Three days before the start of training camp, Seattle Storm powerhouses Sue Bird and Breanna “Stewie” Stewart donned their new Seattle Storm uniforms with Swedish Medical Center branding prominently displayed. The new multi-year marquee partner has been publicly designated the “Official Medical Provider” of the Storm.
Storm President & GM Alisha Valavanis kicked off the well-attended press conference at KeyArena Thursday.
“Today is a special day for our organization,” Valavanis said. “This moment is truly a culmination of a lot of time, energy and vision around a special partnership. This partnership is special in that it started with an alignment of mission, vision and values. We sat in a room, and the energy was electric as we talked about how we can do something special. It certainly starts with the world-class medical care that Swedish can provide our athletes. But the richness in this partnership is around the community, to know that we’re going to do things in the Seattle community to make a difference.”
The Swedish-Storm campaign is the largest endeavor in the franchise’s 17-year history.
“I want to congratulate the Storm, but I also want to congratulate Swedish,” WNBA President Lisa Borders, who was also in attendance, said. “It’s incredible when I think about patient safety, quality of care and wanting every individual they serve to achieve their highest and greatest well-being. We look forward to making [Swedish] proud this season.”
Throughout the season, Storm players will be stopping by Swedish hospitals and visiting with the patients.
“I must say it’s amazing to see the Swedish logo front and center on the new Storm jersey,” said Tony Armada, Swedish Chief Executive Officer. “Our team could not be more proud of what this means. It is really meaningful for a lot of different reasons. As we met, our two organizations shared values, which included promoting good health, active lifestyles and inspiring our communities to achieve their maximum potential. The sky is the limit as far as our attitude and what we plan to do together.”
Head Coach Jenny Boucek added, “One of the things that I’ve dedicated a lot of my passion to is studying what separates the best of the best in this league,” Boucek said. “And a big determinant in the success of players and teams is their health. We can’t wait to brainstorm, figure out ways to prevent injuries and just maximize their physical and mental abilities.”
Bird noted the importance of health in her career as well.
“Now that I am a veteran player, I’ve learned the hard way that you really need to take care of yourself,” she said. “That’s definitely something that I like to express to the younger players. There’s so much that goes into this equation, but the most important thing is taking care of yourself. I think with this partnership, we’re going to get that care. And that’s huge.”
Please see below for The Seattle Lesbian’s photo coverage of the press event. All images courtesy of Amie Hood for The Seattle Lesbian.