The most influential figure
in Northwest professional sports
He’s been called the “most influential figure in Northwest professional sports” by Washington CEO magazine and “one of professional sports’ sharpest executives” by the Seattle Times. Bob Whitsitt has negotiated over 1,000 contracts with professional athletes, coaches, agents, business executives, employees, advertisers, public officials, sports team owners, and others. As President of the Seattle Seahawks from 1997 to 2005, he negotiated the acquisition of the team for Paul Allen and led a successful statewide referendum that secured $300 million in public funding for the Seahawks new football & soccer stadium and exhibition center.
Bob Whitsitt’s rise to the top of the field in professional sports began when he was promoted to assistant general manager of the Indiana Pacers three years after joining the club as an intern. At only 24 years of age, Whitsitt negotiated the contract of the Pacers’ first round pick–Clark Kellogg. In 1982, he joined the Kansas City Kings as vice president of marketing. Two years later, he oversaw the team’s successful move to Sacramento. In Sacramento, Bob created and negotiated the first ever arena naming rights sponsorship–Arco Arena. In 1986, he became the president and general manager of the Seattle SuperSonics. Just 30 years old, he was the league’s youngest top executive. When Whitsitt joined the Sonics, they were losing money and last in NBA attendance. During Whitsitt’s eight-year tenure, the team was profitable every season and soon played every game in a sold-out arena. In 1994, Whitsitt earned the NBA Executive of the Year Award for building the team with the best record in the NBA that would soon play for the NBA championship.
Whitsitt’s legacy of success carried over to the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks. In Portland, Bob helped transition the Trailblazers from the smallest arena in the NBA into a new 20,000 state of the art facility. During Whitsitt’s tenure, the Trailblazers were one of the top 5 NBA teams in sponsorship and ticket revenue. In addition to his roles as president of the Trailblazers and Seahawks, Bob negotiated the acquisitions of and served as president of Rose City Radio, Action Sports Media, WNBA Portland Fire. Whitsitt served as president of a diverse range of companies including Oregon Arena Corporation, Red Lion Hotel. Whitsitt recently served as Chief Sports Advisor to ownership of the NHL’s Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena.
Today as a business consultant and attorney, Whitsitt is applying his wide-ranging skills and expertise, his flair for spotting talent, his industry-wide network of relationships and his proven record of success, to the art of helping people in a wide range of industries achieve their business goals.