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WNBA'S ACKERMAN PREVIEWS YEAR TWO; TV INVENTORY SOLD OUT
Published June 4, 1998
WNBA President Val Ackerman said that the league's second season "is all about beginning to find our place in the world and taking steps and growing." Ackerman said the season starting June 11 will feature "more of everything. We have more teams; we have more games; we have more players; we've conducted more off-court programs than we had a year ago; we have more licensed products available for sale in more places; we have a few more sponsors; we have more television, both domestic and international; we've had more and continuing promotion; and ultimately and hopefully we will have more fans to show for all of that" (THE DAILY). TV TIME OUT: Ackerman said the league has "sold out our inventory on all of our networks. That inventory has been purchased by our partners, and the effect at the league [level] is that we expect to see more promotions being conducted by our partners as well." She added that season- ticket sales "are up about 60% from last year," and that the leaguewide average of about 2,500 season tickets per team last year should reach about 4,000 this year (THE DAILY). ODDS & ENDS: Asked if the league's marketing budget would be close to last year's, Ackerman said, "I've from time to time seen a $15 million number in the press, and I have no idea where that came from. I can tell you that did not come from the WNBA. Wherever it came from, it's not true." She added: "We do intend to continue our strategic emphasis on promotion, on marketing the league." Ackerman said the league is looking at expanding eventually to a 40- game regular season, giving every team 20 home dates. Ackerman: "We would keep it in the same time of year. We don't have any plans to change our season to a winter season after we get up and running. That's not our plan." Ackerman added that any schedule extension would be by "expanding at the front end" (THE DAILY).