April 19, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: How have the WNBA’s visibility and perception in popular culture changed?

Host Jackie Powell and ESPN's LaChina Robinson discuss the growth of the WNBA

On Friday’s episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, host Jackie Powell is joined by ESPN’s LaChina Robinson to examine how the WNBA’s perceptions and visibility in popular culture have evolved over time following the 2024 WNBA Draft. What does a column from almost ten years ago from Maya Moore teach us about the current moment the WNBA is in? What did the draftees have to say about how the general public views the league? Also, how does women’s basketball history inform us about Caitlin Clark’s impact on the game?

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First, LaChina discusses some of the barriers to growing visibility of the WNBA.

“It’s always been a journey for the WNBA to connect in spaces when it comes to culture period. And that has everything to do with the lack of exposure and the lack of visibility — whether that’s sponsorship and brand deals that allow the league and its players to be prominently placed in places outside of sport, whether that’s just the overall media coverage, which has has grown a couple of ticks percentage wise for women’s sports over the last few years. But still, there’s a lot of work to do. So though these women have had interesting culture and have been expressing themselves culturally for many years, the recognition just has not been there consistently.”

LaChina Robinson, ESPN

Jackie and LaChina then go on to explain how this year’s WNBA Draft class — following increased media exposure during college — has brought more attention to the league overall.

“The 2024 draft class is just a phenomenal class, a game changing class and the impact they’ve had on viewership, the popularity of the game, the way they’ve played and lifted the sport,” LaChina said.

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