NEW YORK, March 15, 2021 - In celebration of Women's History Month, the WNBA announced today plans for the league's landmark 25th season, which include a new campaign, Count It, and a distinguishing and purposeful 25th season logo. Among season-long celebrations to highlight the league's milestones and breakthroughs over the years, all 12 WNBA teams will host specially-themed events and fan promotions. The WNBA will also celebrate the ways its players have shattered expectations and have stood at the forefront of advancement, inclusion and social change for 25 years.
WNBA Season 25 activations will include a rollout of various elements from now until season tip-off, including new uniforms, a new game ball, the launch of a new in-season competition, and more.
"As we look to celebrate the first 25 years of the league, we are also setting the stage for the next 25 years. The WNBA's new distinctive 25th season logo and Count It campaign signify what makes the league unique," said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. "We are celebrating a quarter of a century of the impact the WNBA has made on sports and society, and on generations of young and diverse athletes."
The commemorative logo will be displayed on the courts, jerseys and game ball.
"We are thrilled to launch a new narrative around the upcoming WNBA season that is rooted in defying expectations and excelling in the face of adversity," said Phil Cook, WNBA Chief Marketing Officer. "The WNBA's 25th Season logo signifies that the league isn't done 'Counting' achievements because there are countless more to come. The WNBA is on the rise and we're excited to bring fans along the journey through a monumental season for the league and for the seasons ahead."
Select initiatives for the WNBA's historic 25th season include the following:
To commemorate the historic season, the WNBA will select and honour the league's greatest players since its inception in 1997. These game-changing athletes will be selected based on their overall contribution to the league and community. Consideration will be given to such factors as on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship and community service, as well as to contributions to team success and the overall growth of women's basketball. WNBA fans will also have the chance to vote on their favourite players and choose those they believe should be part of this elite collection of athletes.
WNBA 25 Greatest Moments
The WNBA's 25 Greatest Moments will also be determined during the 2021 campaign with the moments being ranked from No. 25 through No. 1 and unveiled during the second half of the season and the playoffs.
Details on the voting process and timeline for both programs will be announced at a later date.
New WNBA Outfitting and Game Ball for 25th Season
Leading up to the start of the 25th season, inaugural WNBA Changemaker Nike will celebrate the league's dynamic athletes with new uniform innovation with deeper storytelling and details.
Additionally, the official Wilson WNBA game ball will usher in a new chapter for the league, which is highlighted by Wilson's commitment to growing the game of basketball and their support of the WNBA and its players, coaches and fans through the most advanced, high-performance game ball.
WNBA 25th Season Advisory Council
The WNBA has established a new advisory council for the 25th season, comprised of women's basketball pioneers and WNBA legends, to capture historic perspective, hear from legacy advisors and successful sports business people, and propel WNBA business objectives. The council is meeting periodically to help generate innovative ideas on how to grow the game and its fanbase. The advisory board consists of iconic retired WNBA players, including four-time WNBA champion and four-time WNBA finals MVP Cynthia Cooper, WNBA champion and founder of Electra Beverages Fran Harris, two-time WNBA champion and three-time MVP Lauren Jackson, two-time WNBA champion and three-time MVP Lisa Leslie, WNBA All-Star and current ESPN reporter and analyst, Rebecca Lobo, four-time WNBA champion and three-time MVP Sheryl Swoopes, four-time WNBA champion and current University of Minnesota Women's Head Coach Lindsay Whalen and Teresa Weatherspoon, five-time WNBA All-Star and New Orleans Pelicans Assistant Coach. Additional advisory board members are Val Ackerman, Commissioner of the Big East and the WNBA's founding President, Carol Stiff, ESPN Vice President of Programming and Acquisitions, and Rick Welts, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Golden State Warriors, 1998 Marketer of the Year for his assistance launching the WNBA and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2018.
WNBA Social Justice
Established in the lead up to the 2020 season, the WNBA Justice Movement is the platform through which the league will continue to lead important work in the community to combat racial and gender inequality, promote advocacy for LBGTQ+ rights, and champion reform in systems where injustice persists. These collaborative efforts, led by the WNBA/WNBPA Social Justice Council, represent a continued commitment to advancing social justice and being a driving force of necessary change. During the 25th season, The Justice Movement will celebrate the league's history of advocacy across a variety of societal issues.
WNBA Commissioner's Cup:
The WNBA's 25th season also marks the debut of the WNBA Commissioner's Cup, an innovative and multi-faceted competition platform. A "competition within a competition" that features player prize pools, the Commissioner's Cup is comprised of ten designated regular-season games per team and culminates in a championship game between the two teams atop the standings in each conference. Uniquely, the Commissioner's Cup platform also convenes fans, players, and partners in local communities for conversations and programming centred on equality and social justice. The Commissioner's Cup Championship Game will take place following the Olympic break as an exciting jumpstart to the resumption of WNBA regular-season action. Additional information about Commissioner's Cup will be forthcoming.