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Pac-12 CMO Danette Leighton named CEO of the Women's Sports Foundation

Feb 3, 2022

Earlier today, longtime Pac-12 Chief Marketing Officer Danette Leighton was named the next Chief Executive Officer of the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF), with her new role set to officially begin in March 2022. 

“Danette brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and connections to the Women’s Sports Foundation that will help us create more opportunities for girls and women in sports at a time when digital engagement and advocacy is as critical as enhancing the in-person experience for athletes and fans at every level,” said Billie Jean King, WSF founder. “As we mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX and remain fully committed to being guardians of this important legislation, our work is not done in achieving gender equity in sports. We must maintain the momentum created by the trailblazers who came before us to ensure future generations carry the torch forward.”

A graduate of the University of Arizona, Leighton's current tenure with the Conference extends nearly 12 years as she has overseen external & marketing operations for the Pac-12, including all major championships with the Pac-12 Football Championship Game and Pac-12 Men's & Women's Basketball Tournaments, among many other accomplishments.

Having led a rebrand of the Pac-12 following the additions of Colorado and Utah and helping launch Pac-12 Networks, Leighton also facilitated best practices amongst Pac-12 member universities across all areas of external relations and operations. 

Prior to the Pac-12, Leighton was with Maloof Sports & Entertainment’s NBA Sacramento Kings as vice president of marketing and brand development, as well as vice president of business operations for the WNBA Monarchs, where she led the business of the World Championship-winning WNBA franchise.

Leighton also previously worked for Sony and managed their sponsorship of the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii and was Stanford University’s executive director of the 1999 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

The news of Leighton's new role with the WSF was celebrated by many across social media, including: