TORONTO, May 12, 2021 - The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) today announced Tangerine Bank as the league's first Foundational Partner in Canada.
This multi-year partnership will see Tangerine present WNBA Tip-Off 2021, as the league's landmark 25th season begins on Friday, May 14th, 2021.
As the 12 WNBA teams tip off across the U.S., Tangerine Bank and the WNBA will team up to mark 25 years of empowering and uplifting women in sports and are inviting fans to support and watch Canada's best basketball players perform at the highest level, including Tangerine Champion and Phoenix Mercury guard Kia Nurse.
Through Tangerine Project Forward™, Tangerine is committed to empowering communities through programs and initiatives that inspire self-confidence, leadership and acceptance in Canadian youth. In celebration of this new collaboration, during the WNBA's historic 25th season, Tangerine will reaffirm its commitment to supporting the mental wellbeing of young basketball players on the court and in the community. For every mention during WNBA Opening Weekend on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the commemorative 25th season hashtag, #CountIt, Tangerine will donate one dollar to Kids Help Phone, up to $25,000 CAD. Kids Help Phone is Canada's only 24/7 national e-mental health service offering bilingual (English and French) professional counselling, information and referrals, and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people.
"Tangerine Bank's commitment to the WNBA is a strategic step in growing the league's presence outside the U.S. and globalizing the game," said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. "Tangerine's vision to invest in the WNBA is another indication of the value that companies see in the growing popularity of women's sports. We are grateful for their dedication to uplifting youth and women basketball players in Canada and beyond."
"As proud supporters of the NBA, Toronto Raptors and youth organizations dedicated to empowering young players on and off the court, we are thrilled to take this natural step and expand our commitment to basketball in Canada," said Gillian Riley, President & CEO, Tangerine Bank. "We hope this collaboration will help shine a light on these exceptional female athletes and create an environment for women in sport to succeed."
As a new Foundational Partner of the WNBA in Canada, Tangerine will strengthen its ongoing community investment in basketball as the Official Bank of the Toronto Raptors and the NBA in Canada. Tangerine Project Forward also supports local communities through Community Gyms, designed to unite youth through on- and off-court skills development, food nutrition and financial literacy, and through female-focused clinics and camps.
WNBA training camp rosters ahead of the 2021 season feature four Canadians: Toronto's Natalie Achonwa (Minnesota Lynx), Chatham's Bridget Carleton (Minnesota Lynx), Hamilton's Kia Nurse (Phoenix Mercury) and Langley, BC's Aislinn Konig (Washington Mystics). All four players have represented Canada on the Senior Women's National Team.
Coverage of WNBA Tip-Off 2021 presented by Tangerine will begin on Friday night as the No. 1 overall 2020 draft pick, Sabrina Ionescu, and the New York Liberty host the Indiana Fever on Sportsnet ONE and SN NOW (7 p.m. ET). On Saturday, two-time league MVP Candace Parker will make her debut with the Chicago Sky on TSN against Natasha Cloud and the Washington Mystics (1 p.m. ET), followed by the defending WNBA Champions, Seattle Storm as they host the Las Vegas Aces on Sportsnet ONE and SN NOW (3 p.m. ET). The Canadian WNBA broadcast schedule can be found at NBA.ca.
Additionally, on Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET, TSN will deliver the Canadian premiere of the latest ESPN Films documentary, "144", about the unprecedented 2020 WNBA season, in which 144 players across 12 teams played 147 games from July to October 2020 in the bubble at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The WNBA's landmark 25th season will see new elements and activations, including a special edition commemorative logo, new Nike uniforms, a new Wilson game ball, and the launch of the new in-season competition, the Commissioner's Cup.