The WNBA is planning for the future, cultivating a next generation of fans, introducing a new logo and resetting the brand.
The WNBA announced a multiyear marquee partnership with AT&T, making the global communications and technology company the first non-apparel partner to have its logo featured on the front of all 12 team jerseys throughout the league.
The jerseys will officially debut during this week’s WNBA Draft presented by State Farm on April 10 at NIKE’s New York headquarters.
— Girls Who Code (@GirlsWhoCode) April 9, 2019
The world’s premiere professional league for woman continues to break ground and find innovative ways to stay relevant and impact society. This collaboration is ideal given the way the WNBA embraces and celebrates the power, optimism, and dimensions of its hoops family – and how AT&T proactively takes action to support diversity and foster inclusion.
“The WNBA is deeply committed to empowering and inspiring women,” said Kerry Tatlock, Senior Vice President, Marketing Partnerships. “AT&T’s groundbreaking commitment to our game, which is anchored on our shared values of diversity and inclusion, make it the perfect partner for the WNBA at this exciting time.”
Overall, the WNBA is planning for the future, cultivating a next generation of fans, introducing a new logo and resetting the brand. The league unveiled its plans Monday.
WNBA rebrands with new logo, eyes next generation of fans.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) April 8, 2019
“We are excited about all of it,” WNBA chief operating officer Christy Hedgpeth said via phone conference last week. “It starts with our purpose, which is to expand our audience and grow at a faster rate.”
We believe we’ll do that by becoming more and more culturally relevant over time. It led us to a new target consumer, new design target that’s much, much younger — the 16-to-34 millennials, who are very diverse, very socially conscious, engaged in issues of today.”
It’s the first time the league will have a new logo since 2013. The logos won’t be on the uniforms or balls until next year because of the lack of production time needed to do it, but it will be everywhere else around the league.
According to AP, Hedgpeth insisted that the logo wasn’t modeled after one player and that the hair was a huge part of the conversation. The logo has a bun which represents the way many players wear their hair.
Hedgpeth says the league’s marquee partnership with AT&T is a perfect because “…(the company’s) such a great fit to diversity and inclusion and accurately portraying women in advertising.”
Fiona Carter, chief brand officer of AT&T Communications, believes the possibilities are limitless.
“Together, we can create ways for basketball fans and for AT&T customers to engage in the causes and communities important to the WNBA and to AT&T,” said Carter. “Whether it’s women in sports, supporting small businesses like those owned by WNBA players, being a leading voice in LGBTQ rights, or giving back to communities in which we operate, we have much in common and many opportunities to empower these incredible athletes and their fans.”
— WNBA (@WNBA) April 8, 2019
Throughout the season, AT&T will be integrated into WNBA.com, the league’s app and social channels, as well as with broadcast partners ESPN networks and NBA TV. AT&T will also be title partner of WNBA All-Star festivities with on-court logo placement, signage and unique activation opportunities beginning this year in Las Vegas.
As part of the partnership, AT&T and the WNBA will also collaborate on programming to support women in sports.
Having the control to shape its own the narratives and tell its own stories will help the WNBA promote its players and product better and continue a movement in sports that grew out of the 1996 Olympics and continues to evolve.
As the number of girls participating in basketball around the world continues to explode, the WNBA stays a step ahead of the game with an eye towards a promising future.