SBD/March 15, 2013/Franchises

Girls Just Want To Have Fun: WNBA Mercury Offering Free Tickets To Men

More than 100 men have taken the Mercury up on the offer in less than two weeks
The WNBA Mercury have "started a Twitter promotion using the hashtags #ManUp and #CureTheCooties, in which they are offering free tickets to disbelieving men with the simple challenge to come see what they've been missing," according to Melissa Isaacson of ESPNW.com. More than 100 men "have taken them up on the offer" in less than two weeks. Mercury VP Ann Meyers Drysdale said, "It's not even about basketball. It's 'Don't be critical about something you know nothing about.'" Meyers Drysdale added that she has "not grown weary of trying to sell women's basketball to nonbelievers." Mercury Digital Content Coordinator Ben York said, "We have a lot of men who just kind of dismiss women's basketball but have never seen a game or been to a game. For us, it's not a ploy to fill seats. We're doing fantastic with sales. It's more of a 'Don't bash it till you try it.'" Isaacson noted the team has won two WNBA titles in the past five seasons and features G Diana Taurasi, so the Mercury "would not appear to be a tough sell." Mercury President & COO Amber Cox said the team has seen a "shift" in its fan base. Cox added that the base is an "estimated 25 to 30 percent male and more of a dad-and-daughter presence." Cox: "I talk to our sales staff and tell them 'Don't ever discount bringing out boys' teams (to games) because, when they're 7 and 8 years old watching us play, hopefully they won't think twice about turning on the TV and watching a WNBA game when they're older.' It's that continued growth and exposure that legitimizes us to men" (ESPNW.com, 3/14).
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