Decades after winning the 1992 national championship as Stanford’s shooting guard, Christy Hedgpeth’s fingerprints are all over the changing face of women’s basketball and college athletics.
After being tapped as chief operating officer of the WNBA in 2019 — she had worked for the NBA’s team marketing and business operations since 2014 — Hedgpeth led the league’s sweeping brand transformation. She oversaw all business functions and led the long-term growth strategy, helping to spur its unprecedented revenue growth and amplified cultural relevance.
Hedgpeth is now less than a year into her role as president of Playfly Sports Properties, the first female president in the collegiate multimedia rights space. A dynamic college athletics environment undergoing seismic change is ideally suited for Hedgpeth, who oversees strategy and operations for all collegiate and statewide high school association multimedia rights partnerships.
“That really does motivate me,” Hedgpeth said. “Of course, the athlete in me, the competitor in me, I love driving revenue. And to be what I think is a disrupter in the space — that’s fun.”
She embraces the fast-evolving name, image and likeness era, introducing “Campus Cast Live” in which Michigan State football players and aspiring broadcasters hosted a second-screen experience during the Spartans’ NCAA Tournament games. And there’s more to come.
“As a former student athlete, that is motivating,” Hedgpeth said. “That is the kind of company we want to be. It’s not just about us, it’s about what we can do to help our partners. And anytime we can bring opportunities directly to student athletes, I get excited — you can tell.” — Eric Prisbell