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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

WNBA’s Next Franchise Has a Name: Golden State Valkyries

  • Both the Valkyries and Warriors are owned by Joe Lacob.
  • The team will start play at Chase Center in 2025. 
Courtesy Golden State Valkyries

The WNBA’s newest team will be known as the Golden State Valkyries. 

Starting play for the 2025 season, the league’s 13th team revealed its colors and logo on Tuesday morning. The Valkyries are the WNBA’s first expansion team since the Atlanta Dream in ’08 and will play at San Francisco’s Chase Center, home to the Golden State Warriors. Both Golden State franchises are owned by Joe Lacob, and the namesake and logo show the similarities and differences between the two teams. 

The team said that its “V” logo depicts both a group of Valkyries in flight and the Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco to Oakland, where the team will practice and where the Warriors won their first three titles of the Steph Curry era. The Warriors’ primary logo also features the Bay Bridge.

“Communities own sports teams, so it’s only fitting that as we embarked on the brand identity development process, we really listened to the fans and selected a name that they wanted,” Warriors marketing executive Amanda Chin said. “Through surveys and social media, the name that continued to come up the most, by far, was Valkyries.”

“Valkyries” are female warriors from Norse mythology. “Operation Valkyrie” was also the name of an assassination plot by German elites on Adolf Hitler during World War II, sharing the name of a movie about it starring Tom Cruise. The team’s colors are violet and black, with the team saying that the violet “symbolizes power, ambition, nobility, and women’s empowerment, much like purple has been used symbolically in modern history.” 

In the Valkyries’ logo, the bridge tower doubles as a sword. Mythology frequently depicts valkyries armed with swords, as does Tessa Thompson’s character in the Marvel universe. The logo’s bridge cables “double as wings, a strong telegraphic symbol of Valkyries.” Fans of Easter eggs in logos will enjoy the five triangles on either side of the sword, for 5-on-5 basketball, and the 13 lines from the top of the sword, marking the team’s entrance as the league’s 13th team.

With the Valkyries set to open play in 2025, the WNBA has three cities left to award expansion bids to, though one is reportedly already going to Toronto. At the WNBA draft in April, league commissioner Cathy Engelbert said she’d like to get to 16 teams “in the next few years.” Portland, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Denver are among the cities the league is reportedly talking to. 

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