December 20, 2022 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Cathy Engelbert talks WNBA expansion, marketing and ‘transformation’

Howard and Commissioner Cathy Engelbert discuss the economic issues — PMA and transformation

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. This episode features host Howard Megdal who is joined by WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert to discuss the many interlocking economic issues facing the WNBA in 2023. The two talk about WNBA expansion, marketing, media rights and ‘transformation’ and the order of these priorities.

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Commissioner Cathy Engelbert talks about PMA and where she sees it in the future:

“We’re trying to chip away at paying the players more through building an economic model through transformation of the business model, through more corporate sponsorships, media deals, things like that. So as we’re transforming the league literally before our eyes after raising the capital in February, we said we felt very comfortable getting ten players under marketing agreements; we offered others who, you know, didn’t necessarily take them. Still, we’ve over-tripled the number and its players take opportunities in the offseason and were trying to give them opportunities to pay them. So I’m thrilled with the players we have under contract here in the offseason. They’re staying here at home.

And we have athletes doing things around the holidays here with Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of our great partners and DiDi Richards walked in New York Fashion Week.”

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Cathy Engelbert talks about the WNBA’s growth and the future of the league:

“Much more multi-dimensional than that, quite frankly, it’s transforming everything, every rock I pick up and turnover; we need to change the way we’re doing it, the way we interact with fans, our digital platforms, our technology, our prize pools, up the bonus prize pool this year for the playoffs by 53% that wasn’t required by collective bargaining. So, obviously, the half-million dollar prize pool for the Commissioner’s Cup. So all that stuff, better benefits, travel, fertility, etc., Mom benefit. So all of that it’s very multi-dimensional. So it’s not just that, it’s marketing. So doubling our marketing budget on marketing the players in season and the offseason.”

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

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