The WNBA is putting out ~vibes~! Real, delicious, sporty vibes! The league, which has long struggled with branding, is taking one swaggy sneakered step in the right direction with the big branding reveal:
The logo! The voiceover! The imagery! The…VIBES!
My millennial self is super excited about all this, which means the whole thing is working.
In a phone interview with the Chicago Tribune, WNBA chief operating officer Christy Hedgpeth discussed the meaning behind the new logo.
“They took the silhouette out of the box which is a massive breakthrough as she was perceived totally different,” Hedgpeth said. “She was free, there was more movement there, taking up more space. She’s more athletic, longer physique. This is basketball on our terms. That was a phrase that really resonated with the players. That’s really symbolic in that regard.”
“The NBA logo, there’s a rectangle around him, he’s in a box. Same with the G-League logo and the previous W-logo. She had a box around her,” Hedgpeth said. “The box is going away. It’s powerful, it’s freeing and it’s expansive.”
It’s noteworthy that Hedgpeth is discussing the logo from the female perspective.
In an ESPN interview last year, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver noted that one of the WNBA’s biggest problems is its lack of young female fans.
“It’s interesting: Women’s basketball is largely supported — just in terms of the demographics — by older men, for whatever reason, who like fundamental basketball, and it’s something I’ve talked a lot to the players about,” Silver said. “We’re not connecting with almost the same demographic that our players are. I’m always saying our players are roughly, let’s say, 21 to 34, in that age range. I’m saying [to the players], ‘Why do you think it is that we’re not getting your peers to want to watch women’s basketball?’
Hedgepath noted that the league is going after this younger demographic with the new branding.
“It led us to a new target consumer, new design target that’s much, much younger — the 16-to-34 millennials, who are very diverse, very socially conscious, engaged in issues of today.”
The WNBA draft is just a few days away and the league’s 23rd season begins May 24th.