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WNBA adds Google to top sponsorship tier

Technology giant becomes presenting partner of WNBA on ESPN and playoffs.

4 May 2021 Sam Carp
  • Google joins AT&T, Nike and Deloitte as a WNBA Changemaker
  • Technology firm collaborating with WNBA and ESPN on 25-game regular season broadcast schedule
  • Multi-year deal also sees company become women’s basketball league’s trends and fan insights partner

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has added technology giant Google to its top-tier Changemaker sponsorship category.

The multi-year, multifaceted agreement will see Google become the presenting partner of both the WNBA on ESPN and the WNBA playoffs, as well as an associate partner of the WNBA All-Star Game and Commissioner’s Cup.

Google is also collaborating with the WNBA and its broadcast partner ESPN on ‘25 for 25’, which is a slate of 25 regular season telecasts scheduled across ESPN and ABC this year to commemorate the 25th season of North America’s premier women’s basketball league.

In addition, Google will be an associate sponsor of upcoming ESPN Films projects, including the ‘30 for 30’ documentary franchise. It will also present a weekly montage of the best sports highlights on ESPN’s SportsCenter starting from May.

Google becomes the fourth WNBA Changemaker, joining telecommunications giant AT&T, sportswear manufacturer Nike and professional services firm Deloitte.

“When we launched our WNBA Changemakers platform at the beginning of 2020, we issued a call to like-minded companies to join us in elevating women’s sports, and Google has answered that call,” said WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

“We are incredibly grateful to Google for becoming the latest WNBA Changemaker and for their platform of helpful products for everyone. Google’s support will be instrumental in driving our business transformation forward and demonstrates a commitment to the values we both stand for – including building sustainable equity.”

Another part of the deal will see Google become the official trends and fan insights partner of the WNBA, as well as an official marketing partner and technology partner of the league.

Under the agreement, the pair will also develop marketing initiatives, community-driven programming and new Google product experiences for fans.

“For too long now, women’s sports have been underrepresented in the media,” said Lorraine Twohill, Google’s chief marketing officer. “The WNBA has worked tirelessly to change that and has been at the forefront of progress for gender equity, racial justice, and sport.

“We are proud to partner with the WNBA and ESPN over the coming years to continue the charge and deliver on our commitment to gender equity and the future of women. It’s important to us that our product experiences are equitable for all genders and we want to make sure our media spend is equitable too, bringing more women’s content to television.

“With the WNBA and ESPN, we can help ensure women athletes get the recognition and media time they deserve, so that the world can see their incredible talents.”

The announcement comes just over a week ahead of the start of the 2021 WNBA season, which gets underway on 14th May.

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