With the launch of “WNBA Pride,” The Women’s National Basketball Association just became the world’s first professional sports league to boast a strategic marketing campaign to gay and lesbian sports fans.
WNBA Pride comes complete with “marketing, media, grassroots and social responsibility programs for the LGBT community,” the new initiative’s website reads.
Along with a colorful website, WNBA Pride will engage heavily in advertising, sweepstakes giveaways, and an ESPN-televised “pride game” on June 22 to celebrate LGBT pride.
“Some of my favorite memories are courtside with my wife and kids cheering on our favorite WNBA teams. For years, the WNBA has been a leading force in building support for equality on the court and in the stands,” wrote GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “The WNBA Pride platform will raise the bar in helping to end anti-LGBT bias in sports, while also celebrating the tremendous value LGBT athletes and fans bring to the game.”
The WNBA wrapped up its first season with wireless service provider Boost Mobile, its marquee sponsor, in 2012. WNBA officials said merchandise sales increased 19 percent from 2011-2012 and group sales spiked 20 percent over that same time period. Officials also said season-ticket renewals for the 2013 season were up 10 percent from a year before.
It remains to be seen how this new marketing campaign will pan out for the WNBA.
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