Area native named COO for KC women’s soccer team
Cox: ‘I learned that from my mom and grandma’
Kansas City NWSL announced Tuesday that Amber Cox, a 1992 Monett graduate with family in Cassville, has been named Chief Operating Officer for the team.
She will be responsible for the club’s day-to-day business operations and brings not only years of leadership experience in professional sports, but a lifelong connection to the region.
“I am incredibly excited to have Amber join us,” said Co-Founder and Owner Angie Long, “She is a fantastic leader in professional sports and shares our passion and vision to drive this team to the top.”
Cox joins the club from Mohegan Sun where she was Vice President of Sports, leading all revenue-generating activities for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun and NLL’s New England Black Wolves. Under her direction, the team was consistently among the top WNBA teams in ticket sales and saw significant growth in merchandising, broadcast distribution and partnerships.
“I’m thrilled to be coming home to join KC NWSL to help build out the vision of this ownership group,” Cox said, “It’s also a huge honor to be working alongside Coach Huw Williams who has accomplished so much in this sport. I can’t wait to get started on creating a fan experience to match the passion of our supporters and the talent of our players in the City of Champions.”
Cox said she’s also excited to be back in Missouri and working in women’s pro sports, which is her passion.
“I was thrilled to see women’s pro soccer return to Kansas City,” she said. “It’s a great ownership group and I am looking forward to building the fanbase that the entire Midwest is proud to support.”
Prior to spending the last four seasons with the Sun, Cox was Chief Marketing Officer for the NWSL Houston Dash and MLS Houston Dynamo where she led all marketing, public relations, broadcasting, content and distribution initiatives. She also brings experience from roles as Associate Commissioner for Women’s Basketball for the Big East Conference, and President and Chief Operating Officer for the Phoenix Mercury.
“I’ve spent 20 years working in sports, most of them in women’s pro sports,” Cox said. “Many of these leagues are still in their infancy compared to men’s leagues, so I think I bring the knowledge of how to continue to build on where we are today.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Amber to the team,” said Co-Founder and Owner Chris Long, “She has a player-first mentality and a long history of building incredible fan experiences, both of which are very important to our ownership group.”
Cox said the biggest reason for finding success in her career has been her upbringing.
“Hard work [is a big factor to my success],” she said. “I learned that from my mom and grandma — two of the hardest working women I’ve ever seen. I didn’t fully recognize it when I was young, but looking back, they both were leaders, often in industries dominated by men. That absolutely had an impact on me.”
Cox said those looking to follow a similar career path, or any professional career, should always make their intentions known.
“Anything is possible. Network, talk to anyone you can and share your goals. That’s really important — you never know where a conversation is going to lead,” she said.
Cox will begin her role immediately and expects to makes additional staffing announcements in the coming weeks, with the team preparing for Inaugural Season Ticket Membership Deposits this week.
While the club’s full schedule has not yet been announced, NWSL has announced the 2021 Challenge Cup will begin April 9, with the regular season starting May 15.
Cox, a 1992 graduate of Monett, played basketball for William Woods from 1992 to 1996.
Her father, David Cox, and step-mother, Kelly Cox, live in Cassville, along with her cousins Ryan and Bowen Preddy. Her grandmother, Frances Tucker, lives in Monett. Her mother and step-father, Vikki and Joe Gripka, live in Joplin, and her stepdad of her youth and his current wife, Mike and Donna Knight, live in Monett.