Newsmakers Week: Amber Cox joins Doug and Wolf
Amber Cox openly discussed the state of the team, the evolution of the league, debunked some surprising myths about the WNBA and explained what factors made her decide to stay in her current position with the Mercury.
One of the original WNBA franchises, the Mercury are entering their 16th season in 2012 and boast a roster with the most recognizable face in women's basketball, Diana Taurasi, and Australian sensation Penny Taylor.
"I love the gig," Cox told Doug and Wolf in regards to her decision to remain as the COO of the Mercury. "It's a great organization, I love the team, as I got down the road I was going to return to my alma mater to be the Athletic Director in Missouri and I got down the road of starting to tell people like Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor - - it was very difficult and when the rubber met the road, I just couldn't do it and I had to stay on."
"We are still under NBA ownership but you look at teams like Seattle and Atlanta and Chicago that are independent franchises -- Connecticut as well, Connecticut actually turned a profit this year," Cox said.
On the rise: The Phoenix Mercury have evolved and shifted their marketing strategies over the years to tailor their efforts to a surprising demographic.
"When the league started, they thought this is the league for women and women are going to come out to support this and more and more if you come to our games, 50% of our crowd is men because they really enjoy the style of play and it's something they can do specifically with their daughters," Cox explained.
The WNBA's progression: Cox credits the great talent at the collegiate level for supplying the WNBA with such exceptional athletes, who are all very competitive to make it on a roster when space is so limited.
"It's been really nice to kind of see the evolution, even in my eight years with the Mercury -- see how the league has changed, see the popularity grow," Cox said. "And again the level of talent, if you watch any women's college basketball, it's just out of this world because girls can now see this as a valid opportunity for a profession that they can now grow up and play basketball for a living so they are training that way."
Cox has a great affinity for the Mercury and feels very fortunate to be at the helm of this franchise.
"I love this team and I really want to be a part of the continued great tradition that the Mercury brings to the court and to the community," Cox said.