The WNBA & Brand Partners Marketing the League
By: Janelle Bailey
The WNBA capped off one of their most exciting seasons yet earlier this month. The teams, the players and the league have each reached new heights. More people are watching the WNBA now more than ever and new opportunities have presented itself for the league. As Ari Chambers has said before, “ The WNBA is so important." We are witnessing why that statement is true right before our eyes.
At the start of the year, Glossier, a beauty brand and Official Partner of the WNBA since 2020, launched their new Stretch Collection, which includes the, “Hello Stretch Fluid Foundation and Balm Concealer”. In connection with this launch, they used their Naked Beauty Podcast to share the untold stories of Ariel Atkins and Natalia Achonwa. In Glossier’s Instagram post they discussed that their campaign and the podcast highlighted the societal norms the players battle, how some manage motherhood, and how to master the art of sweat-proof makeup for game-day.
What do partnerships like this mean for the WNBA and Glossier? Glossier CEO, Kyle Leahy, talks about how this partnership is in service of the brand’s mission to "change how the world sees beauty." Most people know that partnerships like this can help both parties because they want to do the same thing which is, uplift women. Not only did this collaboration fulfill Glossier’s mission, but the two parties were able to partner on non-beauty-specific initiatives, including support of voter registration. The slogan for the 2023 WNBA season was “More Than Game”and this partnership and the players involved promoting the league itself can showcase more than just the game of basketball.
The WNBA is no stranger to partnerships as they partnered with Discount Tire and Continental Tire earlier this year. This company and brand were named the Official Tire Retailer and Official Tire of the WNBA. It was an exciting partnership and all parties involved shared the same mission of being committed to excellence and empowering communities, WNBA.com reports. Discount Tire and Continental Tire received media exposure across a number of platforms like TV visual signage, and on court virtual signage during WNBA national broadcasts, and were promoted on the league's official social and digital sites, according to WNBA.com.
While partnerships like Discount Tire and many others are important, Glossier added a new level of what is possible for the WNBA. Glossier provided opportunities for athletes to share their life outside of basketball and be able to show their beauty off of the court. This is important as the WNBA grows fans and even more teams. Giving more players opportunities to express themselves outside the arena will help draw different fan bases, which in the end will help the league continue to be more marketable as time goes on.