April 25, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Content marketing in women’s basketball with Gina Paradiso

Transitioning from college to professional basketball, the WNBA Draft, and more

On today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, agent Gina Paradiso of LIFT Sports Management joins host Gigi Speer to talk about marketing women’s basketball and the recent increase in the sport’s visibility following the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

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First, they talked about the quick transition from the NCAA Tournament to the WNBA Draft. Paradiso spoke about both the logistic and emotional sides of making the quick turnaround from college to professional basketball.

“For the women, it’s so tough,” Paradiso said. “[They] have to go from competing for a national championship in college, whether they get sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final or win at all, as [Angel Reese] did last year, as [Kamilla Cardoso] and the Gamecocks did this year. And then it’s like, boom, you’re right into [WNBA Draft] preparation. And if you lose short of the title, I guess the silver lining is you have a few more days to plan for the draft. There’s a lot that goes into that: your outfit, … what you’re wearing, how you’re putting it all together, who’s doing your hair and makeup, just all of the things that go into it logistically, and then wrapping your mind around [how] within a month, you’re going to be playing professional basketball.”

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“So it’s like [they’re in] college competing at the highest level, going into the draft. And then you’re literally figuring out where you’re going to live in-market once you’ve been drafted and all the things that you need, from an infrastructure standpoint, around you … So it’s a lot for them. I mean, the guys, they don’t have to do it as fast. They end their season in April, some in March, and then they have months before they even get drafted at the end of June … So, they put a lot on these girls, and they don’t get the credit they deserve for sure, in a lot of ways, but certainly in that adjustment,” she continued.

They also talked about Paradiso’s shift from working on the creative side at ESPN to becoming an agent and working directly with players.

“I was at ESPN for a long time, like 13 years in different areas … every single relationship I forged at ESPN is a relationship I still have today,” Paradiso said. “And really was the reason why the transition from being at a network on the creative, on the production side, on the network side, was such a smooth transition going to hop that fence and become an agent. … How do I become an agent? How do I get into this? Are you likable? Do people rock with you? And if the answer that question is yes, and you’re not lying to yourself, then the next part of that is like, how do you get in there? How do you build trust? How do you build relationships? How do you make sure you follow up? How do you make sure when there’s an issue, you troubleshoot it? … How willing are you to get out of your own way and be humble?”

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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.

Tune in to hear more about the WNBA Draft, becoming a player agent, how influencer marketing has changed the landscape of women’s basketball and more. Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!

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