SBD/August 22, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

WNBA Signs Boost Mobile To Multiyear Deal As The League's First Marquee Partner

The WNBA and Boost Mobile today announced a multiyear marketing partnership making the wireless phone provider the WNBA's first leaguewide marquee partner. As part of the deal, the Boost Mobile logo will appear on the front of game jerseys for 10 of the WNBA's 12 teams; the Mercury and Silver Stars already have wireless sponsorships. The jersey branding, starting tomorrow night, will mark the first time the WNBA has had a league partner with logo placement on multiple teams' uniforms other than adidas, the league's official outfitter. Boost Mobile, a Sprint subsidiary, also will have in-arena presence with the 10 teams (THE DAILY). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's John Lombardo reports the "marquee level is a new top marketing tier for the league, and this deal includes much more than the jersey inventory." Boost becomes title sponsor of the WNBA All-Star Game as well as presenting sponsor for this year’s WNBA playoffs and Finals. League officials would not disclose financial terms, but the agreement's "size and its scope make it one of the most significant sponsorships in WNBA history." Sources confirmed it is a multiyear, eight-figure deal. WNBA President Laurel Richie said the deal is "transformative in its size, scope and breadth." Sprint VP/Corporate Marketing Steve Gaffney: "When we looked at the all the assets of the deal, from the jersey visibility to the court visibility to the overall stature of the Boost Mobile brand, it is a great alignment. This is a cost-effective way to align with a premier women’s sports brand" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/22 issue). Gaffney noted that Sprint "was attracted to the WNBA because the league attracted the young, urban, multicultural fans that the cellphone company considers its core customers." He said, "With the WNBA, we feel we hit the nail on the head" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/22).
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