkedIn before she began her foray into bowling by becoming the director of brand strategy at Bowlmor Lanes.

Tulane student displaced by Hurricane Katrina

Before returning to the New York City area, Edison called New Orleans home as she studied at Tulane University and eventually earned a degree in communications. Ironically, as she herself mentioned when she was interviewed in an article for the Green Wave’s website, she grew up in a town with “Brunswick” in its name – East Brunswick in New Jersey.

During her time at Tulane, her senior year was met with an added dose of adversity. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina brought plenty of damage and calamity to the New Orleans area. She was part of a group of students who finished their senior year at Boston University before returning to Tulane for a spring 2006 graduation where former President Bill Clinton was among the speakers.

Ex-Reality TV star with MTV’s The Real World Denver and The Challenge

One may not think of a current high-ranking sports executive once having a foray in reality television of all things. But that was the case previously for Edison.

She previously was a television personality on MTV’s The Real World: Denver. Edison has also made other television appearances – including being on the reality show The Challenge and appearing on an episode of “Undercover Boss” which airs on CBS.

In that episode, she spoke with Bowlero employees in several states who shared their views on working for the companies and the trials and tribulations they faced.

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