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WNBA Marketing

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rich ford

on 20 February 2014

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Transcript of WNBA Marketing

WNBA Marketing

Ulises Contreras
Rich Ford
Lon Ragland
James Simmons


Marketing Goal
Each team is responsible for individual marketing
Problems
The WNBA problems range from a lack of sponsorship, the way their athletes are marketed, competition and investors and the inibility to hold onto their fans
Strategies
Marketing to African Americans, lesbians and youth

Market affordability and accessibility

Market individual athletes

Work with networks to increase visibility - ESPN
Ownership and Operation
Non affiliated teams
Atlanta Dream
- Dream Too LLC
Chicago Sky
- Michael J. Alter and Margaret Stender.
Connecticut Sun
- Mohegan Sun Tribe.
LA Sparks
- Guggenheim Partners.
Seattle Storm
- Force 10 Hoops LLC.
Tulsa Shock
- Tulsa Pro Hoops LLC.
LGBT
Problems that arise from marketing to LGBT community
Birth of a League
Aug 24,1996, women’s basketball announces “We Got Next” as the NBA Board of Governors approves the concept of the WNBA.
In 1997 the Houston Comets become the first WNBA champions
In 1999 the WNBA and WNBPA reaches agreement on the leagues first CBA agreement.
1999 expansion adds Indiana, Miami, Portland, and Seattle. Pushing the total to 16.
In 2002 the NBA Board of Governors vote to restructure the league and allow individual team ownership, to allow teams to be owned by non-NBA owners and to be located in non-NBA markets.
In 2003 the Connecticut Suns join the WNBA as the Mohegan Tribe of Indians become the first non-NBA owner in league history.
July 15, 2007 the WNBA reaches an eight-year agreement with ESPN to have ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 televise games through the 2016 season.
May 13, 2009 WNBA LiveAccess, a new feature on WNBA.com provides fans with free access to more then 200 live games.

In 2011 Lauren Richie is appointed the 3rd president of the WNBA.
In 2011 the WNBA and Boost Mobile announced a landmark multi-year partnership that made Boost Mobile the first league-wide marquee partner of the WNBA.
The WNBA is made up of 12 teams with 6 teams each in the Eastern and Western Conference

Teams affiliated with the NBA are the
Indiana Fever, NY Liberty, Washington Mystics, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury and San Antonio Stars
Widen fan base
Attract new sponsors
Increase visibility of league and teams
Maintain and increase ticket sales
Competitors
MLB
(Season starts around the same time and ends after WNBA seasons does)
MLS
( Season starts in March and runs through October)
NBA
(Preseason starts at the end of WNBA season)
NHL
(preseason and season starts at the end of WNBA season)
Other
( Concerts, Outdoors activities, etc….)
Overseas
(Players are paid more and some will only play over there instead of playing 2 seasons in the same year, runs October through Feburary)
Overseas vs WNBA
Maya Moore
47,000 in WNBA rookie season (2011)
Contract not public, but said to more than double salary in Chinese League
Http://www.usbasket.com/Americans-Overseas.asp?Country=TUR&women=1


Diana Taurasi thought about taking the 2011 WNBA season off to rest because she was getting tired from all the basketball. She said 7 years of straight basketball was taking a toll on her body. Played in Russian and Turkey, WNBA, and also on the USA team which meant more basketball in the summer. She said she had to take WNBA season off because she makes too much overseas to take it then.

Market Status
Traditionally the WNBA has ignored its lesbian players and fans, pretending both don't exist.
Sheryl Swoopes was the first major pro superstar to come out in 2005, and since then, a few others have been openly gay. The most notable is Lynx all-star guard Seimone Augustus, who came out this year and marshaled the Twin Cities gay and lesbian pride parade last month with her fiance. Also Brittany Grinder just came out before last season.
2 longtime Los Angeles Sparks season ticket holders were recently asked about the demographics they see at WNBA games in their sections …..
1 of them guessed it would be 30 percent lesbian
The 2nd one estimated that up to 50 percent of the fans in theirsection were gay/lesbian.

I see roughly the same thing: Numerous adults and children. Anywhere from 30-50 percent gay/lesbian. Families, or sections of families. Lots of women and girls. I would further break it down into age: The adults are mostly age 30 and up, and the young people, 14 and under.
Los Angeles Sparks and Miami Sol have made ticket-selling trips to local lesbian bars
Minnesota Lynx advertise in one of the Midwest's best-read gay-lesbian magazines
Seattle Storm sponsored a Gay Pride Night last season to which a group of 300 lesbian activists bought tickets


Marketing towards Gay/Lesbians
No marketable players
NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL all have faces of the leagues and also other sports like Tennis, Golf, Swimming. WNBA doesn’t have that player that has a big endorsment deal so promote herself with and for the league to showcase. They have players that have little deals and showcases some times, but not a LeBron, Peyton, Jeter, or Crosby kind of player.

Solutions
Player conflicts
Sponsor conflict
Sophia Young opposing same sex marriages
• Perceptions
– Athletic vs Feminine

• Competition
– European leagues offering higher salaries and also get funding from private investors and government. About 80% of WNBA players play overseas to supplement their income.

• Ownership of teams
– more private and international owners – 6 teams have folded 3 have relocated

• Low and falling attendance
– fan retention

"they all have a very progressive view on the role of women in society."
Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins
Bring in international owners

Strict rules for social media

Team with other leagues in a way that stops top talent from leaving. Maybe use it as a developmental league

Market player’s skills and personalities

Questions?
Full transcript