On Oct.18, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Finals matchup between the Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty concluded with an Aces victory. Unless you’re a major follower of the WNBA, you probably didn’t know that.
The National Basketball Association owns and markets the WNBA, and with the league becoming more popular as young stars begin their careers, it is still surprising to see the WNBA playoffs go by so quickly without mention.
Before jumping in, it is a fact the WNBA is a younger league than its parent league, and by that notion, it is set in stone that it will need time to grow. Even with this information, the NBA has not pushed the league enough into the limelight. There are many issues the NBA will need to fix as time goes on, but the easiest thing to start with is to market the league in a better fashion.
The biggest part of the season just took place, and there was almost no media coverage for it. The NBA season started on Tuesday, Oct. 24 and that has been receiving more marketing than a championship series. For these reasons, this issue will continue to be relevant until the WNBA season starts again.
The WNBA Finals featured young stars such as Sabrina Ionescu, Breanna Stewart, and A’ja Wilson. These three players are among some of the best the WNBA has to offer. Based on that, ratings should not suffer. As reported by SportsPro Media, the series averaged 728,000 viewers per game. These statistics made these finals the most watched in the last 20 years. This makes it clear the audience isn’t the problem. If the WNBA were to receive a larger share of the NBA’s marketing budget, the league would continue to grow, and so would its audience. Players would also continue to see raises in their salaries, which has been a large issue since the league started.
With everything listed above, the NBA needs to go back to the drawing board. The WNBA can become a financial success if the effort and commitment levels are raised. With each game that takes place, the chances of the WNBA being taken seriously become more of a reality. If the NBA decides to take the financial plunge, it will reap the benefits.