Trailblazing WNBA Star Builds Seven-Figure Empire

    • Ogwumike is the first Black woman to host a national radio show for ESPN.
    • The 2014 No.1 draft pick is executive producing a ESPN documentary slated to come out next month.

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Chiney Ogwumike first made a name for herself in three Final Four appearances with Stanford. Since then, the two-time WNBA All-Star’s success off the court has been as impressive as her presence on it. 

The No. 1 pick in the 2014 WNBA draft, the Los Angeles Sparks power forward continues to add “firsts” to her resume. 

In 2018, Ogwumike signed a multiyear contract with ESPN, becoming one of the youngest commentators to be named a full-time NBA analyst. In 2020, she became the first Black woman and WNBA player to host a national radio show for the network.

“The way I’ve approached partnerships is taking opportunity over compensation,” Ogwumike told Front Office Sports. “Prove ourselves as valuable, and then the compensation comes.”

Through Ogwumike’s business and broadcasting ventures, public speaking engagements, and success on the court, the 29-year-old has built a seven-figure empire, according to her agent, Allison Galer. Last month, Ogwumike signed a fully protected two-year deal with the Los Angeles Sparks that will pay her an average of $114,695 per year, according to Spotrac. Her agent, Allison Galer, said Ogwumike was able to take a pay cut in her salary thanks to her other jobs, putting her team in a position to win.

Outside of playing, commentating, and hosting a daily talk show, Ogwumike works with Adidas, AT&T and DoorDash — the latter made her the first WNBA player in over a decade to have a solo, non-basketball commercial.

Ogwumike is also adding “executive producer” to her list of titles. She pitched and produced an ESPN documentary series about the 2020 WNBA bubble slated for next month. The series highlights the WNBA’s successful campaign to elect Raphael Warnock to the Georgia senate, ousting former Atlanta Dream owner Sen. Kelly Loeffler from office.

“I want to continue to tell more stories and keep pushing boundaries in broadcast and business,” Ogwumike said.