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HESC Research - Study Abroad Research Paper WNBA A...

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Study Abroad Research Paper WNBA: A Marketing Disaster “This is who I am.” This is the slogan for the slowly declining Women’s National Basketball Association. The thought of a basketball league for women gave many young girls the chance to believe in something and that one day they could be the female LeBron James. The WNBA has been often looked upon as not as serious as the NBA to many in the sporting world. They have not marketed themselves the right way and the players are beginning to notice. There are better strategies and another market segment the WNBA can tap into to better promote itself and build up the association. Diana Taurasi, the WNBA superstar, is at the forefront of promoting the WNBA, but she was not happy with the campaign to appeal to the male crowd. Diana had this to say about it: “I understand the theory behind it—that we’re trying to appeal to a demographic outside of lesbians and our relatives—but it was just a bad idea. We’re not that sexy. Some of us are cute in a tomboy-ish kind of way. Some of us are even sort of pretty. But let’s face it, we’re not the cast of Melrose Place and we never will be. We’re just a bunch of jocks. Deal with it, America.” (Brushback) She is absolutely right about trying to market to the male crowd. They had commercials of the women of the WNBA in lingerie and tiny outfits dancing around to female rock bands. (Brushback) The breakdown of the attendees of WNBA games are 70-30, women being the majority and the TV audience being an even 50-50 split between male and female viewers. (Rosner) The WNBA should have focused their attention on the more positive factors of the league.
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Attendance at women’s basketball games has fallen since 2002. The average attendance has gone from around 9,000 fans a game (2002) down to 7,000 fans a game (2008). (WBO) The decrease in fans proves the WNBA is on its way toward bankruptcy. The NBA on average through the first quarter of the season has 17,000 fans a game and they have 30 teams opposed to the WNBA which has only 14 teams. More than half of the teams have higher than 95% attendance at each home game. With fewer teams, people feel they could have a better fan base.
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  • Winter '09
  • Goodwinspacht
  • Madison Square Garden, National Basketball Association, Women's National Basketball Association, WNBA

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