ESPN, WNBA announce groundbreaking television deal, rebranding campaign

The WNBA's new ball with new logo formally announced today. - Image courtesy of the WNBA.

Today, the WNBA announced that the league has entered into a new television deal with ESPN through the 2022 season. In addition, it announced that it will embark on a new branding campaign which features a new league logo and uniforms for the 2014 season. According to the Sports Business Daily, this television deal will be worth approximately $12 million a season.

New Television Deal with ESPN

Like any other professional sports league, including the Big Four (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL), television exposure is a vital element in order to maintain and grow the game. The WNBA's deal with ESPN helps extend their relationship to 26 years. There will be approximately 30 live games televised on ESPN, ESPN 2, and ABC which will include the Finals. In addition to the extension of the TV deal, here are some other things that fans will get to see during select games:

  • Referee cam - This allows fans to view game action from the standpoint of officials who are often under-appreciated for what they do.
  • Look-ins - Gives fans a bigger degree of access to shoot-arounds and practices.
  • NBA player commentary - NBA players give in-game takes on WNBA games. Hopefully this shows them as color analysts more than as token interviews celebrating the "novelty" of professional women's basketball.
The new deal with ESPN will not affect the current deals the network has with the NBA.

New Branding and Marketing Campaign


The WNBA has decided to move on from the logo with a woman dribbling a basketball to a logo which looked very similar to the Jerry West silhouette for the NBA's logo, to a new one that features a silhouette of a more athletic woman which the league believes is a better symbolization of players playing today. The new logo will be featured on the game ball and on team uniforms effective for the 2013 season. The new logo was designed in conjunction with The Original Champions of Design, a New York City based branding and design agency.

In addition, the league will begin a new marketing campaign called "I Am Logowoman" through Twitter with the hashtag #iamlogowoman. Players will take part in the campaign and fans can also take part by taking photos of themselves emulating the new WNBA logo.

Lastly, the league also announced that Adidas, the current supplier of uniforms in the NBA, the WNBA, and the D League is designing new uniforms for the 2014 WNBA season. Perhaps the WNBA will now steer away from "standardized" uniforms that have been used in recent years with this particular piece of news.

What are your takes on the new TV deal and the new marketing campaign for the league? Speak below in the comments!

(Nate Parham also contributed to this article.)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Swish Appeal

You must be a member of Swish Appeal to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Swish Appeal. You should read them.

Join Swish Appeal

You must be a member of Swish Appeal to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Swish Appeal. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker