NBA commissioner Adam Silver made headlines recently when he admitted he's not happy with the progress the NBA's sister league, the WNBA, has made since it took to the court in 1997.
"We thought we would have broken through by now," Silver said last week at an industry conference. "We thought ratings and attendance would be higher."
Silver called out the league for the poor job it's done marketing itself, specifically citing the need to better portray the athletes' personalities off the court. But with its new campaign, "Watch Me," the WNBA appears to be doing just that.
The first spot airs this morning on ABC's Good Morning America. (The league's conference finals start Thursday.) The campaign highlights the athletes' on-court successes as well as their lives off the court—including being mothers. The spots feature top WNBA players including Brittney Griner, Candace Parker, Elena Delle Donne, Maya Moore and Swin Cash.
"We're highlighting the fact that they are great basketball players," said WNBA and NBA CMO Pam El. "We're also talking about their remarkable personal story." The WNBA has also found increased exposure through The Players Tribune, which has partnered with the New York Liberty in a variety of ways, most notably with the digital series, 1440.
The spots will run on ESPN, ESPN2—which airs the WNBA—and other major sports networks.
Here's the spot that airs today: