Joanna Rowell | Staff Writer & Photographer
The WNBA always seems to take a back seat to the NBA.
The WNBA season is already entering the semi-final rounds of its playoff games and the ratings compared to those during the NBA playoff games have been significantly lower. The NBA commissioner has decided that it’s time to do more to bridge the gap, and the WNBA “Watch Me” campaign is taking a step towards that goal.
Commissioner Silver wants to do a better job of portraying the athletes off the court in order to make them more personable and there is progress being made with the new “Watch Me” campaign. The campaign commerical spots feature players like center Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury, forward Candace Parker of the LA Sparks and forward Swin Cash of the New York Liberty. The campaign displays players in a different light to draw interest from the audience.
Silver admits that he is not happy with the small amount of progress that the NBA’s sister league has made since its start in 1997. “We thought we would have broken through by now,” said Silver, professing his disappointment. “We thought ratings and attendance would be higher.”
This campaign will make known the work being done by the WNBA professionals to perfect their sport while also showing another side of them. “We’re highlighting the fact that they are great basketball players,” explains WNBA and NBA chief marketing officer, Pam El.
In addition to being superior athletes, mothers, daughters, mentors and friends, these WNBA players have something special about them and, with the WNBA, El is emphasizing that the campaign will also be “talking about their remarkable personal story.”