Sue Bird joins Seattle Storm ownership group after 21 years of starring for them

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JUNE 11: Sue Bird acknowledges the crowd before the game between the Seattle Storm and the Washington Mystics at Climate Pledge Arena on June 11, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
The Seattle Storm have played only three seasons without Sue Bird. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Sue Bird is the greatest player in Seattle Storm history. Now, she's becoming a part owner.

The 13-time WNBA All-Star and four-time WNBA champion is joining the Storm's ownership group, the team announced Wednesday. The size of Storm's stake and what she paid were not disclosed.

Bird's comment, via the Storm:

“As a player, I poured my heart into every game for the Seattle Storm, and now, as part of the ownership group, I am thrilled to continue contributing to the growth of the game,” said Bird. “Investing in women’s sports isn’t just about passion; it’s smart business. It’s about recognizing the immense talent, dedication, and market potential our league has always had. Force 10 Hoops and the Storm have been at the forefront of this for decades. Together, we’re not just shaping the future of basketball, but also paving the way for a more equitable and inclusive society.”

Force 10 Hoops is a consortium of three Seattle businesswomen — Dawn Trudeau, Lisa Brummel, Ginny Gilder — that purchased the Storm in 2008 for $10 million, preventing the team from following the Seattle Supersonics to Oklahoma City.

That investment has more than paid off. The group sold a set of minority stakes to 15 investors last year that valued the team at $151 million, the highest valuation the WNBA has ever seen.

Bird obviously played a large role in making the Storm valuable. Between her first overall selection in the 2002 WNBA Draft and her retirement in 2022, the Storm have gone 392-308, made the playoffs 18 times and won four championships. Bird enjoyed playing with some all-time teammates, such as Lauren Jackson and Breanna Stewart, but her ability to elevate her teammates combined with her longevity made her an icon in Seattle.