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WNBA 2022 commercial guide: Every franchise, every sponsor, all the major TV deals

As the 26th WNBA season gets underway, SportsPro takes a closer look at the commercial picture in North America’s premier women’s basketball competition.

6 May 2022 Rory Jones

Getty Images

When Chicago Sky embark on their title defence against the Los Angeles Sparks in their season-opener on 6th May, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will be hoping it kickstarts another year of growth both on and off the court.

As interest in the premier North American women’s basketball competition continues to surge, an expanded schedule of 36 games per team will mark the league’s longest ever season as it looks to capitalise on its growing popularity. The 2022 campaign will also see the introduction of a tweaked playoff format, which now includes best-of series in each round of the postseason, starting with a three-game series in the first round, followed by two best-of-five series in the later stages.

Indeed, the WNBA will be keen to build on the success of its last campaign, which despite delays and disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic was its most-watched regular season since 2008.

Meanwhile, the 2021 WNBA finals averaged 548,000 viewers over four games on ESPN and ABC, marking a 42 per cent increase on 2019 and the league’s most-watched champion-crowning series since 2017. The postseason more broadly was the most viewed since 2014, averaging 367,000 viewers across 17 games.

Those broadcast numbers will be particularly encouraging ahead of the expiration of the WNBA’s deal with ESPN at the end of this season.

This year, Amazon is returning to air a slate of 17 WNBA games exclusively on its Prime Video streaming platform. Amazon is also making another significant play in women’s basketball in 2022 thanks to a new deal to broadcast around 30 Seattle Storm games throughout Washington state. 

Ahead of its 26th campaign, the WNBA also secured the largest-ever capital raise for a women’s sports property, receiving a reported US$75 million from investors including sportswear giant Nike and a number of WNBA and National Basketball Association (NBA) owners. Linda Henry, an owner of baseball’s Boston Red Sox and English soccer club Liverpool alongside her husband John Henry, was also among those to invest in the women’s basketball competition.

The funding will go towards improvements in areas such as marketing, digital and operational optimisation, all of which is intended to generate new revenue that will contribute to the global growth of the league. In light of the investment in February, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert outlined how it would be used to drive the league’s development.

“Our strategy is to deploy this capital to continue to drive the league’s brand as a bold, progressive entertainment and media property that embodies diversity, promotes equity, advocates for social justice, and stands for the power of women,” she said.

“Having just completed our historic 25th season, with this access to additional capital, we are setting the WNBA up for a successful future and it represents a sign and signal of the future direction of women’s sports as a whole.”

Broadcast partners


United States: ABC/ESPN, CBS, NBA TV, Amazon Prime Video, Facebook Watch, Twitter

Notes: The WNBA receives a reported US$25 million per year from its broadcast deal with ESPN, which alongside CBS is one of the league’s main broadcast partners. The league is in the final year of its current contract with Disney-owned ESPN, while the length and financial terms of its multi-year deal with CBS have not been announced. 

Select overseas:

UK and Ireland: Sky Sports

Spain: Movistar

Australia: ESPN

New Zealand: ESPN

Japan: Rakuten/Wowow

France: BeIN Sports

Canada: TSN, Sportsnet

Brazil: ESPN

Global: Amazon Prime Video (excludes China, Japan, UK, Italy, Spain, Finland and Germany)

Top-tier sponsors

AT&T: The US telecommunications giant signed with the WNBA in April 2019 to become the first non-apparel partner to have its logo featured on all team jerseys. Last year the company broadened its relationship with the league and the men’s National Basketball Association (NBA) to become the official 5G innovation partner of both competitions. 

Deloitte: Entered a multi-year partnership with the WNBA in January 2020 to become the official professional services provider of the league and an inaugural member of its Changemakers programme.

Google: The WNBA added Google to its top sponsorship tier in May 2021, when the technology behemoth was announced as the league’s official trends and fan insights partner, as well as the presenting partner of the WNBA on ESPN.

Nike: The US sportswear brand has been the league’s uniform partner since 2018 and became one of the league’s Changemakers in 2020.

US Bank: Unveiled as the WNBA’s latest Changemaker in March, US Bank will serve as the competition’s official bank and will launch a league-wide financial wellness programme for players, which will include access to financial advisors.

Select other partners

Adidas, American Express, Beats by Dre, BetMGM, CarMax, Clorox, Coinbase, DoorDash, ExxonMobil, FanDuel, Kia Motors, LegalZoom, MGM Resorts, Microsoft, Hennessy, Mondelez International, New Era, Oculus, PepsiCo, Puma, SAP, Sportradar, State Farm, Ticketmaster, Tissot, Wilson, YouTube TV

The Seattle Storm recently signed a local streaming deal with Amazon Prime Video ahead of the 2022 season.

The Teams

Eastern Conference

Atlanta Dream

Owners: Larry Gottesdiener, Renee Montgomery, Suzanne Abair

Chief executiveSuzanne Abair

Total social media following: 195k

Home venue: Gateway Center Arena (3,500)

Venue naming rights sponsor: N/A

Jersey patch sponsor: Microsoft (multi-year deal, signed 2022, value not reported)

Main jersey sponsor: N/A

Other partners: Coca-Cola, Anthem, Emory Healthcare, The Icebox, State Farm, Georgia Lottery, Cort, Scana Energy, Renee Montgomery Foundation, Remotely Renee

Local broadcasters: Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast (TV)

Chicago Sky

Principal owner: Michael Alter

Chief executive and president: Adam Fox

Total social media following: 345.4k

Home venue: Wintrust Arena (10,387)

Venue naming rights sponsor: Wintrust Financial (15-year deal, signed 2016, value not reported)

Jersey patch sponsor: Magellan (multi-year deal, signed 2015, value not reported)

Main jersey sponsor: University of Chicago Medicine (renewal signed 2021, expires 2024)

Other partners: Ariel Investments, Aries Charter Transportation Inc, Avison Young, BMO, Foley & Lardner LLP, Gatorade, Good Sport, Hyatt Regency, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, Proven IT, TickPick, United Airlines, Vitalant, Walgreens

Local broadcaster: Marquee Sports Network (TV)

Connecticut Sun

Owner: Mohegan Sun

President: Jennifer Rizzotti

Total social media following: 125.2k

Home venue: Mohegan Sun Arena (9,323)

Venue naming rights sponsor: N/A

Jersey patch sponsor: Post University

Main jersey sponsor: Yale New Haven Health (three-year extension signed 2021, value not reported)

Other partners: Post University, Bud Light Seltzer, Lewis Real Estate Services, Jim Beam Coca-Cola

Local broadcaster: New England Sports Network (TV)

Indiana Fever

Owner: Herbert Simon

President and chief operating officerAllison Barber

Total social media following: 222.4k

Home venue: Gainbridge Fieldhouse (17,923)

Venue naming rights sponsor: Gainbridge (shared with NBA’s Indiana Pacers, multi-year deal signed 2021, value not reported)

Jersey patch sponsor:  Salesforce (multi-year deal, signed 2019, value not reported)

Main jersey sponsor: Salesforce

Other partners: Anthem Inc

Local Broadcasters: Bally Sports Indiana (TV)

New York Liberty

Owner: Joseph Tsai

Chief executive: Keia Clarke

Total social media following: 260.2k

Home venue: Barclays Center (17,700)

Venue naming rights sponsor: Barclays (shared with NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, US$10 million a year, signed 2012, expires 2032)

Jersey patch sponsor: Hospital for Special Surgery (long-term deal, signed 2019, value not reported)

Main jersey sponsor: Webull (included in Brooklyn Nets’ deal, signed in 2021, total deal reportedly worth US$30 million per year)

Select other partners: SeatGeek, Coinbase, Sun Chlorella, Xbox, Snipes, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, BioSteel, Amtrak, Withings

Local broadcaster: Yes Network (TV)

Washington Mystics

Owner: Monumental Sports & Entertainment

President: Jim Van Stone

Total social media following: 205k

Home venue: Entertainment and Sports Arena (4,200)

Venue naming rights sponsor: N/A

Jersey patch sponsor: N/A

Main jersey sponsor: N/A

Select other partners: Custom Ink, Bud Light, Papa John’s, Xfinity, Northern Virginia Orthodontics, CarMax

Local broadcastersMonumental Sports Network, NBC Sports Washington (TV)

Western Conference

Dallas Wings

Owner: Bill Cameron

President and chief executive: Greg Bibb

 Total social media following: 185.6k

Home venue: College Park Center (7,000)

Venue naming rights sponsor: N/A

Jersey patch sponsor: N/A

Main jersey sponsor: N/A

Other partners: American Airlines, American Fidelity, Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau, Bank of Texas, Beautylixirs, Gatorade, Nickson, State Farm, Tryp360, University of Texas

Local broadcaster: Bally Sports Southwest (TV)

Las Vegas Aces

Owner: Mark Davis

President: Nikki Fargas

Total social media following: 227.3k

Home venue: Michelob Ultra Arena (12,000)

Venue naming rights sponsor: Michelob Ultra (multi-year deal, signed 2021, value not reported)

Jersey patch sponsor: N/A

Main jersey sponsor: N/A

Other partners: American Airlines, Avis, Dignity Health, Franklin Group, Somerpointe Resorts, Terrible Herbst

Local broadcasters: KWWN (radio), local TV deal with MyLVTV expired at end of last season

Los Angeles Sparks

Owners: Mark Walter and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson

Managing partner: Eric Holoman

Total social media following: 609.7k

Home venue: Crypto.com Arena (19,079)

Venue naming rights sponsor: Crypto.com (shared with NBA’s LA Lakers and LA Clippers, US$700 million, 20-year deal signed in 2021)

Jersey patch sponsor: UCLA Health (multi-year deal, signed 2022, worth seven figures)

Main jersey sponsor: Equitrust Life Insurance Company (multi-year deal, signed 2015, value not reported)

Other partners: E-Central, HyperIce, Molson Coors, Anthem, Waff, GRYD Foundation

Local broadcaster: Spectrum SportsNet (TV)

The LA Sparks have the WNBA’s largest social media following across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Minnesota Lynx

Owner: Glen Taylor (Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez set to assume majority ownership in 2023)

Chief executive: Ethan Casson

Total social media following: 368k

Home venue: Target Center (18,798)

Venue naming rights sponsor: Target (shared with NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, contract first signed in 1990, extended in 2005, 2011 and 2015. Original contract worth US$1.5 million per season)

Jersey patch sponsor: Sharecare (multi-year deal, signed 2019, value not reported)

Main jersey sponsor: Mayo Clinic (multi-year deal, signed 2019, value not reported)

Other partners: Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota, Fitbit, HyVee, TCL, Treasure Island Resort & Casino, StarTribune, Jack Links, Federated Insurance, TIGI, All Energy, Budweiser, Delta Dental, Sprite, Grant Thornton

Local broadcasters: Bally Sports North (TV) and KLCI (radio)

Phoenix Mercury

Owner: Robert Sarver

President and chief executiveJason Rowley

Total social media following: 347.4k

Home venue: Footprint Center (17,071)

Venue naming rights sponsor: Footprint (shared with NBA’s Phoenix Mercurymulti-year deal signed 2021, value not reported)

Jersey patch sponsor: PayPal (multi-year deal, signed 2018, value not reported)

Main jersey sponsor:  Fry’s (signed 2021, value not reported)

Select other partners: Bally’s Corporation, CarMax, FirstBank, Verizon

Local broadcaster: Bally Sports Arizona (TV)

Seattle Storm

Owner: Force 10 Hoops LLC

President and chief executive: Alisha Valavanis

Total social media following: 330.7k

Home venue: Climate Pledge Arena (18,100)

Venue naming rights sponsor: Amazon (shared with NHL’s Seattle Kraken, multi-year deal signed 2020, reportedly worth between US$300 million and US$400 million)

Jersey patch sponsor: Symetra Life Insurance (ten-year deal, signed 2019, value not reported)

Main jersey sponsor: Swedish Medical Center (multi-year deal, signed 2016, worth more than US$1 million per year)

Other partners: Alaska Airlines, Bank of America, BECU, Carter Subaru, Cort, Gatorade, Kaiser Permanente

Local broadcasters: Fox 13 (TV) and Amazon Prime Video (streaming)

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