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NWHL changes its name– will the WNBA someday follow suit?

 
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Will the WNBA in any way/shape/form change its name someday?
No. It will simply be called the "WNBA" until the day it dies.
86%
 86%  [ 13 ]
Maybe it eventually decides to go by the "W" on an official basis, but that's it.
6%
 6%  [ 1 ]
Yes, perhaps to something more gender-neutral.
6%
 6%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 15

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Stormeo



Joined: 14 Jul 2019
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PostPosted: 09/09/21 3:49 am    ::: NWHL changes its name– will the WNBA someday follow suit? Reply Reply with quote

So earlier in the week, I saw that the main American professional "women's" hockey league just underwent a rebrand. The National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) is changing its name to the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF).

Basically, the rebrand stems from a new private ownership-oriented direction, but it also apparently aims to be more inclusive with respect to both players' gender identities and the fans'.

Quote:
"We felt it's time for our players to be defined by their talent and skill," [Commissioner Ty] Tumminia said. "It's not like they're female phenomenal. You're just phenomenal."

In billing the change "No Labels, No Limits," the federation also focused on having its new title be more inclusive by respecting the various gender identities of its players and fan base.

The new season opens on Nov. 6. The federation's logo will be black and white and feature three stars forming the silhouette of a crown overtop the initials "PHF."


The League is only in its seventh year, so it's still trying to achieve financial stability & name recognition in general. But the rebrand hasn't been all sunshine & roses. More context from The Seattle Times:

Quote:
The news release still referred to it as a women’s league and to women’s hockey numerous times. When reached for comment, several league players declined to comment on the record...

...In addition to [League founder Dani] Rylan’s departure this offseason, the league also lost former deputy commissioner and Boston president Hayley Moore, deputy commissioner Michelle Picard and several other staffers following the sixth season...

...Approaching Year 7, the league has been mired in controversy around Toronto president and former coach Digit Murphy, who had associated with a transphobic organization. It sparked a conversation within the league about gender inclusivity, despite Murphy’s current involvement still in the league...

...Even with the gender removal in the league name, the news release still cited a “w” in the logo to represent women. The league release also stated it was the first to remove the gendered term from its name, despite National Pro Fastpitch rebranding from the Women’s Pro Softball League, and pro softball now existing as a part of Athletes Unlimited...


There's a bunch of other interesting stuff in there, such as mixed reviews from the players themselves about the rebrand, the lack of a head of the Players Association since the person who previously served in the role left to become the president of the team her partner is captain of, the rival Canadian women's hockey League being the League's direct adversary, the NHL choosing not to get involved in either League whatsoever, and... yeah. As you can see, there's sort of a lot to unpack here. 😅

Anyway, do you have any thoughts on it all? Like, do you see the WNBA ever doing any sort of name change for marketing/rebranding purposes, inclusivity/progressive purposes, or all of the above? Any ideas on a potential new name? (Perhaps the Premier Basketball Federation, or PBF – I've always preferred abbreviations containing letters with only one syllable each, as opposed to ones containing letters that have... a mouthful of syllables. Razz )



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johnjohnW



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PostPosted: 09/09/21 5:57 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I really hope not. I love the name WNBA and I think, as much complaining that's been done about it, the direct association with the NBA has been vital to this leagues success. As public opinion has shifted on the league, I think that name is even more important.

I know a lot of people disagree but I think a name would set the league back in it's progress.

That being said, I've always disliked the acronyms for NWHL and NWSL. It always seemed off that W wouldn't be the first letter.


pilight



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PostPosted: 09/09/21 7:15 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

As long as the W is owned by the NBA it will be named the WNBA



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RI_Sun_Fan



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PostPosted: 09/09/21 8:44 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Call it the ABL and bring back the Blizzard, and give those Quest fans a chance to see their title defended


Stormeo



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PostPosted: 09/09/21 11:49 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
As long as the W is owned by the NBA it will be named the WNBA


Perhaps unrelated, but some have argued that as long as the W is owned by the NBA, it will always be held back from its “full potential.” (Not necessarily a viewpoint I share, but Razz ).

johnjohnW wrote:
I know a lot of people disagree but I think a [new] name would set the league back in its progress.


The counterargument to that would be, how much progress has it really made? Even pre-pandemic, attendance/profitability for most teams wasn’t super great, and franchise values are still whatever the heck they are. I wonder how the landmark CBA signed right before the pandemic is also impacting things financially behind the scenes… fabulous for the players whom all deserve it, but for the franchises…?

Too, it remains to be seen just how much the Social Justice Movement/Rebirth the League experienced in 2020 will positively impact the overall health of the League moving forward.

johnjohnW wrote:
That being said, I’ve always disliked the acronyms for NWHL and NWSL. It always seemed off that W wouldn’t be the first letter.


“WNBA” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but yes, in that regard it is certainly superior to those other names. Surprised



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pilight



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PostPosted: 09/09/21 12:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Stormeo wrote:
pilight wrote:
As long as the W is owned by the NBA it will be named the WNBA


Perhaps unrelated, but some have argued that as long as the W is owned by the NBA, it will always be held back from its “full potential.” (Not necessarily a viewpoint I share, but Razz ).


Pretty sure I have made that argument on several occasions



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Stormeo



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PostPosted: 09/09/21 6:41 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
Stormeo wrote:
pilight wrote:
As long as the W is owned by the NBA it will be named the WNBA


Perhaps unrelated, but some have argued that as long as the W is owned by the NBA, it will always be held back from its “full potential.” (Not necessarily a viewpoint I share, but Razz ).


Pretty sure I have made that argument on several occasions


You're probably where I first saw it from then. Smile Seceding from the NBA definitely seems like a high-risk, possibly-high-return move. I just don't know how I feel about it as of now.

I am however in favor of a name change of some sort, whether it be "The W" in an official capacity or something like the PBF/ABL. Although, that would be either completely committing to the fact that this is and forever will be a women's league at its core, or committing to the fact that the League's not all 100% female-identifying people & won't necessarily be going forward. I'm naturally a 0-or-100 type of person though, so it's an on-brand opinion from me to feel this way. 🤪



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PostPosted: 09/09/21 8:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

My preferred solution is for the NBA to change their name to the MNBA.
Happy to keep the W in that case.



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toad455



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PostPosted: 09/09/21 8:47 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The now PHF is barely surviving. Seems like a desperation to draw attention.



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pilight



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PostPosted: 09/10/21 1:56 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Stormeo wrote:
You're probably where I first saw it from then. Smile Seceding from the NBA definitely seems like a high-risk, possibly-high-return move. I just don't know how I feel about it as of now.


Engelbert paid lip service to the Original 9, who separated women's tennis from men's in 1970, on Twitter today

https://twitter.com/CathyEngelbert/status/1436395647280746509

Of course she works for Adam Silver, so she'll never acknowledge that there's any parallel between then and now.



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