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October 9, 2012 at 3:30 PM

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Behind the scenes with the Seattle Storm owners


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Lisa Brummel, one of the three owners of the Seattle Storm, gives a hug to season ticket holder Constance Stevenson of Spanaway, at Key Arena before the Storm's game against the San Antonio Silver Stars at Key Arena Friday June 22, 2012. Before each game, Brummel makes the rounds in the stadium, on the floor and in the upper levels, to greet loyal fans and season ticket holders with hugs and high-fives. "I'm so happy with what they've done for the team," said Stevenson. "It's just beyond words what they've done for this city."

The Seattle Storm's 2012 season came to close last week, and I wanted to share some behind-the-scenes images from a series of stories I worked on with Jerry Brewer, profiling their wonderfully unusual ownership group of three women. Jerry's vignettes into the business and personalities of the Storm's leadership are rich and insightful pieces, and I had a great time spending time with each of them. Follow the links to read more.

"Professional sports owners are commonly perceived to be rich white men who desire a toy, and that stereotype is often reflected in the erratic way they run franchises. But owning the Seattle Storm, in a 16-year-old women's sports league still establishing itself, is neither a luxury nor a hobby. It's an assignment, and sometimes a burden."
Brewer: Eye of the Storm: Can women's professional basketball succeed on and off the court in Seattle?


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

From left, Lisa Brummel, Ginny Gilder, and Dawn Trudeau, share a laugh courtside at Key Arena as the Seattle Storm take on the Phoenix Mercury Thursday August 16, 2012. Brummel, Gilder and Trudeau form the ownership group Force 10 Hoops, that owns the Seattle Storm.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A picture of the original ownership group, from left, Dawn Trudeau, Ginny Gilder, Lisa Brummel and Anne Levinson, hangs on the wall in Key Arena. Levinson left the group in 2010.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Lisa Brummell 'writes everywhere' in her office with dry erase markers Tuesday July 3, 2012. Brummel, along with being one of the owners of the Seattle Storm, is the senior vice president of Human Resources at Microsoft. She is the hoops junkie of the group and participated in basketball softball, volleyball and track at Yale.

Brewer: Storm owner Lisa Brummel is always on the move


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Ginny Gilder walks her poodles Chaka and Shimmy at dawn each morning in Capitol Hill, near Volunteer Park.

Brewer: Storm owner Gilder's resolve takes your breath away


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Ginny Gilder was a decorated rower at Yale, named to the 1980 Moscow Olympics team that boycotted the games that year, and won a silver medal four years later at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Ginny Gilder gets encouraging text messages from family before setting out on the 152-mile RAMROD or 'Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day' cyclist rally Thursday July 26, 2012.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

After living in the rural town of Carnation for many years, Dawn Trudeau recently relocated to a condo in Belltown, where she often walks to buy her coffee from neighborhood cafes and her produce from Pike Place Market. She went to the market Monday, July 2, 2012 to buy a box of local produce to take with her on a trip to visit family in Iowa, where she was raised.

Brewer: Storm owner Dawn Trudeau has never stopped learning


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Mike Osborn, owner of Sosio's Fruit and Produce in Pike Place Market, remarks to Dawn Trudeau about the Storm's June winning streak and the tough loss in New York that ended it, when she visited his stand Monday, July 2, 2012. Trudeau recently moved to Belltown and enjoys walking to Pike Place to get her produce from Sosio's, and is greeted as a regular.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

From left, Karen Bryant, Ginny Gilder, Lisa Brummel, and Dawn Trudeau, walk out on the red carpet for a halftime Title IX presentation for female athletes at Key Arena as the Seattle Storm take on the Phoenix Mercury Thursday August 16, 2012. Brummel, Gilder and Trudeau form the ownership group Force 10 Hoops, that owns the Seattle Storm, Bryant is the president and CEO of the team.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

From left, Lisa Brummel, Ginny Gilder, Karen Bryant and Dawn Trudeau, put their hands together for a "Go Storm!" at Key Arena as the Seattle Storm take on the Phoenix Mercury Thursday August 16, 2012. Brummel, Gilder and Trudeau form the ownership group Force 10 Hoops, that owns the Seattle Storm, Bryant is the president and CEO of the team.

"In almost any other business endeavor, the Storm ownership trio known as Force 10 Hoops would be anywhere from a safe bet to a sure thing. But as WNBA owners, they face a befuddling question: Why is it so hard to turn a profit in the WNBA?

How can owners with so much passion and business savvy be considered underdogs?"

Brewer: Storm owners have passion, business savvy, but making team a longterm success is huge challenge

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