The WNBA has announced a partnership with Boost Mobile that will place ads on the uniforms of 1o of the league’s 12 teams, with the Boost corporate logo appearing on uniform fronts directly below the players’ numbers. The Phoenix Mercury and San Antonio Silver Stars will not wear the logos because they conflict with existing mobile sponsorship deals. The new jerseys will premiere tomorrow night.
Surprisingly, WNBA purists (they exist, right?) are not up in arms about this. Considering how whiny baseball fans got about the possibility of putting Spiderman 2 ads on the sides of bases, this probably wouldn’t have washed in MLB.
None of the big four American sports leagues allow this type of prominent uniform advertising, although it’s common in overseas leagues such as Premier League soccer and also in NASCAR. Ongoing economic constraints contributed to this move by the WNBA. And frankly, what’s the harm? Even if they placed these on MLB uniforms, you’d notice them initially and then probably not at all.
“An award-winning and dynamic brand such as Boost Mobile is a great fit as the WNBA’s marquee partner,” said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. “The WNBA and Boost Mobile are two prominent brands and this groundbreaking relationship will provide both our fans and Boost Mobile’s customers a great platform from which to be heard. Our partnership is a watershed moment for the WNBA, one that underscores the tremendous growth of our league and women’s basketball over the past 15 years.”
Boost Mobile will also be the presenting partner of the WNBA Playoffs and WNBA Finals, and will appear in ads throughout WNBA arenas.