The Wave’s performance is personal for Ellis. After leaving the US women’s team, she began consulting for billionaire investor Ron Burkle, who wanted to start a new NWSL club. When she heard him describe what kind of team he wanted to build, he realized she could do it.
“I was like, ‘Ron, you know, I didn’t go to Wharton,'” Ellis said, referring to the University of Pennsylvania’s business school. “But I think I can build a club, and I want to run this whole threat.”
So instead of sitting on the sidelines and analyzing opponents for weaknesses, Ellis is watching games from a suite, measuring attendance figures and seeing how much fans have to pay for parking. Ellis has embraced the more logical aspects of her new job, getting a crash course in terms like “dynamic pricing” and “digital marketing”, and deciding whether the Wave’s uniform shorts should be pink or white (she’s pink. Went with color). She proudly explains that it was her idea to create a wave shape passing through the uniform’s numbers.
However, one thing Ellis didn’t need to learn is that the key to the franchise’s overall success will be winning on the field. The first player she signed was someone she knew well: Abby Dahlkemper, a defender whom Ellis recruited to the University of California, Los Angeles, coached at the 2019 World Cup and decided to make the Wave roster. Did. For the Wave’s second signing, Ellis went with Alex Morgan, the face of American football. Neither of them needed much convincing.
“Jill embodies excellence in everything she is involved in,” Dahlkemper said.
When it came time for Alice to find a manager, she was determined to hire a woman. Another club president told him that there were not many good female coaches in the recruiting pool, leading Ellis to inform him that he was clearly looking in the wrong places. They appointed former England player Casey Stoney, who was named the league’s Coach of the Year, for the 2022 season.