Basketball stars and fashion go hand-in-hand, and ahead of tonight’s WNBA season tip-off, Google debuted a new campaign showcasing new ways to search as players show off their “tunnel fits.”
A 30-second spot featuring stars such as Kelsey Plum, DiDi Richards, Diamond DeShields, Arike Ogunbowale, Kahleah Copper and more will debut tonight on ESPN during the Phoenix Mercury and LA Sparks match-up.
In 2022, Google searches for “WNBA fashion” more than doubled, and the company saw an opportunity with the league’s exploding popularity, especially after the WNBA is coming off its most-watched season in 14 years.
Done internally by Google’s Creative Lab Team, “WNBA Game Day Fits” is part of the upcoming “New Ways to Search” campaign highlighting new features in the Google search app. The spot shows fashionable stars arriving on game day and illustrates how fans watching can easily search outfits the players are wearing.
“When it came to bringing this to the WNBA, athletes’ elaborate game day outfits were a perfect match—this was confirmed by Search interest, which showed that searches for ‘WNBA fashion’ had doubled last season compared to the prior season,” Marvin Chow, vp of global marketing at Google, told Adweek.
Opportunities for brands
Google is in its third year as a WNBA Changemaker—a marquee sponsorship program designed to help the league overhaul its business—and Chow said that this season, the company wants to put more of a spotlight on players themselves.
“It was exciting to work with and feature players who have been at the forefront of advocating for equity in women’s sport and growing the reach of women’s basketball,” said Chow.
The spot is part of a larger campaign that will roll out in the coming weeks. Google and Plum already had an existing relationship, and the company will be creating more content with the Aces star. Google will also be collaborating with ESPN throughout the season and will expand ESPN WNBA Countdown into the regular season this year.
“The WNBA provided the opportunity for Google to have real impact, and we’re proud of our work with the league and ESPN to televise more games and shine a light on amazing athletes who don’t always get the attention they deserve,” Kate Johnson, Google director of global sports, media and entertainment marketing, told Adweek. “The rich culture of the league, players and the many dimensions of fandom allow us to demonstrate Google Search’s meaningful role in helping fans and players alike dive deeper into all aspects of the game they love.
Google’s new campaign is the latest example of a Changemaker elevating its commitment to the WNBA. The tech company had already partnered with ESPN to bring more games to national television, and this year the league will have a historic 205 live broadcasts and streams during the regular season.
In addition, Deloitte teamed up with the league to completely overall its app and website, and earlier this week, CarMax joined as the WNBA’s sixth Changemaker.