On 15 March the WNBA unveiled a new season campaign called ‘Count It’ which saw the league work with Sylvian Labs and which spanned a new logo, a branded basketball and new uniforms as well as an integrated marketing campaign celebrating the league’s 25th anniversary season.
Timed to leverage Women’s History Month and dedicated to social justice, the WNBA initiative will run through the season and will highlight the league’s key milestones and breakthroughs, while all teams will host specially-themed events and fan promotions.
The approach aims to celebrate how the rights owner, the teams, its players and partners have ‘shattered expectations’ and ‘stood at the forefront of advancement, inclusion and social change for 25 years’.
The campaign is led by a hero spot called ‘Count It’ which debuted on 15 March.
Supporting to lead film, #CountIt launched with a set of photos of the new logo and the new official WNBA ball
— WNBA (@WNBA) March 15, 2021
Already hard at work with our new ball.
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) March 15, 2021
The ball integrates Wilson’s Evo NXTconstruction featuring an enhanced grip and a soft moisture-minimalizing feel
Full release ⬇️
— WNBA (@WNBA) March 15, 2021
Initiatives for the WNBA’s 25th season include:
The WNBA and its fans will select and honour the league’s greatest players since its inception in 1997.
WNBA 25 Greatest Moments
Using a voting process, the WNBA’s 25 Greatest Moments will be determined during the 2021 campaign.
New WNBA Outfitting and Game Ball for 25th Season
Kit partner Nike will unveil new uniforms with innovations, storytelling and detail, while Wilson will introduce a new official game ball.
WNBA 25th Season Advisory Council
The WNBA has established a new advisory council comprised of women’s basketball pioneers and WNBA legends to capture historic perspective, hear from legacy advisors and successful sports business people, and propel WNBA business objectives.
WNBA Social Justice
The WNBA Justice Movement is the platform for the league’s work to combat racial and gender inequality, promote advocacy for LBGTQ+ rights, and champion reform in systems where injustice persists.
WNBA Commissioner’s Cup:
The WNBA’s 25th season also marks the debut of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, an innovative and multi-faceted ‘competition within a competition’ that features player prize pools and is comprised of 10 designated regular-season games per team and culminates in a championship game between the two teams atop the standings in each conference.
“We want to count all the accomplishments of the league, from a game perspective but also in culture and society,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert at the launch of ‘Count It’. “The reason we decided to use tallies in the logo was to get across the idea of, ‘Keep counting, because there is a lot more to come from the WNBA. Hopefully we’re going to have a lot of fan engagement around all these elements, along with naming our 25 greatest players and 25 greatest moments. And our social justice council has continued to meet to keep doing important work in their communities.”
Social justice was also a key WNBA focus last season in its Bradenton bubble (in Florida) where the league had a 22-game season with traditional playoffs and was won by Seattle.
While the schedules and venues are returning to normal this season, it is not clear if and when fans will be allowed back at WNBA games, but much of the testing and social-distancing protocol with players, coaches and officials that the league successfully used to get through last season will remain this season in the individual markets.
“Teams have already been talking to local health authorities,” Engelbert added. “Hopefully, some markets will allow fans, mostly in a reduced way at first. Maybe coming off the Olympic break, we’ll be in a different place as we get more a vaccinated population and less community spread of the virus. If you look at the NBA, it started with fans in six markets in December, and now they have fans in 17. We’re studying models and leveraging off the NBA experience.”
This latest wave of work follows on from the WNBA’s 2019 ‘Make Way‘ brand refresh campaign.