SBD/Issue 235/Leagues & Governing Bodies

WPS Will Look To Attract More Sponsors, Fans In Second Season

Boxx Calls WPS' Inaugural Season
A Great Success On The Field
WPS' inaugural season "appeared to be just what the league asked for on the field," but now "comes the important next step: selling the league to sponsors and fans," according to Billy Witz of the N.Y. TIMES. L.A. Sol MF Shannon Boxx: "On the field, it was a great success. We had the best players in the U.S. and some of the best international players. I think we were able to make the game pretty." WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci: "We have a product that is second to none. We have an awareness in the market place now, so corporate partnerships will go from an introduction of who we hope to be to 'we know you exist and we're impressed with your product and let's have a conversation.' From a business standpoint, we can say we're real, we're here. It's a tangible product now." Antonucci said that expectations for growth "are modest, but in three to five years she can envision the WPS championship being played at The Home Depot Center and the lower bowl -- which seats about 20,000 -- being full" (NYTIMES.com, 8/24).

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: SI.com's Andrea Canales wrote in WPS' inaugural season, there were "many aspects of the organization and play that were carried off fairly well, especially given the current difficult economic climate." But the "biggest positive" for the league is the "potential for improvement in key areas." The credibility of Saturday's championship game was "damaged by poor timing on the part of WPS, which bumped the final against the start of the UEFA Women's Championship." The format of the final was also "questionable, as it granted the regular-season points winner home-field advantage and a bye into the final, but left the squad idle while the opponent was decided via a playoff system" (SI.com, 8/24).

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