League logos

WNBA’s Best Flash Brilliance in Chi-Town

AT&T Parlays All-Star Game Partnership Into $584,333 Worth of Brand Value

Anlayses of

No items found.
Social Media
Sponsorship Valuation
August 3, 2022
August 3, 2022
 min read

Last month, the greatest women’s hoops players on the planet converged in Chicago for the WNBA’s annual All-Star Weekend. The collection of basketball talent throttled down its collective competitiveness – slightly – but was still able to display its greatness in front of a community of fans passionate about the game. But the weekend also purposefully furthered the W’s mission of making its product about more than the game. There were public events enabling enthusiasts to interact with their favorite players, a skills competition that included high school players with professional aspirations, and a game that was more about putting on a show than winning. It was a perfect recipe for attracting new fans, captivating longtime supporters, and showcasing the league’s sponsors at the dawn of its second quarter-century. More than a dozen brands maintained a presence during WNBA All-Star Weekend, including AT&T, Google, and Nike. We used MVP’s omnichannel platform to assess viewership totals for the All-Star Game on July 10 and how the various logos throughout the broadcast contributed to value generation, while also examining league and team social accounts from July 8-11 for additional sponsorship insights. The big winner of the weekend was title sponsor AT&T – which earned $584,333 in total brand value – but several other household names also scored during the spectacle.

WNBA Appeal Extends Beyond Home DMAs

After some fans had trouble finding coverage – and overwhelmingly voiced their displeasure on social media – of the WNBA Skills Challenge when the event was bumped from ESPN2 to ESPNU in favor of Wimbledon coverage that lasted longer than its scheduled program window, ABC captivated a nationwide audience with its All-Star Game broadcast a day later. A Sunday matinee, the game tipped off at 1 p.m. EST from Wintrust Arena in the Windy City, and the viewers quickly demonstrated a thirst for the WNBA. Viewership for the contest – which was won by a team led by Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson – numbered 2.59 million, but it was the markets without a hometown club that truly showcased the league’s potential. Of the total viewers, only 29.3% came from DMAs that included a WNBA team. Los Angeles and New York – cities that have boasted a WNBA team since the league came into existence – topped all DMAs with 167,803 and 148,312 viewers, respectively, but unaffiliated Philadelphia occupied the third spot with 99,003 households watching the game. Several other markets without teams, including Boston, the Bay Area, and Houston, also secured places in the top 10. The WNBA currently comprises 12 teams, but interest clearly extends well beyond the organizations’ home markets into areas that could be prime expansion locations in years to come.

Want to stay updated with the latest in sponsorship measurement trends?

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

AT&T, Nike Benefit From Broadcast

With well over two million fans watching the WNBA All-Star Game on ABC, league partners had a vast audience of potential customers to reach – and they collectively did so to the tune of $1.24M in brand value. As title sponsor, AT&T unsurprisingly received the lion’s share. The telecommunications company’s logo was featured on the court, in graphics integrations, in LED displays, and more. Throughout the broadcast, the familiar AT&T branding was shown for a total of 56 minutes and 44 seconds, generating $495,359 in brand value. The most lucrative placement for AT&T was on the court of play, which accounted for $143,148 in brand value – more than all but two other sponsors received altogether. The highest-earning placement overall, however, belonged to Nike. The iconic swoosh logo emblazoned across all player jerseys generated $187,518 in total brand value due to an exposure duration of 11 minutes and 38 seconds. The jersey placement was ultimately responsible for 67.5% of Nike’s broadcast brand value total of $278,000. State Farm and Google also received six figures’ worth of broadcast brand value, with $155,662 and $118,305, respectively, and Gatorade rounded out the five highest-earning brands on broadcast.

Western Powers Top Social Rankings

Throughout WNBA All-Star Weekend, the league and its teams combined to share 1,384 posts across their owned social media channels. We evaluated the metrics using MVP’s social platform and discovered the content created 49.5 million total impressions from July 8-11, encompassing the days before and after competition festivities. The WNBA’s accounts were most active, posting 219 times across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter during the span. And as a result of 580,431 engagements and 16.49 million impressions, the W generated $306,617 in total post value.

Among teams, the Seattle Storm led the way. The Storm was represented by three players in the game, including Team Stewart captain Breanna Stewart and all-time great Sue Bird, who has announced she will retire at the conclusion of this season. Seattle posted 185 times during the weekend, generating more value, engagements, and impressions than any of its counterparts. The Storm’s content earned $120,694 in post value – 19.7% of the teams’ total. Las Vegas was the only other organization to exceed $100,000 over the span, finishing the weekend with $107,995 in post value generated. Coincidentally, Seattle and Las Vegas also finished first and second in total impressions, with 6.28 million and 5.6 million, respectively. However, another Western Conference club bumped the Aces to third in total engagements. Minnesota, which was represented in the All-Star Game by another retiring legend, Sylvia Fowles, earned 166,325 engagements from its content. Fowles had one of the top highlights of the event, as she capped off a decorated career with a dunk on one of the league’s grandest stages and enthralled the WNBA community on social.

Notably, team social content also boosted the value generated for WNBA partners. The additional exposure online brought AT&T’s total brand value earned over the weekend to $584,333. Nike’s total brand value jumped by 9.6% thanks to social media, tipping over the $300,000 line to $304,765. Furthermore, State Farm’s total brand value was elevated to $163,223; Google’s figure increased to $119,679; and Gatorade’s social boost brought its total to $76,331.

Teams Begin Their Sprint to the Finish

With fewer than two weeks remaining in the regular season, 11 of the WNBA’s 12 franchises are still in contention for a playoff spot. The free, fun-loving nature displayed during All-Star Weekend is a thing of the past, and each team is nearing its competitive peak as the postseason rapidly approaches. But while the manner of excitement is different, the intrigue has not waned. Teams and brands would be wise to take advantage of rising interest in the league among basketball fans of all demographics. MVP will continue to monitor the WNBA using our broadcast and social platforms until a new champion is crowned next month.

Contact Us

What to Expect

Let's have a call to understand your measurement goals.

Take a look at our product and methodology with a demo.

Align our products and services to your needs in a tailored package.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

You May Also Like