The WNBA is hoping to increase its profiability through the free throw line starting in the 2018 season.
The league will have a new on-court sponsor logos for all non-ESPN network games which will appear on the foul line. The league will also allow another jersey patch, sold to a different sponsor than the original jersey patch allowed. It will be on the upper left-hand shoulder and will measure 2.25 X 2.25 inches according to the league.
WNBA COO Jay Parry said the initiatives would help bring “new ways for brands to connect with our players and our fans and our teams.” It’s an extension, she said, of the marquee partnership program that first put sponsor patches on jerseys in 2009 – something the NBA replicated at the start of the 2017 season.
Parry, who was the president and COO of the Phoenix Mercury when they became the first team to ink a deal for a sponsor patch, said the teams had asked for more ways to involve sponsors – a demand that should be a positive sign that this could be a financial boost for the league.
“We believe that brands will be interested in this because it’s a way for them to expand and deepen their relationship with their constituents,” she said. “And with the national narrative going on right now, they’re interested in aligning with brands like the WNBA that stand for diversity, inclusion and equality and being conscious on how our athletes are leading the charge on social change.”
Bob Dorfman, the creative director of Baker Street Advertising, said he thinks the initiative makes sense – especially for brands looking to hit the WNBA’s demographic.
“They’re not going to get $20 million a year like the Warriors are getting with Rakuten,” he said. “But again it’s a way for brands to connect with a sports market and if it is the right market for them it’s probably not going to be a huge investment for them and brands that are interested in building a sports sponsorship package, I don’t see them doing this exclusively but I see them as part of a…