Last month, NBA Commissioner David Stern and WNBA President Laurel Richie made these comments in a piece, ironically called “Shining a Light on the WNBA”:
One of the things Stern, and the other representatives of the league, spoke most passionately about was the lack of coverage of the W.N.B.A. by the news media.
“It’s too bad that we can’t get a fair allocation of space based on interest,” Stern said in reference to the league’s ratings on ESPN2 in contrast to the small amount of coverage it receives in many newspapers and online.
When asked if there were any publications that were adequately covering the league, the W.N.B.A.’s president Laurel Richie said: “I’d say no, but maybe that’s just because I’m biased. But I’d say no.”
Got Hoopfeed? Lots of stories on this website, especially the first week of training camp.
Same with Swish Appeal.
The Seattle Times has a full-time Storm reporter who follows the team around the country during the season, covering their games. She’s even written a book.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune provides excellent coverage of the Lynx. They have a tab for the team at the top of the sports page.
These are just some of many news sources that regularly cover the league.
Between these four sites alone, there were dozens of WNBA stories posted this week. There was even a piece on Lisa Leslie and her new role as co-owner of the Sparks (which many still don’t know about) on SportsIllustrated.com, by yours truly.
How many of these numerous stories did the WNBA tweet? Five or six. They had surprisingly few tweets for the first week of league training camp.
How many of these stories are linked on the league website? Zero.
If I were in charge of the WNBA, I’d be tweeting, linking and promoting the hell out of any and all coverage that the league gets. I’d bend over backwards to give those news agencies any help that they needed in writing more stories. I’d get the SIDs of each team to reach out to reporters of those publications on a weekly basis with story ideas and photo opportunity offers. I’d make sure those stories were also linked on the pages of the respective teams, as well as tweeted on the team account.
What I wouldn’t do is erroneously complain about the lack of coverage, when I did nothing to reciprocate the coverage that does exist by promoting those stories and giving the publications recognition.
WNBA, stop complaining and do your part.