WNBA legend Candace Parker joins Adidas as president of women’s basketball

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Candace Parker appointed president of Adidas women’s basketball (Photo courtesy of Adidas)

Retired WNBA star Candace Parker embarks on a new journey in women’s basketball with Adidas leadership.

When one door closes, another one opens. After earning her stripes on the court, basketball star Candace Parker is stepping into a new arena with Adidas. This week, the WNBA legend announced her new role as president of Adidas women’s basketball.

“Stepping into this new leadership role is a deeply personal next step in my journey with Adidas,” Parker said in a statement shared with theGrio. “From high school to college to playing pro to now, this appointment by Adidas symbolizes a shared commitment to making impactful change and setting new benchmarks for the future of women’s sports. It’s not just about products; it’s about fostering a movement focused on innovation, representation, and access.”

“The brand and I have grown together … and I’m excited to see what the future holds on this side of things,” she added in an exclusive video interview with Fast Company.

Parker’s relationship with Adidas dates to 2008 when she was the WNBA No. 1 draft pick and signed a multimillion-dollar endorsement deal with the company. In 2010, she became the first woman to have a signature shoe with Adidas and has since launched three collections with the brand, ranging from sneakers to apparel. Parker says the company’s reaction to her pregnancy (with her daughter, Lailaa) solidified the business relationship during her first season.

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Parker’s entrance into Adidas’ leadership team follows her decision to quit playing. The only player to win WNBA championships with three different teams, she announced her retirement on Instagram at the end of April.

“I’m retiring. I promised I’d never cheat the game & that I’d leave it in a better place than I came into it. The competitor in me always wants one more, but it’s time,” she wrote in the post. “I always wanted to walk off the court with no parade or tour, just privately with the ones I love. What now was to be my last game, I walked off the court with my daughter.”

As she reflected on her legendary 16-year career, she affirmed that she is more than just a basketball player.

“ … know I’m A BUSINESS, man, not a businessman. This is the beginning,” she added, noting that being a wife and mom will always be her number one priority. “I’m attacking business, private equity, ownership (I will own both an NBA & WNBA team), broadcasting, production, boardrooms, beach volleyball, dominoes … with the same intensity & focus I did basketball.”

Now taking her work with Adidas to new heights, Parker plans to oversee “pretty much everything.” As president, she will play a pivotal role in creating a platform that elevates women’s sports, leveraging her firsthand knowledge of basketball and female athletes’ needs.

“I said (to Adidas), ‘I don’t want to be a mascot. I really want to be in the meetings, and I want to be a part of making decisions,’” she told Fast Company. “I want to be a part of this because I’m so passionate about it; it’s so important to me to make this global.”

Aligning with Adidas’ commitment to amplify women in basketball, the brand hopes Parker will catalyze a new era for the division. For the WNBA champ, this new journey is rooted in staying true to self and her mission to chase her passions.

“I’m me all the time, 100% of the time and that means talking shit. That means … expressing my feelings, saying no and it being a full sentence. But it comes from me [realizing] I want to open all these doors, but I want them to be authentic in the way that we open them,” she said. “I hope that if I don’t inspire the next [generation] that I inspire the next, that inspires the next.”

The post WNBA legend Candace Parker joins Adidas as president of women’s basketball appeared first on TheGrio.