Frank Discussions is back—with a twist. Frank had the opportunity to sit down with Catie Griggs, President of Business Operations for the Seattle Mariners, in front of a live audience of MBA students on January 10, 2023.
Listen in as they address early-career lessons, the challenges of diversifying the C-Suite in major league sports, and what Catie is most excited about when looking at the upcoming season. Catie also fields questions (pun intended) from students regarding finding one’s north star, breaking into the sports industry, casting the promotional spotlight on individual players and more.
Hey batter, batter, batter…
President of Business Operations, Seattle Mariners
Catie Griggs was named President of Business Operations for the Mariners on July 27, 2021. She is responsible for all aspects of the Mariners business operations. With the exception of Jerry Dipoto and baseball operations, the Mariners Executive Vice Presidents and Sr. Vice Presidents report to Griggs and form the senior leadership team of the organization. Griggs has installed a laser-focus across the organization on serving Mariners fans. This commitment to fans is supported by data-driven decision making.
Prior to joining the Mariners, Griggs spent the previous four years (2017-2021) helping build Atlanta United into one of the premier Major League Soccer franchises. She was Chief Business Officer, overseeing all aspects of the Atlanta United front office, including the strategic decisions leading to the record-setting attendance, matchday production and operations in and around Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the team’s supporter groups and broadcasting. She also directed the team’s community relations efforts, overseeing $2.5M in donations and more than 22,000 volunteer hours in support of community events in 2019, and proactively pursued efforts to increase the diversity within the club front office and its efforts in the community and in growing fan base. In 2019, the Atlanta United was named Sports Team of the Year, while its home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, received Sports Facility of the Year at the Sports Business Awards; MLS Marketing Team of the Year, PR Team of the Year and Social Team of the Year; and Atlanta Sports Council’s Team of the Year. In 2017, she was named a Sports Business Journal Game Changer, an annual award that honors women leaders across all aspects of sports business.
Prior to joining Atlanta United, Griggs was with Futures Sport & Entertainment, a cross-platform global media and sponsorships analytics consultancy that is part of the Interpublic Group of Agencies. She launched the firm’s Americas operations in 2015 and led it to significant growth prior to her departure. She came to Futures Sport & Entertainment after five years at Turner Broadcasting where she served in various roles, including strategy, business operations, strategic partnerships and business development, and media rights negotiations.
A North Carolina native, Griggs received her B.A. (in Government) from Dartmouth College and her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Catie and her husband, Justin, have two children.