NEW YORK, New York — The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) announced today that Google will become a WNBA Changemaker through a new multiyear partnership that will drive engagement during many key moments throughout the year. As part of the partnership, Google will serve as Presenting Partner of the WNBA Playoffs and as an Associate Partner of WNBA All-Star on ESPN and the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Google is the fourth company to step up and become a WNBA Changemaker, joining the exclusive collective of current Changemakers AT&T, Deloitte, and Nike. As a WNBA Changemaker, the WNBA and Google will work together on developing innovative marketing initiatives, community-driven programming, and new Google product experiences for fans that will help elevate the league, WNBA players and women’s sports. The WNBA Changemakers platform is designed to provide direct support to the WNBA in its ongoing business transformation across marketing, branding, and player and fan experience. Changemakers are deeply invested in driving positive change for the WNBA, women’s sports, and women in society, and the platform catalyzes social change by offering Changemaker-only exclusive assets rooted in shared values such as gender, racial and LGBTQ+ equity.
“When we launched our WNBA Changemakers platform at the beginning of 2020, we issued a call to like-minded companies to join us in elevating women’s sports, and Google has answered that call,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “We are incredibly grateful to Google for becoming the latest WNBA Changemaker and for their platform of helpful products for everyone. Google’s support will be instrumental in driving our business transformation forward and demonstrates a commitment to the values we both stand for – including building sustainable equity.”
As part of this deal, Google will also become the Official Trends and Fan Insights partner of the WNBA, as well as an official marketing partner and technology partner of the league.
“For too long now, women’s sports have been underrepresented in the media. The WNBA has worked tirelessly to change that and has been at the forefront of progress for gender equity, racial justice, and sport. We are proud to partner with the WNBA and ESPN over the coming years to continue the charge and deliver on our commitment to gender equity and the future of women,” said Lorraine Twohill, CMO, Google. “It’s important to us that our product experiences are equitable for all genders and we want to make sure our media spend is equitable too, bringing more women’s content to television. With the WNBA and ESPN, we can help ensure women athletes get the recognition and media time they deserve, so that the world can see their incredible talents.”
Google will become the Presenting Sponsor of the WNBA on ESPN, collaborating with both brands to deliver “25 for 25” – 25 regular season ABC/ESPN nationally televised games to celebrate the 25th season of the WNBA. Additionally, Google becomes an Associate Sponsor of upcoming ESPN Films projects, including the 30 for 30 franchise. As an espnW Summit NYC sponsor, Google will be tipping off the conversation around the ESPN Film “144” on May 13th with WNBA All Star & ESPN Commentator Chiney Ogwumike. As a part of Google’s commitment to women’s sports, they will be presenting a montage of the week’s best sports highlights on SportsCenter beginning in May.
“ESPN has led the industry in its long-standing commitment to women’s sports across our programming and platforms, including as a founding telecaster of WNBA games and events 25 years ago and serving fans for over a decade through espnW,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN & Sports Content. “This new collaboration with the league and Google further extends our mission and dedication to elevating women’s sports, adding to the more than 16,000 hours of live sports programming we produce each year.”
Added Rita Ferro, President, Disney Advertising Sales, “At Disney, we strive to super serve our audiences with the best available content, and recognize that equity, inclusion and representation in entertainment and sports are table stakes. Our first-of-its-kind, combined relationship with Google and WNBA is an example of how we’re putting an emphasis on women’s sports and female athletes, answering the needs of our fans.”