The 25th season of the Women’s National Basketball Association gets underway next week and is set to be the most exciting edition of the competition yet.
A number of groundbreaking announcements have been made which are expected to elevate women’s basketball across both the United States and the world. GiveMeSport Women runs through why the upcoming WNBA season will be like no other.
Partnership with Google
With the start of the season just around the corner, the WNBA have agreed to a multi-year partnership with Google. The groundbreaking news was announced on Monday evening to excited fans.
Google joins AT&T, Nike, and Deloitte as WNBA Changemakers. As part of the agreement, the American technology company will act as the Presenting Partner of the WNBA Playoffs, as well as an Associate Partner of WNBA All-Star on ESPN and the WNBA Commissioner's Cup.
Players took to social media to show their delight. Elena Delle Donne, who was named to six All-Star teams and was WNBA Most Valuable Player in 2015 and 2019, thanked Google in a post on Twitter.
“This is exactly what we need,” she said. “Brands coming on board in a big way to invest in women. Thank you Google for helping us elevate the game on and off the court.”
Twitter and Facebook streaming matches
Social media giants Twitter and Facebook will be streaming matches for fans to see. Twitter will stream 12 games. The platform also plans to use tweets from viewers in its coverage. Meanwhile Facebook, with over 2.7 billion monthly active users, will stream 20 matches for fans to see.
A number of pay-to-view channels will also be showing games, including ESPN, ABC, CBS Television Network, CBS Sports, and NBA TV.
Such easy access to watch games will no doubt increase viewership and push the women's game to new heights. This accessibility and the multi-year partnership with Google are both massive steps forward for women's basketball – only 4 percent of television sports coverage and less than 1 percent of sponsorships are dedicated to women’s sports.
The WNBA’s 25th regular season gets going on May 14th and continues through the weekend, with all 12 teams in action.
After the opening set of games, the spotlight will be on an anticipated match up on Saturday, May 15th. The focus will be on two-time league MVP Candace Parker, who will make her debut with the Chicago Sky. She will come up against Delle Donne and the Mystics in Washington.
Elsewhere, Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird will be contesting her 18th WNBA season. At 39-years-old, she is the oldest active player in the league. In addition, all eyes will be on Charli Collier of the Dallas Wings, who was the first number one overall pick in the WNBA draft.
Alongside the four aforementioned teams, this season will also feature the Atlanta Dream, Connecticut Sun, Indiana Fever, Las Vegas Aces, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury.News Now - Sport News