The WNBA is exploring different ways to improve its brand in the wake of a new television deal with ESPN, and the league has made changes to its logo.
USA Today Sports reports that the WNBA and ESPN have agreed to extend their broadcast partnership through 2022, with up to 30 games being shown on the network and its affiliates. The New York Liberty shared a picture of the new logo via Twitter:
New York Liberty @nyliberty
In addition to the groundbreaking announcement with ESPN, check out the new @WNBA logo! http://t.co/1uYwQWPnWH2013-3-28 20:15:31
The change is meant to symbolize “how far the level of play has come in 16 years as stronger, more agile players have made the game more competitive,” according to WNBA.com. The silhouette within the logo has been branded as “Logowoman,” and the league plans to launch a social media campaign “to engage fans in celebrating WNBA athletes – past and present – who have propelled the game forward.”
The logo does differ drastically from the previous one. The red, white and blue color scheme that characterizes the logos of the NBA, NFL and MLB is gone, and the team has instead chosen to focus on the orange and white pattern that adorns its game balls.
But the key difference that has been stressed is the dynamic nature of the silhouette. The WNBA.com report notes that the league believes the image of the player in the new logo “better embodies the athleticism and diversity of today’s WNBA players.”
To embellish this point, the WNBA’s social media campaign will consist of players and fans putting photos of themselves in similar poses on sites such as Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag “#iamlogowoman.”
While it is well known that the NBA logo is modeled after Hall of Famer Jerry West, the WNBA has not made any statement about whether or no its new design was inspired by a player. However, ESPN’s Kate Fagan shared a popular theory:
Kate Fagan @katefagan3
.@wnba releases new logo. I think the silhouette is Sue Bird, but the league isn’t saying. @espnW #iamlogowoman http://t.co/QGbz0g5GRh2013-3-28 19:56:36
In addition to the plans surrounding the new logo, USA Today Sports’ report notes that putting cameras on referees, giving the press unprecedented access to team activities and using NBA players as commentators are all part of the plans to generate more interest in the women’s game.