Meet Danita Johnson; The First MLS Club Black President Blooming Sports Business World By Her Midas Touch

Danita Johnson‘s groundbreaking appointment as the first Black President of an MLS Club and one of only three women to hold such a prestigious position in league history marks a significant milestone in the realm of sports leadership. With a career spanning 17 years, Johnson has amassed an impressive track record of achievements, characterized by record-breaking sales, innovative marketing strategies, and impactful community engagement initiatives.

Under Johnson’s visionary leadership, D.C. United experienced a remarkable surge in various revenue streams, including ticket sales, concessions, apparel sales, and partnership revenue. Her strategic approach to business development and marketing initiatives not only bolstered the club’s financial standing but also elevated its brand presence and fan engagement efforts. Additionally, she played a pivotal role in organizing landmark events that further solidified D.C. United’s position as a prominent force in the MLS landscape. One of Johnson’s most notable contributions during her tenure at D.C. United was the revitalization of the D.C. United Foundation and the enhancement of the club’s community relations efforts. Through her leadership, the foundation made a tangible difference in the lives of over 125,000 individuals, underscoring Johnson’s commitment to using sports as a platform for positive social change.

Beyond her achievements in soccer, Johnson’s influence extends across multiple major sports leagues. From launching professional franchises to guiding the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks to unprecedented levels of success in attendance and sponsorship revenue, her impact on the sports industry is undeniable. At the core of Johnson’s mission is the belief in the power of sports to unite communities and inspire collective success. Through her mantra of “Unite Sport. Build Community. Win Championships,” she has cultivated a culture of excellence and inclusivity both on and off the field.

Hailing from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and a proud alumna of Western Carolina University, Johnson is deeply rooted in community service and civic engagement. Her involvement in various boards and organizations, coupled with her membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., underscores her commitment to giving back and empowering others. Johnson’s illustrious career trajectory reflects her unwavering dedication and passion for the business of sports. From humble beginnings as an intern with an NBA D-League team in Fayetteville, N.C., she has navigated through different cities and professional sports organizations, leaving an indelible mark wherever she goes.

Her tenure as President and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks saw the franchise garner multiple WNBA team business awards, underscoring her ability to drive success and innovation in a competitive sports landscape. Since assuming leadership at D.C. United in 2021, Johnson has continued to make waves, securing major partnerships, hosting marquee events, and positioning the club for long-term growth and success.