WNBA Season Preview: 25 and Counting…

Sierra Borkowski

via adweek.com

May 14th marks the beginning of the 25th season for the Women’s National Basketball Association, the most successful league of its kind in the United States, and maybe the world. The league has done a number of things to make sure this season is special. Here’s what’s new to make this season stand out.


The Campaign: “Count It.” The WNBA’s new phrase is here to signify that although they’ve made it this far with success, they are far from done. The “Count It” campaign says the league is not done “counting” achievements and milestones. The W still has a lot of work to do and areas to excel in to reach the height of the counterpart NBA.

The Uniforms: Nike unveiled new home, away, and alternative uniforms for the anniversary season at the beginning of April. Each team received The Explorer uniform (away), The Heroine uniform (home) and The Rebel uniform (alternate) custom to their team and city. Each uniform portrays a different story or meaning, many with creative inspirations such as the Indiana Fever’s “Stranger Things” themed jerseys and the Washington Mystics’ 19th amendment attire. You can can take a closer look at all the new uniforms and their inspirations here.

The Ball: Due to opportune timing of a new deal with Wilson, the W will debut the Wilson ball. Still sporting the traditional white and orange, the new ball is made entirely of composite leather and contains Wilson’s Evo NXT construction.


The Cup: The Commissioners Cup will also debut this season, advertised as a “competition within a competition.” The way it works: each team will play 10 games to be considered for the cup duringthe first half of the season. The teams from each conference with the best winning percentage will face off in a winner take all game on August 12th in Phoenix. The prize? $500,000 split among all the players, plus the custom designed cup to be passed around from winner to winner each season. The MVP of the game will receive an extra $5,000 to pocket. The championship game is to take place following the Olympic break as an exciting resumption to the season.


The Council: The WNBA 25 season advisory council is comprised of historic women’s basketball pioneers from inside and out of the league. Their mission is to capture a historic perspective and propel business objectives. The council will meet to explore options for building the leagues fanbase and reaching into other communities for their interest. Some already notable members are two-time WNBA champion and three-time MVP Lisa Leslie, WNBA All-Star and current ESPN reporter and analyst Rebecca Lobo and five-time WNBA All-Star and New Orleans Pelicans Assistant Coach Teresa Weatherspoon.


The 25: Throughout the season the league will recognize the leagues greatest players since inception (the “W25”), and count down the top 25 plays in the history of the league. The W25 will be chosen based on factors such as contribution to the league and community, on court performance, leadership, sportsmanship, and contribution to the success of their team(s) and the league. The top 25 plays will be counted down from 25 to one all across the duration of the second half of the season and playoffs. Fans will be able to vote for both the plays and the W25 members.


The Movement: The WNBA Justice Movement continues to work, creating a platform for change involving racial and gender inequality, LGBTQ+ rights, and reform of unjust systems. The WNBA and WNBPA continue to collaborate for the support of movements to advance social justice and initiate change. The Movement plans to use their 25th season to celebrate the leagues history of advocacy across a variety of social issues.


The league’s anniversary season tips off tonight at 7pm at the Barclays Center with a battle between Sabrina Ionescu, 2020 1st overall pick, and the New York Liberty against Kelsey Mitchell, the sixth leading scorer last season, and the Indiana Fever. All 12 teams will play in an action-packed weekend. See the schedule here.



Sources: WNBA, Wilson, sportslogos.net, Sports Illustrated