Most Influential Figure in Northwest Professional Sports

Bob Whitsitt

He’s been called the “most influential figure in Northwest professional sports” by Washington CEO Magazine and a “shrewd executive” by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In 17 seasons as an NBA general manager, “Trader Bob” built teams that made the playoffs 16 times. He transformed the Seattle Supersonics from one of the teams with the worst record in the league, into the team with the best record. In nine years as president and general manager of the Portland Trailblazers, he built teams that averaged 50 wins per season and he played a key role in the successful completion of the Rose Garden Arena. President of the Seattle Seahawks from 1997 through the beginning of 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 Seahawk’s new football stadium and exhibition center.
Bob Whitsitt’s rise to the top of the field of professional sports began when he signed on as an intern for the Indiana Pacers in 1978. 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 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 club, the Sonics were last in the league in attendance. When he left eight years later, the team played every game in front of a sold-out arena. The 1994 NBA Executive of the Year, he built a team that would soon go on to play for the NBA championship.
Whitsitt’s legacy of success carried over to the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks. During his last five years as Trailblazer GM, the team averaged 53 wins per season, made two appearances in the Western Conference Finals, and drew more than 20,000 fans per game. During his tenure with the Seahawks, Bob built a team that made its first three playoff appearances in nearly a decade, won two division championships, and played in Superbowl XL. Over the course of the last 10 years, Whitsitt has also served as president of a diverse range of companies, including the Oregon Arena Corporation, Rose City Radio, Action Sports Media, and more.
Today, as a business consultant, Whitsitt is applying his wide-ranging skills and expertise, his flair for spotting talent, his industry-wide network of relationships, and his 27-year track record of success, to the art of helping people in a wide range of industries achieve their business goals.


Public Speaking
With more than 25 years in the public eye and a long career as the builder of winning teams in the NBA and NFL, Bob Whitsitt is a compelling public presenter who can truly motivate an audience. Calling on real-world examples based on his experience in the sports industry that demonstrate the power of perseverance, hard work, and teamwork, Whitsitt can provide your group, company, or organization with a stirring speech that delivers the right combination of entertainment and inspiration.