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stever



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 11:24 am    ::: Inside the WNBA's Fight for Higher Pay Reply Reply with quote

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2802759-inside-the-wnbas-fight-for-higher-pay

Quote:
It takes some degree of financial freedom to be a professional athlete. More than just being above the poverty line, you need to be able to eat, train, travel, work long hours. Clarendon could have supplemented that by spending her WNBA offseasons playing overseas—many players do, and make much, much more money there than they can here—but she refused to subject herself to it after a miserable experience playing in Prague.

She felt lonely and sad and drained as each day crawled by there in 2013, the offseason after her rookie year. No friends, no family. Her back flared up as she dealt with constant spasms. The pain was so acute that she dreaded going to practice. She wasn't improving her game. She sunk into a depression. "This isn't the journey for me," she told herself. So she gave up the six-figure salary and moved back to the U.S.—back to a constant, aggravating fear of running out of money.



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Shades



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 11:55 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.



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hyperetic



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 12:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Do you know what expenses she has? You do know pro athletes incur more expenses than the average everyday person. It was in the article excerpt.
This part:
Quote:
It takes some degree of financial freedom to be a professional athlete. More than just being above the poverty line, you need to be able to eat, train, travel, work long hours.


So its not a case of comparing apples to apples.
ClayK



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 12:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

hyperetic wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Do you know what expenses she has? You do know pro athletes incur more expenses than the average everyday person. It was in the article excerpt.
This part:
Quote:
It takes some degree of financial freedom to be a professional athlete. More than just being above the poverty line, you need to be able to eat, train, travel, work long hours.


So its not a case of comparing apples to apples.


OK, let's say she has $3,000 a month more in expenses -- $100 a day. That's $36,000, which leaves her with $56,000 a year.

She also has a Cal degree, and presumably can generate some income in her eight months' off. Let's say she makes $1,000 a month more (and I believe her year-round health care is covered). If so, she's at

$68,000 per year
Health care provided

Plus $36,000 in expenses she can write off ...



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PUmatty



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 4:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


toad455



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 4:57 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


seriously. And athletes have to bank X amount of money. Their careers don't last long and some are left looking for work once they retire from playing.



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Nixtreefan



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 5:08 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Well there are a lot more players who are earning less than those amounts. It's easy to breakdown 1 player who has been in the league a while and climbed up the contract hierarchy but how many have trouble and bad experiences every year and who don't get paid.


Randy



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 5:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
hyperetic wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Do you know what expenses she has? You do know pro athletes incur more expenses than the average everyday person. It was in the article excerpt.
This part:
Quote:
It takes some degree of financial freedom to be a professional athlete. More than just being above the poverty line, you need to be able to eat, train, travel, work long hours.


So its not a case of comparing apples to apples.


OK, let's say she has $3,000 a month more in expenses -- $100 a day. That's $36,000, which leaves her with $56,000 a year.

She also has a Cal degree, and presumably can generate some income in her eight months' off. Let's say she makes $1,000 a month more (and I believe her year-round health care is covered). If so, she's at

$68,000 per year
Health care provided

Plus $36,000 in expenses she can write off ...


WNBA teams, at least, provide players with housing and a car if they want it, during the season, and they don't have to pay for meals, hotel, etc on the road. A lot of people are living on much less than WNBA players make in a 5 month season. A public school teacher in Georgia often starts at a salary less than the lowest paid WNBA rookie gets for example.

Most all of them have college degrees and the opportunity to get a variety of experiences either playing overseas or working during the off season. Some are interns or assistant coaches during the off-season or get more education. They can be in a position to be well prepared for life after basketball if they choose to do so.

I don't have a problem with players opting out of the CBA to get more money, but I don't buy the " just above the poverty line" argument. I am getting tired of the players negotiating in the press. Just go ahead and opt out and make the best deal you can before the 2020 season. If they go on strike I'm fine with that too.


FrozenLVFan



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 5:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

toad455 wrote:
PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


seriously. And athletes have to bank X amount of money. Their careers don't last long and some are left looking for work once they retire from playing.


While I agree with the other points here, I find this "banking money" one to be ludicrous. Most other people don't bank enough money in the first ten years of their careers to support themselves for the rest of their lives either, and once they leave their first job, they're looking for other work too. Furthermore, players are in a better position to look for work because they've got a degree and no student loans.


Luuuc



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 6:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

FrozenLVFan wrote:
toad455 wrote:
PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


seriously. And athletes have to bank X amount of money. Their careers don't last long and some are left looking for work once they retire from playing.


While I agree with the other points here, I find this "banking money" one to be ludicrous. Most other people don't bank enough money in the first ten years of their careers to support themselves for the rest of their lives either, and once they leave their first job, they're looking for other work too. Furthermore, players are in a better position to look for work because they've got a degree and no student loans.

I disagree.
Players are in a far worse position IMO.
Employers want experience. They want someone who can come in and start doing the job productively. They are less likely to want someone who is 30+ years old and has no experience and has a 10 year gap since the last time they even looked at a book about their field. A degree might be worth something (in some industries … I have no idea what proportion of basketballers' degrees are practical degrees, or reputable ones, or even properly earned through legitimately passing the subjects) but being out of touch with the normal world is absolutely a handicap.

Good article btw. Thanks stever.



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ClayK



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 9:07 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Luuuc wrote:
FrozenLVFan wrote:
toad455 wrote:
PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


seriously. And athletes have to bank X amount of money. Their careers don't last long and some are left looking for work once they retire from playing.


While I agree with the other points here, I find this "banking money" one to be ludicrous. Most other people don't bank enough money in the first ten years of their careers to support themselves for the rest of their lives either, and once they leave their first job, they're looking for other work too. Furthermore, players are in a better position to look for work because they've got a degree and no student loans.

I disagree.
Players are in a far worse position IMO.
Employers want experience. They want someone who can come in and start doing the job productively. They are less likely to want someone who is 30+ years old and has no experience and has a 10 year gap since the last time they even looked at a book about their field. A degree might be worth something (in some industries … I have no idea what proportion of basketballers' degrees are practical degrees, or reputable ones, or even properly earned through legitimately passing the subjects) but being out of touch with the normal world is absolutely a handicap.

Good article btw. Thanks stever.


Interesting that no one's disputed my math and still claims Clarendon is "underpaid." And if she or any player wants to get experience in another field, they can quit playing basketball and find out what it's like to live like most people.

I agree that players should negotiate for the best deal possible, and that in general owners are going to do their best to pay players (or any employees as little as possible), but please ... making $90,000 with housing for five months and year-round health care isn't exactly close to poverty.



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Randy



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 10:06 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The players who arguably "need" increased pay the most are the marginal players on the end of the bench or waiting by their phones hoping a team will call them up. They are also the ones most damaged if the league loses teams, has a work stoppage or reduces roster sizes. They may be the least heard voices in the WNBAPA - and the least likely to benefit from the upcoming negotiations.


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PostPosted: 10/30/18 10:25 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

NWSL players would love WNBA salaries. It's all a matter of perspective. Should WNBA players make more? Of course. They should be making 50% of basketball related revenue like the NBA players do. That would mean an almost doubling of salaries...and that isn't going to happen in one fell swoop.

A phased in increase in salaries is the only way it's going to happen. Teams also need to pull their heads out and be able to market themselves out of a wet paper bag. Marketing to the LGBT community is a must. Advertising on TV during times people are watching---like day time soap operas and game shows is required. That's when people are watching and more importantly, when WOMEN are watching.

At this point in the league, if any team isn't drawing 10,000 a game, the marketing department needs to be replaced with folks who have a clue.


toad455



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 12:26 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Kind of hard for some teams to draw 10k when their arena holds less than that.



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CamrnCrz1974



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 12:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?



X______________


Richyyy



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 12:51 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Hawkeye wrote:
They should be making 50% of basketball related revenue like the NBA players do.

Why? That's a figure that works for the NBA's model, where a lot of the owners are billionaires anyway, and where the primary gain they're making year-on-year is the increasing value of the franchise (regardless of whether they're actually making a profit via ticket sales, TV rights, revenue sharing etc.). There are fixed costs involved in running a WNBA team that just don't appear to make that 50% figure viable (unless a lot of people have been doing a lot of lying for a lot of years).

I think people like that 50% figure because it sounds so 'fair'. Half to the players, half to the men in suits, and everyone's happy. But the players only negotiated that figure fairly recently, and only got there because the economics of the league showed that the owners could give that much up and still be thoroughly happy with their own situation. Just because Starbucks could pay their staff a certain overall percentage of their income and still keep their board members happy doesn't mean the mom and pop coffee shop round the corner could pay their staff the same percentage and still stay in business. There are just a hell of a lot of numbers that are wildly different.



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Nixtreefan



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 1:09 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Did Starbucks start selling barista jerseys?


CamrnCrz1974



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 1:10 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
They should be making 50% of basketball related revenue like the NBA players do.

Why? That's a figure that works for the NBA's model, where a lot of the owners are billionaires anyway, and where the primary gain they're making year-on-year is the increasing value of the franchise (regardless of whether they're actually making a profit via ticket sales, TV rights, revenue sharing etc.). There are fixed costs involved in running a WNBA team that just don't appear to make that 50% figure viable (unless a lot of people have been doing a lot of lying for a lot of years).

I think people like that 50% figure because it sounds so 'fair'. Half to the players, half to the men in suits, and everyone's happy. But the players only negotiated that figure fairly recently, and only got there because the economics of the league showed that the owners could give that much up and still be thoroughly happy with their own situation. Just because Starbucks could pay their staff a certain overall percentage of their income and still keep their board members happy doesn't mean the mom and pop coffee shop round the corner could pay their staff the same percentage and still stay in business. There are just a hell of a lot of numbers that are wildly different.


People forget about fixed costs.

It is easy to give a 50 percent share with filled arenas, ticket sales for over 15,000 fans per game (this year, the Kings are averaging a league-worst 15,294 fans per game -- which is still over 87 percent of arena capacity), food/concessions revenue, merchandising, etc.


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PostPosted: 10/30/18 1:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Cry me a river. Let’s talk about the smartest people instead of the most athletic.

You can work years getting a PhD in something and then you have to apply to academic jobs and, guess what, you have to go where the job is. You leave your friends and family and go to where the work is. You may have to go to the absolute stinky armpit of Amurica to get a job.

Once there you will get the equivalent of a rookie hazing only for more than one year. You will get all the worst jobs and extra work. If you are at a smaller university where professors have to take on a lot you can end up working 70 hours a week. And everyone will think you are working 12 hours a week because those are the hours you stand in a classroom.

Did I mention that a young academic would be deliriously happy to have a salary in the range of a WNBA player? These days an experienced academic would love that salary.

My point is not that WNBA players should not be paid more. My point is that we have a problem in this country that is a lot bigger than a few athletes not getting enough money. We have a very few people making way too much money and the genuine talent making too little IN ALL AREAS OF WORK.

So I struggle to feel bad for just one small segment of relatively underpaid women who are advocating only for themselves. There are very talented people all over the place right now who can barely get by. The best teachers. The best artists. The best childcare workers. On and on.

It makes it tough for me to feel bad for a basketball player when a woman who is caring for a dying grandmother is not making enough to pay the rent.



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Nixtreefan



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 1:59 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

So....Lets lift ALL the women up... or did I miss something.


StevenHW



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 2:01 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

From the article:
Quote:
[Adam] Silver says the league office is "doubling down" on the WNBA. He has brought in a consulting firm to strategize on how to grow the brand and better market its players, calling the present WNBA moment a "reboot."

"There's no one in the NBA league office or no WNBA owner right now who's saying they're giving up," Silver says.


Is Adam Silver not aware that James Dolan has been trying to sell off the New York Liberty for more than a year, without any success (so far)?



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CamrnCrz1974



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 4:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

StevenHW wrote:
From the article:
Quote:
[Adam] Silver says the league office is "doubling down" on the WNBA. He has brought in a consulting firm to strategize on how to grow the brand and better market its players, calling the present WNBA moment a "reboot."

"There's no one in the NBA league office or no WNBA owner right now who's saying they're giving up," Silver says.


Is Adam Silver not aware that James Dolan has been trying to sell off the New York Liberty for more than a year, without any success (so far)?


"Giving up," for Dolan, would be disbanding the franchise. Looking for another buyer is not "giving up" the product, but finding another buyer.


Hawkeye



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 4:16 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

toad455 wrote:
Kind of hard for some teams to draw 10k when their arena holds less than that.


So those 4 teams should be selling out the place then. SMH


Randy



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 5:36 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Hawkeye wrote:
toad455 wrote:
Kind of hard for some teams to draw 10k when their arena holds less than that.


So those 4 teams should be selling out the place then. SMH


From toad455'd thread.

Only 2 teams drew better than 10k, and only one other was close. So 9 teams should fire their marketing department......

http://boards.rebkell.net/viewtopic.php?t=94422&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=100

Quote:
RANK. TEAM(# games) - 2018 Average [+/- 2017 Average)
1. Los Angeles Sparks - 10,642 (-708)
2. Minnesota Lynx - 10,036 (-371)
3. Phoenix Mercury - 9,950 (+37)
4. Seattle Storm - 8,109 (+405)
5. Connecticut Sun - 6,569 (-159)
6. Chicago Sky - 6,358 (-225)
7. Indiana Fever - 6,311 (-1,227)
8. Washington Mystics(16*) - 6,136 (-1,635)
9. Las Vegas Aces - 5,307 (-1,079)
10. Dallas Wings - 4,752 (+880)
11. Atlanta Dream - 4,194 (-258)
12. New York Liberty - 2,823 (-7,066)
WNBA AVERAGE(203) - 6,768 (-947)
*Mystics lost a home game due to the forfeit vs. Vegas on August 3.



Hawkeye



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 9:15 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
toad455 wrote:
Kind of hard for some teams to draw 10k when their arena holds less than that.


So those 4 teams should be selling out the place then. SMH


From toad455'd thread.

Only 2 teams drew better than 10k, and only one other was close. So 9 teams should fire their marketing department......

http://boards.rebkell.net/viewtopic.php?t=94422&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=100

Quote:
RANK. TEAM(# games) - 2018 Average [+/- 2017 Average)
1. Los Angeles Sparks - 10,642 (-708)
2. Minnesota Lynx - 10,036 (-371)
3. Phoenix Mercury - 9,950 (+37)
4. Seattle Storm - 8,109 (+405)
5. Connecticut Sun - 6,569 (-159)
6. Chicago Sky - 6,358 (-225)
7. Indiana Fever - 6,311 (-1,227)
8. Washington Mystics(16*) - 6,136 (-1,635)
9. Las Vegas Aces - 5,307 (-1,079)
10. Dallas Wings - 4,752 (+880)
11. Atlanta Dream - 4,194 (-258)
12. New York Liberty - 2,823 (-7,066)
WNBA AVERAGE(203) - 6,768 (-947)
*Mystics lost a home game due to the forfeit vs. Vegas on August 3.



Yes, for teams in so-called basketball hotbeds, drawing such pitiful crowds is inexcusable. These aren't tiny markets (save for Connecticut). Getting 170,000 people to come to your games should be the starting point, not the end goal.


stever



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 11:44 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

https://www.si.com/wnba/2018/10/30/wealthsimple-wnba-pay-inequality-skylar-diggins-smith-wealth-manager

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/It5WjS380e0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 6:20 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

MuneravenMN wrote:
Cry me a river. Let’s talk about the smartest people instead of the most athletic.

You can work years getting a PhD in something and then you have to apply to academic jobs and, guess what, you have to go where the job is. You leave your friends and family and go to where the work is. You may have to go to the absolute stinky armpit of Amurica to get a job.

Once there you will get the equivalent of a rookie hazing only for more than one year. You will get all the worst jobs and extra work. If you are at a smaller university where professors have to take on a lot you can end up working 70 hours a week. And everyone will think you are working 12 hours a week because those are the hours you stand in a classroom.

Did I mention that a young academic would be deliriously happy to have a salary in the range of a WNBA player? These days an experienced academic would love that salary.

My point is not that WNBA players should not be paid more. My point is that we have a problem in this country that is a lot bigger than a few athletes not getting enough money. We have a very few people making way too much money and the genuine talent making too little IN ALL AREAS OF WORK.

So I struggle to feel bad for just one small segment of relatively underpaid women who are advocating only for themselves. There are very talented people all over the place right now who can barely get by. The best teachers. The best artists. The best childcare workers. On and on.

It makes it tough for me to feel bad for a basketball player when a woman who is caring for a dying grandmother is not making enough to pay the rent.


I get what your saying 100% but dismissing it because others have problems aswell doesnt help either. They have a platform so i think its good that they use it and speak out.



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toad455



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 9:22 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

stever wrote:
https://www.si.com/wnba/2018/10/30/wealthsimple-wnba-pay-inequality-skylar-diggins-smith-wealth-manager

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/It5WjS380e0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


That's a powerful ad.



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GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 2:12 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

toad455 wrote:
stever wrote:
https://www.si.com/wnba/2018/10/30/wealthsimple-wnba-pay-inequality-skylar-diggins-smith-wealth-manager

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/It5WjS380e0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


That's a powerful ad.


It's a commercial advertisement for an investment advisor, which makes money by selling its service. Diggins is making money for the use of her name and image. Good for her. She knows how to supplement her income without changing anything in the WNBA salary structure. Her business degree from Notre Dame is paying off even if she never forces another low quality shot.
GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 2:47 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Hawkeye wrote:
Marketing to the LGBT community is a must.


Why? That's a tiny demographic -- 4.5% of the U.S. population according to the most recent Gallup Poll, a result that's probably above average for historical polls on this subject. 4.5% is less than the percentage of Asians or Methodists in the U.S. population. Would targeted marketing to Asians or Methodists be a "must" for the WNBA? No, it sounds silly.

In addition, while marketing based on identity politics may seem like a virtue-signalling SJW thing to do, the majority of Americans are likely turned off or offended by injecting cultural politics blatantly into sports. It's not smart or successful business to alienate more customers than you attract with targeted marketing.

It would make much more business sense to market to a much larger and noncontroversial demographic, such as another you mention: women in general.
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PostPosted: 10/31/18 4:40 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
Marketing to the LGBT community is a must.


Why? That's a tiny demographic -- 4.5% of the U.S. population according to the most recent Gallup Poll, a result that's probably above average for historical polls on this subject. 4.5% is less than the percentage of Asians or Methodists in the U.S. population. Would targeted marketing to Asians or Methodists be a "must" for the WNBA? No, it sounds silly.


After not actively reaching out to their LGBT fan base for years, the WNBA started a league-wide pride initiative in 2014. The WNBA was the first pro league to specifically market to the LGBT community as society has become more accepting.

Many of the league’s top players have come out over the past few years – Diana Taurasi, Britney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, Seimone Augustus, DeWanna Bonner, Candice Dupree, Sue Bird, etc.

If you look at in-game attendance at WNBA games, you will notice that, based on stereotypes, the LGBT fan base is made up of a MUCH larger percentage than 4.5. At Mercury games (I had season tickets for 7 seasons), it was quite common to see the LGBT population to represent 40 percent of in-game attendance.

GlennMacGrady wrote:
In addition, while marketing based on identity politics may seem like a virtue-signalling SJW thing to do, the majority of Americans are likely turned off or offended by injecting cultural politics blatantly into sports. It's not smart or successful business to alienate more customers than you attract with targeted marketing.


Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad sparked a boycott — and earned $6 billion for Nike
https://www.vox.com/2018/9/24/17895704/nike-colin-kaepernick-boycott-6-billion

Colin Kaepernick is Nike's $6 billion man
https://www.google.com/search?q=nike+colin+kapernick&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab

While most brands target specific demographics by age, sex, and even ethnicity, they've shied away from political affiliation.

What Nike's Kaepernick Campaign Means to the Future of Branding
https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/what-nikes-kaepernick-campaign-means-to-future-of-brandingdraft-1538423179.html

Excerpt from the third link:
While most brands target specific demographics by age, sex, and even ethnicity, they've shied away from political affiliation.
However, maintaining a politically agnostic brand image may not be possible in an increasingly divided society. Whether they like it or not, brands may be forced to "take sides" in today's controversies, for three reasons.


GlennMacGrady wrote:
It would make much more business sense to market to a much larger and noncontroversial demographic, such as another you mention: women in general.


GlennMacGrady, your post makes it sound like you are a WNBA marketing employee...in 2002/2003 (which is when "This is Who I Am" debuted).

Incidentally, the Miami Sol, Portland Fire, and Cleveland Rockers all disbanded in 2002/2003.


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PostPosted: 10/31/18 5:23 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I recall that the efforts to market to the LGBT community were regarded as rather poorly done. I recall a flap over the players not wearing the t-shirt for example. At the Dream game, there was very little to suggest it was Pride Night the last time I went. In the end, I would be interested in knowing if members of the LGBT Community felt more or less appreciated by those efforts.


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PostPosted: 10/31/18 6:12 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
I recall that the efforts to market to the LGBT community were regarded as rather poorly done. I recall a flap over the players not wearing the t-shirt for example. At the Dream game, there was very little to suggest it was Pride Night the last time I went. In the end, I would be interested in knowing if members of the LGBT Community felt more or less appreciated by those efforts.


*Cough Cough* Tamika Catchings



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 6:58 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The author of the Inc. article on Kaepernick/Nike is entitled to his opinion about political marketing, but I simply disagree in general and for sports teams in particular.

CamrnCrz1974 wrote:
At Mercury games . . . it was quite common to see the LGBT population to represent 40 percent of in-game attendance.


Interesting claim. How would you know this? And if it's true, what would account for such a disproportionate fan base? (I suppose such questions should require a different thread.) In any event, those data, if accurate, convince me that the WNBA should more aggressively target heterosexual fans in order to remedy the cavernous emptiness in almost all arenas.
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PostPosted: 10/31/18 8:38 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
Marketing to the LGBT community is a must.


Why? That's a tiny demographic -- 4.5% of the U.S. population according to the most recent Gallup Poll, a result that's probably above average for historical polls on this subject. 4.5% is less than the percentage of Asians or Methodists in the U.S. population. Would targeted marketing to Asians or Methodists be a "must" for the WNBA? No, it sounds silly.

In addition, while marketing based on identity politics may seem like a virtue-signalling SJW thing to do, the majority of Americans are likely turned off or offended by injecting cultural politics blatantly into sports. It's not smart or successful business to alienate more customers than you attract with targeted marketing.

It would make much more business sense to market to a much larger and noncontroversial demographic, such as another you mention: women in general.



Very well said. It's unfortunate that many of the league's past attempts at reaching out to wider demographics have been so poorly done. For example I was in Phoenix for work when the Mercury did their "man up challenge" where a reporter told men that they didn't need to be afraid of the WNBA and that they could have free tickets. It was exceptionally insulting and condescending and the promotion flopped. I still think the key to a larger footprint and more popularity is to present a very family friendly and affordable experience that welcomes everyone without any political subtleties. When one interjects politics into sports in the US today you are automatically going to alienate one half of the population at the very start, no matter what side you approach an issue from.


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PostPosted: 10/31/18 8:48 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The W just needs to start a Go Fund me page since it seems they're looking for a donation from a certain Big brother .



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 8:53 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rkmv-SuE_HY" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Surprised no one posted this one. Skylar looks great preggo and all . Nice vids from her



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 9:55 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
Marketing to the LGBT community is a must.

Why? That's a tiny demographic -- 4.5% of the U.S. population according to the most recent Gallup Poll, a result that's probably above average for historical polls on this subject. 4.5% is less than the percentage of Asians or Methodists in the U.S. population. Would targeted marketing to Asians or Methodists be a "must" for the WNBA? No, it sounds silly.

Something sounds silly but I don't think that's it.
In this era of being able to target your advertising I think it absolutely makes sense to direct some towards the LGBT community.
The most recent estimate I saw indicated that 98% of the league was LGBT players, so it's a total non-brainer. Not sure why the "Asians" demographic is being used as a comparison in this context. What are they going to connect with in the WNBA that makes them comparable to LGBT folk?

GlennMacGrady wrote:
In addition, while marketing based on identity politics may seem like a virtue-signalling SJW thing to do, the majority of Americans are likely turned off or offended by injecting cultural politics blatantly into sports. It's not smart or successful business to alienate more customers than you attract with targeted marketing.

Ok I don't claim to know what "the majority of Americans" think, so I'm very curious to know what it is about most people that would cause them to be "turned off" by discovering that someone else was being marketed to.
Is it straight guys who usually go to games to pick up single women, fearing that suddenly now more of those single women won't be interested in them? Coz yeah I totally get that, I feel that, but I can still watch some basketball while I'm there even if I strike out with the ladies. Maybe if I do that I might even learn to like the sport!

josephkramer44 wrote:
I was in Phoenix for work when the Mercury did their "man up challenge" where a reporter told men that they didn't need to be afraid of the WNBA and that they could have free tickets. It was exceptionally insulting and condescending and the promotion flopped. I still think the key to a larger footprint and more popularity is to present a very family friendly and affordable experience that welcomes everyone without any political subtleties. When one interjects politics into sports in the US today you are automatically going to alienate one half of the population at the very start, no matter what side you approach an issue from.

On what basis do you claim it flopped? Do you know the results of that promotion? If so, would you care to share them? It's my understanding that Phoenix is consistently among the highest attended teams in the league.
Also, what is political about trying to get more men along to games?

Seems like they're not allowed to target LGBTs, not allowed to target men, so … why are they allowed to target families? Why is that cool, but not other demographics? If there's logic here then I'm not seeing it.
It's far less expensive to target a selection of smaller demographics than to target 100% of the population, and I'm pretty sure that the WNBA is not blessed with a large marketing budget.



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 10:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Luuuc wrote:
If there's logic here then I'm not seeing it.


I suspect you see the logic but prefer to appear disingenuous.

The logic of all marketing is to appeal the the maximum number of potential consumers as possible. Selective marketing to 4% slices of the population*, such as LGBT's, Asians or Methodists, simply won't cut it, a priori, and risks alienating all the disfavored slices.

Josephkramer44 nails it when he says, "the key to a larger footprint and more popularity is to present a very family friendly and affordable experience that welcomes everyone without any political subtleties."

Now if one wants to argue that no amount or type of marketing will significantly help the WNBA, I would probably agree with that. My view is that 99% of sports fans will never watch the WNBA simply because they view the product as BORING, DULL and UNINTERESTING. Period. It's got nothing to do with anyone's sexual orientation or any "ism".

There's a small handful of us contrarians who are interested in the sport -- and RebKellians are the ne plus ultra of WBB fandom -- but even we complain endlessly about the quality of play, coaching, reffing and announcing.

A similar sports example is curling. I enjoy watching curling immensely, but an even tinier fraction of sports fans are interested in curling than pro WBB. To them, it's just an unwatchable repetition of boring rocks sliding on ice. No amount of marketing would significantly change that collective opinion. And it wouldn't be any different if the curlers were 98% or 2% LGBT (or Methodist or Asian).
______________________

* In further response to Cam, Kaepernick is a one-off phenomenon having much greater than a 4% slice. After Trump and the media polarized him to nuclear hotness and attention, he probably appealed to about 40% of the population. Nike capitalized on this unique situation, but will move on to other marketing strategies when Kaepenick is soon forgotten. Meanwhile, the WNBA's issues will remain the same.


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Luuuc



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 11:01 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
I suspect you see the logic but prefer to appear disingenuous.
The logic of all marketing is to appeal the the maximum number of potential consumers as possible.

Everybody in America is a potential consumer and the WNBA can't afford to market to everyone in America.
4% of 325 million people is still a shitload of people. Way more people than the WNBA needs as fans in order to thrive, I suspect.
So what is wrong - *if* they feel that a random LGBT person is significantly more likely to become a fan than a random 1 out of 325 million - with directing a higher proportion of marketing towards that demographic?
Because to me it seems quite sensible, to the point of being silly to do otherwise. On the "*if*" condition, of course. (And whether that is the case or not I do not know, and have no real personal basis for guessing, other than being pretty confident that there is above average LGBT representation within the WNBA.)

On the other hand, I'm not actually even sure what "family-friendly" even means. I assume it would preclude audible cuss words? If so then I'm not sure it is an ideal demographic for an elite basketball league.
In my experience, kids up to a certain age don't really tend to dig sports events of any kind all that much. The longer the game goes, the less suitable it is for kids. They become bored quickly, and are more about the mascots and the jumbotron segments than the actual game. And they're definitely more about the icecream/popcorn/cotton candy than they are about the game. So selling highly affordable sugary snacks at the games could be an effective way of getting families along (provided those families are ok with diabetic children!), so by all means market along those lines too. But even then, I don't see any conflict with doing that while also marketing to the LGBT community.



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josephkramer44



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 11:11 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Luuuc wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
Marketing to the LGBT community is a must.

Why? That's a tiny demographic -- 4.5% of the U.S. population according to the most recent Gallup Poll, a result that's probably above average for historical polls on this subject. 4.5% is less than the percentage of Asians or Methodists in the U.S. population. Would targeted marketing to Asians or Methodists be a "must" for the WNBA? No, it sounds silly.

Something sounds silly but I don't think that's it.
In this era of being able to target your advertising I think it absolutely makes sense to direct some towards the LGBT community.
The most recent estimate I saw indicated that 98% of the league was LGBT players, so it's a total non-brainer. Not sure why the "Asians" demographic is being used as a comparison in this context. What are they going to connect with in the WNBA that makes them comparable to LGBT folk?

GlennMacGrady wrote:
In addition, while marketing based on identity politics may seem like a virtue-signalling SJW thing to do, the majority of Americans are likely turned off or offended by injecting cultural politics blatantly into sports. It's not smart or successful business to alienate more customers than you attract with targeted marketing.

Ok I don't claim to know what "the majority of Americans" think, so I'm very curious to know what it is about most people that would cause them to be "turned off" by discovering that someone else was being marketed to.
Is it straight guys who usually go to games to pick up single women, fearing that suddenly now more of those single women won't be interested in them? Coz yeah I totally get that, I feel that, but I can still watch some basketball while I'm there even if I strike out with the ladies. Maybe if I do that I might even learn to like the sport!

josephkramer44 wrote:
I was in Phoenix for work when the Mercury did their "man up challenge" where a reporter told men that they didn't need to be afraid of the WNBA and that they could have free tickets. It was exceptionally insulting and condescending and the promotion flopped. I still think the key to a larger footprint and more popularity is to present a very family friendly and affordable experience that welcomes everyone without any political subtleties. When one interjects politics into sports in the US today you are automatically going to alienate one half of the population at the very start, no matter what side you approach an issue from.

On what basis do you claim it flopped? Do you know the results of that promotion? If so, would you care to share them? It's my understanding that Phoenix is consistently among the highest attended teams in the league.
Also, what is political about trying to get more men along to games?

Seems like they're not allowed to target LGBTs, not allowed to target men, so … why are they allowed to target families? Why is that cool, but not other demographics? If there's logic here then I'm not seeing it.
It's far less expensive to target a selection of smaller demographics than to target 100% of the population, and I'm pretty sure that the WNBA is not blessed with a large marketing budget.


According to the reporter who was responsible for the challenge fewer than one hundred people asked for the tickets (which means that actually fewer than fifty people requested the tickets). When you market to a metropolitan area of around 4.5 million people and something like fifty people ask for the free tickets then yes it is a complete flop. There is no spinning that. You can probably still find the articles on the internet somewhere but yes I can assure you the article was EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE. What I am guessing most gentlemen who read this article felt what I felt. It was a person saying "If you don't like our product you are a sexist insecure pig and guess what those women can beat you at basketball so buy our product!" Talk about having the opposite effect intended.
I guess I should make it clear that I am no fan of the WNBA. But I am not a real big fan of any major sports league. But I bear it no malice or ill will. In fact I wish it nothing but the best because its continued existence and (hopefully) greater success doesn't in any way detract from my life or from anyone else's life in the nation. Not to mention I think it is important to have positive female sports-related role models for young people. But I study the WNBA for market research reasons. Nothing more.


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PostPosted: 10/31/18 11:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

josephkramer44 wrote:
Luuuc wrote:
josephkramer44 wrote:
I was in Phoenix for work when the Mercury did their "man up challenge" where a reporter told men that they didn't need to be afraid of the WNBA and that they could have free tickets. It was exceptionally insulting and condescending and the promotion flopped.

On what basis do you claim it flopped? Do you know the results of that promotion? If so, would you care to share them? It's my understanding that Phoenix is consistently among the highest attended teams in the league.

According to the reporter who was responsible for the challenge fewer than one hundred people asked for the tickets (which means that actually fewer than fifty people requested the tickets). When you market to a metropolitan area of around 4.5 million people and something like fifty people ask for the free tickets then yes it is a complete flop. There is no spinning that.



Man Up/Mercury Challenge a Huge Success
Quote:
The girl and her father accepted our challenge (along with over 100 other individuals) on June 14 when the Mercury hosted the Los Angeles Sparks in a convincing 97-81 victory.
...
When we first issued the Man Up/Mercury Challenge in February, there was obviously no way to predict what the response (if any) would be. Certainly, we hoped that with the enhanced media coverage there would be those with an open mind who would willingly accept our offer.
But over several hundred emails and phone calls later, to say the reaction and feedback blew us away would be a massive understatement.

http://www.wnba.com/archive/wnba/mercury/news/mercury_challenge_130619.html
Seems like someone tried to spin it.
If it was a unique promotion that got the WNBA into the local mainstream media then I can see value in that, even if only 100 took up the actual offer. That's actually pretty clever marketing IMO because it costs you next to nothing but might get you onto the local news when had it been just a standard Mercury home game it likely would not have been mentioned at all.


josephkramer44 wrote:
I guess I should make it clear that I am no fan of the WNBA.

I was already well aware of that.



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 11:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Luuuc wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
I suspect you see the logic but prefer to appear disingenuous.

The logic of all marketing is to appeal the the maximum number of potential consumers as possible.


Everybody in America is a potential consumer and the WNBA can't afford to market to everyone in America.


I don't agree that everybody in America is a potential consumer of the WNBA product any more than I believe everyone in America is a potential consumer of whitewater racing canoes.

Based on my observations of very successful high school and college WBB programs -- i.e., programs with consistently packed gyms -- the real consumers are older and long-time basketball fans, mostly men, who bring along their friends, wives, kids and grandchildren to view the game as family entertainment. And then some fraction of those friends, wives, children and grandchildren themselves become fans of the sport. Et generationa.

The interest has absolutely nothing to do with niche demographics such as LGBTism or Asianism or Methodism of either the players or the fans in the stands. And no one that I've ever heard, as a fan or occasional journalist, talks about those popular teams or the sport, much less markets them, in terms of any selective identity groups. No one.
Luuuc



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 11:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Luuuc wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
I suspect you see the logic but prefer to appear disingenuous.

The logic of all marketing is to appeal the the maximum number of potential consumers as possible.


Everybody in America is a potential consumer and the WNBA can't afford to market to everyone in America.


I don't agree that everybody in America is a potential consumer of the WNBA product any more than I believe everyone in America is a potential consumer of whitewater racing canoes.

Based on my observations of very successful high school and college WBB programs -- i.e., programs with consistently packed gyms -- the real consumers are older and long-time basketball fans, mostly men, who bring along their friends, wives, kids and grandchildren to view the game as family entertainment. And then some fraction of those friends, wives, children and grandchildren themselves become fans of the sport. Et generationa.

The interest has absolutely nothing to do with niche demographics such as LGBTism or Asianism or Methodism of either the players or the fans in the stands. And no one that I've ever heard, as a fan or occasional journalist, talks about those popular teams or the sport, much less markets them, in terms of any selective identity groups. No one.

IMO you're already barking up the wrong tree trying to equate a pro sports team in a national league, with a high school or college team. Down here it's not schools competing against each other but rather local associations around the city, which have strong rivalries against each other and also very strong local community support, because those local associations are the same clubs that people's children play in. And they have such little synergy with the local pro team that at times it feels as much like a rivalry than two rungs of the same ladder.
The pro team isn't tied to local players, it's not tied to any local junior leagues, it will chop and change its roster in a business-like manner with the aim of putting the best team on the floor. Much like a WNBA team. The people who support it are the people interested in seeing the best standard of basketball possible. There's one team in town and they can either be a fan, or not.
So it's 2 very different situations, and IMO it's the height of foolishness to assume that the marketing for one league should just use the blueprint for marketing the other.



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PostPosted: 10/31/18 11:50 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

So I guess it is safe to assume you are a morally superior person to me because you enjoy spectator sports while I do not? Attitudes like that do not help niche products widen their appeal (ask Cosmopolitan about their famous yogurt). While I would not accept free WNBA tickets I also would not accept free NBA tickets simply because I wouldn't have fun during the games and I don't like sitting while other people are being physically active. As I said before I think all major sports league help enrich cultural life in the US and I like the idea of them all flourishing. I simply chose not to partake of any of them.

One of my areas of r and d is trying to expand the appeal of niche products which can be done successfully. Not always but frequently. But it must be done carefully and with tact. NHL teams have flourished in the tropics of the Southern US with careful marketing. Washington DC is an extremely hot, humid city. Who would have thought fifteen years ago that a twenty year old Russian kid and his Canadian counterpart over in Pittsburgh could turn the US capital into a hotbed of hockey hullaballo like a Canadian city? Dallas LOVES the Stars and their tickets are widely sought after. Another great niche product that is becoming more and more mainstream in the US is Nutella. Who would have thought that a hazelnut spread created in Italy after WW2 as an ersatz product would one day be fighting with Skippy and Jiff for US market shares!

Also fifty people accepting free tickets is a pretty low threshold for success. Kind of like rewarding your child for bringing home a straight D report card.


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PostPosted: 11/01/18 12:14 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

josephkramer44 wrote:
So I guess it is safe to assume you are a morally superior person to me because you enjoy spectator sports while I do not?

Where are you getting that from? Because no, I assume no such thing, nor do I even see a link between moral superiority and being a fan of watching sports.

Quote:
One of my areas of r and d is trying to expand the appeal of niche products which can be done successfully. Not always but frequently. But it must be done carefully and with tact. NHL teams have flourished in the tropics of the Southern US with careful marketing.
Washington DC is an extremely hot, humid city. Who would have thought fifteen years ago that a twenty year old Russian kid and his Canadian counterpart over in Pittsburgh could turn the US capital into a hotbed of hockey hullaballo like a Canadian city? Dallas LOVES the Stars and their tickets are widely sought after.

That's nice work for sure, but not exactly surprising to me either. Taking a sport that has proven to be popular in one part of the country and making it work elsewhere in the same country isn't exactly groundbreaking. You can put a ski slope in Dubai now, and an ice hockey stadium in Texas.
IMO a new women's basketball league is a significantly bigger step than just expanding an existing men's pro league.

josephkramer44 wrote:
Another great niche product that is becoming more and more mainstream in the US is Nutella. Who would have thought that a hazelnut spread created in Italy after WW2 as an ersatz product would one day be fighting with Skippy and Jiff for US market shares!

That's an interesting one. I grew up with Nutella so it's no surprise to me that it eventually caught on there. I hear that you can even get a decent coffee in many US cities now.
Sometimes good things just catch on because they're good. Sometimes they still fail in some places despite being good. When that happens, sometimes it's cultural.
Personally I think the WNBA is a good product. But some aussies will tell you that Vegemite is good and that has rightly eroded most trust in aussies' opinions. Maybe in enjoying the WNBA I'm just the Vegemite eater of sports fans. I don't know. But being a mens basketball fan and being around their opinions I still sense a very large cultural backlash against women's basketball, which I'm certain will diminish with time, so I don't think today's level of support is the long term potential maximum amount of support for it.

josephkramer44 wrote:
Also fifty people accepting free tickets is a pretty low threshold for success. Kind of like rewarding your child for bringing home a straight D report card.

Yes it's low, but as I said earlier, maybe it had impacts beyond just those 50 people. And maybe also from a cost-benefit point of view, a small result from minimal effort is still not a failure. Personally I applaud them for trying something different, even if it wasn't a raging success.
To me, trying nothing new would be to accept that everything now is as good as it can ever be, and I don't believe that's the case.



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PostPosted: 11/01/18 6:58 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Luuuc wrote:
josephkramer44 wrote:
So I guess it is safe to assume you are a morally superior person to me because you enjoy spectator sports while I do not?

Where are you getting that from? Because no, I assume no such thing, nor do I even see a link between moral superiority and being a fan of watching sports.



Most likely the morally superior person is not watching sports, but instead is out doing good deeds for the betterment of the world.


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PostPosted: 11/01/18 9:38 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Successful WNBA franchises tend to be located in areas with an active LGBT community and strong interest in girls' high school and women's college basketball. I think it does make sense to do more marketing to the LGBT community and to fans of female basketball -- but then again, it's about goals as well.

From one perspective, marketing to small segments of the population tends to put a ceiling on your total market. So trying to get 25% of 4% to buy my product is different than trying to get 1% of 100% of the market to buy my product.

From another, if you've consistently failed to move the needle with the market as a whole, then maybe it makes sense to try to capture more of the smaller markets.

And finally, to beat a drum I've beaten before, it's really all about whether the product is attractive enough to produce the audience you want. It's been 20 years now, and I am pretty firmly convinced that every potential WNBA fan has been marketed to in one way or another, and knows what the product is about.

The fact that 4,500 people (give or take) in a region are willing to spend money to watch women play basketball is, at one level, pretty impressive; at another, it isn't. But that's pretty much where we are, and it's hard to see how any marketing campaign, regardless of who it's aimed it, is going to raise that number.

Of course, I'd love to hear a counterargument ...



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Richyyy



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PostPosted: 11/01/18 10:34 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
Of course, I'd love to hear a counterargument ...

How about something as basic as 'things change'? How many times did leagues try to get soccer to catch on in the US, only to go bust with people endlessly saying "you'll never get Americans to care about that sport"? Now MLS has been around for 25 years, a couple of teams are drawing more than 40,000, and all 23 teams are averaging more than 15,000 people at every game. Or on a different note, had you even heard of UFC/MMA a decade ago? Now the likes of Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey are genuine global stars.

I tend to feel the comparisons to where the NBA was 22 years after it was founded are pretty ridiculous, because the overall sporting/entertainment climate is so different, but saying this is just how it is and there's no reason it'll ever be any different seems unnecessarily defeatist. Things can and do change - you just have to try to make sure they move in a positive direction.



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Randy



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PostPosted: 11/01/18 10:36 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It seems there is a mistaken impression here that the WNBA has only marketed to the LGBT Community and run "political" ads. In fact they have marketed to the broader potential audience for years in many other ads, promos etc. Now you can argue they have done it very well (unprovable either way) but most of the things they have done are aimed at the general sports fans. They have basically done 2 campaigns that target LGBT or "progressives".


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