The WNBA is searching for more visibility, and who better to find a solution than one of the top tech companies in the world?
The league, along with ESPN, announced a three-year partnership with Google, who joins Nike, Deloitte, and AT&T as a WNBA Changemaker. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is the fifth-most valuable company by market capitalization at $1.4 trillion.
The partnership is focused on bringing more viewers to women’s sports. Only 4% of TV sports coverage and less than 1% of sponsorship is dedicated to women’s sports, a Google spokesperson said.
The WNBA Draft, which took place last month, saw viewership decline 12% from last year to 331,000 but was still the second-most watched since 2004.
It’s also worth noting that the WNBA has lost more than $10 million per year since its inception.
Google, which also sponsored the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, will serve as a partner during the league’s playoffs, among other initiatives.
- ESPN will broadcast 25 regular-season games on ESPN for the WNBA’s 25th season.
- Google is now a partner of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup tournament, a new tournament originally slated to debut last year.
- It is also an associate sponsor for L.A. Sparks player and ESPN commentator Chiney Ogwumike’s documentary about last year’s groundbreaking season.
“The WNBA has been at the forefront of progress for gender equity, racial justice, and sport as a whole,” said Google CMO Lorraine Twohill. “And with ESPN as the leading platform for sports coverage, they are at the forefront of telling stories that need to be heard.”