Mariners hire Catie Griggs as new President of Business Operations
The Mariners have a new President of Business Operations, and it’s former MLS executive Catie Griggs.
Griggs’ hire was announced by the team and Chairman/managing partner John Stanton on Tuesday afternoon.
Griggs comes to Seattle after spending the last four years in Atlanta, where she served as Chief Business Officer for Atlanta United.
“We had a really impressive group of finalists for this role,” Stanton said in a news release. “Out of that very strong group, Catie set herself apart with her passion, her experience, and the perspective she will bring to the Mariners. We are pleased to welcome Catie to her new role and are looking forward to having her and her family join our community and team.”
Under Griggs’ leadership, Atlanta has led the MLS in average attendance every year. Griggs also oversaw all aspects of Atlanta’s
front office, including the strategic decisions leading to the high attendance marks, matchday production and operations in and around Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the team’s supporter groups and broadcasting, the news release said. According to the release, Griggs also directed the team’s community relations efforts, overseeing $2.5 million in donations and more than 22,000 volunteer hours in support of community events in 2019, as well as pursued efforts to increase diversity within the front office.
“The Mariners are a team on the rise, and as that success builds on the field, we have an opportunity to forge even stronger bonds with the community,” Griggs said in the release. “I will bring a championship mentality to everything the franchise does by focusing on the fans and giving back in meaningful ways. My values align very well with the Mariners mission, and I am honored to have the opportunity to join this organization at this extraordinary time.”
Prior to joining Atlanta United, Griggs was with Futures Sport & Entertainment, which is a cross-platform global media and sponsorships analytics consultancy that’s part of the Interpublic Group of Agencies. According to the news release, Griggs launched the firm’s Americas operations back in 2015 and led it to “significant growth” prior to her departure for Atlanta. Prior to her time at Futures Sport & Entertainment , Griggs spent five years with Turner Broadcasting where she served in roles such as strategy, business operations, strategic partnerships and business development, and media rights negotiations.
In 2017, Griggs, was named a Sports Business Journal Game Changer, an annual award that honors women leaders across all aspects of sports business.
Griggs is from North Carolina and graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in government and with an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Griggs and her husband Justin have two children.
The hiring process was led by Jeff Raikes, a member of the Mariners’ partnership group. Raikes led a “month’s long process” that included a 12-person search committee “made up of a diverse group of community members and Mariners front office staff,” the news release said.
Griggs’ hire comes roughly five months after former team president Kevin Mather resigned after comments he made to a local rotary club, which included racially insensitive statements, insults of veteran players, as well as hinting at the Mariners participating in service time manipulation with top prospects, were made public. Mather was Seattle’s team president from 2014 until his resignation in February.