SBD/June 22, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

WNBA Commemorates Title IX 40th Anniversary With Special Uniforms, Team Events

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ESPN's Saturday WNBA games will feature "IX" on the front of teams' jerseys
The WNBA on Saturday will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Title IX's enactment by unveiling special uniforms designed by adidas to be worn in the Sky-Lynx and Sparks-Mercury games. In these games, both televised by ESPN, all uniforms will feature "IX" on the front of the jerseys, while the player names and uniform numbers will remain on the back. Commemorative adidas Title IX shirts will be available at WNBAStore.com. In addition, WNBA.com is featuring a Title IX section, which includes daily content and editorial pieces on athletes, coaches, execs and politicians who have benefited from the law. Also, all 12 WNBA teams will host in-arena events featuring special programming, discussion panels and halftime presentations (WNBA).

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT: WNBA President Laurel Richie said, "We wanted to find a way to recognize and celebrate the 40th anniversary, and the nine of Title IX is so telegraphic." She added, "We also have done a pretty significant communications outreach so that our players and their stories are popping up in both sports-centric and general media. ... We’ve definitely seen a significant increase in interest as a result of Title IX." Richie noted that Fever F Tamika Catchings recently was featured in Martha Stewart magazine and Mercury GM Ann Meyers Drysdale appeared in The Oprah magazine. Richie said WNBA teams are "taking a grassroots approach" in celebrating the Title IX anniversary. Richie: "Many of the team Title IX activations are really about celebrating local and everyday stories of the impact that Title IX has had on women in sports. ... We find inspiration in our players and there are also lots of other women in the communities in which we compete who are an inspiration to us."

NOT RESTING ON HER LAURELS
: The WNBA last season signed a multiyear deal with Boost Mobile as the league's first leaguewide marquee partner and Richie said of the WNBA's sponsorship status this season, "We signed on seven other new partners, five of our twelve teams have marquee partners and those that don’t are actively in discussion and/or pursuing that. It will always be an area of focus for us, and we’re pleased with where we are, and we always have our pedal to the metal." Richie said of the jersey sponsorship aspect of the Boost Mobile deal, "For our league, it has been an absolute positive" (Adam Harris, THE DAILY).
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