WNBA: stop complaining and do your part

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.”

Oh, really?

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.


  1. Thank You! The Sparks have NOTHING on their website about training camp. Many teams can learn a thing or two from Los Lynx and The Storm. – Aida

  2. I am a simple fan. I don't know the game like a lot of you. What I do have is passion. The WNBA and the Teams are missing the greatest opportunities!! GIVE AWAY SOME TICKETS TO HIGH SCHOOL TEAMS!!! the arenas are open and no one is there!! What do you have to lose??? START SOMEWHERE!!!

  3. They should hire you. I live in an area without a team but I'm connected because I follow everyone you list above. Why? Because I love my Stanford Cardinal and now they are playing all over the league. One thing the WNBA did right last year was the free All Access ap for iPad. I even watched most of the Tulsa Shock games (at least when Kayla started). Now I'm an instant LA Sparks fan due to Nneka and I've never rooted for any LA team in my life. If they ever bring a team to the Bay Area, I'll even go to games. Duh. Have teams near college powerhouses. It works for the Sun.

  4. Laurel Richie being handed the WNBA commissioner position was a huge screw up. She doesn't know or care about the game. That's on Stern. He keeps thinking that the WNBA is a mainstream product and if he brings in a politically correct (read black female) commissioner with marketing experience it will work out fine. Unfortunately it is a niche product at best.

    Richie is already living in the "if companies and media organizations would give just us free publicity life would be fair" modes that we've been hearing for literally years when it comes to the WNBA and women's pro team sports in general.

    Stern looks at the WNBA the same way he looks at any potential expanding market, like the international leagues. The NBA has limited resources and they will allocate them to where they get the best return. That explains the WNBA 11 baller roster limit.

    Laurel Richie is a lap dog at best. Will probably be the worst pro sports executive decision ever.

  5. i have to agree with you, sass. i've been at a loss to see what richie has done to get more butts in the seats or even just promote the w via media. i realize she is just a hired hand, but she could do no worse than to get someone who's actually interested in the w to run the damned website. they can't get even get signings updated in a timely fashion.

    there are plenty of stories to be told (wasn't that what richie said sometime long ago?). how about updates about the w players who are overseas? lots of stories there. what about players who aren't os, what are they doing in the off season?

    there are stories, tell them; unless, of course, they have to do with a player living with, or having a baby with, another woman.

    cp3 has a baby…big news; lll has a baby…big news; taj has kids, etc. but did we see one word about tully's wife having a baby? not that i recall. how about lmo getting married? no. not a word about steph white having a baby. gggrrrr.


  6. Thank you Sue. I wonder if Ms. Richie could even name the sites you mentioned. On this marketing professional's watch the WNBA's own website has deteriorated into a joke. Unacceptable.