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Los Angeles Sparks named 2019 WNBA Franchise of the Year

The LA Sparks won three of the WNBA’s four Team Business Awards, which were announced last week, including Franchise of the Year.

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Connecticut Sun v Los Angeles Sparks - Game Three
The Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike presents a fan with a ball before a 2019 playoff game.
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Last week, the WNBA announced the winners of the Team Business Awards for the 2019 season, and it was nearly a sweep for the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Sparks received the Franchise of the Year, Tickets Sales Performance of the Year and Marketing Performance of the Year Awards. The Dallas Wings were honored with the Partnership Performance of the Year Award.

To outside observers, as well as a former coach, some of the events of the 2019 season seemed to show some faults in the Sparks’ organizational foundation. Yet, the institutional infrastructure in LA remains strong.

Impressively, the Sparks have claimed a space in a crowded cultural landscape. In a market where entertainment opportunities abound, the Sparks successfully have enticed fans to support their team in Staples Center, providing an aspirational example for other organizations. According to the WNBA:

Los Angeles earned the Ticket Sales Performance of the Year Award after a successful, multi-faceted ticket sales campaign that led to increases for group ticket sales, full-season ticket memberships and gate receipts, resulting in the team leading the league in attendance with close to 200,000 fans attending home games, a six percent increase over the 2018 season.

In part, the Sparks used a socially-conscious marketing campaign, “Spark the True You,” to inspire interest in the team. As the league recognized:

Through their critically acclaimed “Spark the True You” campaign, the team helped to promote mental health awareness and care for current and former female members of the military as #SparkTheTrueYou received over 430,000 views on Instagram and over 95,000 video views on the social media platform.

The Sparks also honored local women committed to social, cultural and economic empowerment through their #WeAreWomen initiative.

Dallas earned the Partnership Performance of the Year Award because the organization “retained all its partners from the 2018 season and focused on health and wellness companies, leading to a 40 percent growth in partnership revenue.”

Congrats to the Sparks and Wings!