Mercury's Interest Level Spiking With Addition Of Griner; Season-Ticket Sales Now Up 39%
WNBA Mercury C Brittney Griner's presence on the team has "spiked interest, ticket sales, media requests and excitement," but it also has put "large demands" on her, according to Michelle Smith of ESPNW.com. Griner said, "It's probably been more than I imagined. I didn't really know what to expect, honest, but everything has been great." Smith reported the Mercury on Friday night plays their first home game since Memorial Day, and the "points of impact can already be quantified." The team's full season-ticket sales are up 39% from last season, and "ticket package revenue is already above what it was in 2010, the season after the Mercury won their second title." All of the "front-row sideline and press-row courtside seats are sold out," while group ticket sales are up 33% from last year. The "ripples are also being felt" outside of Phoenix, as teams around the league are marketing their games with the Mercury "with extra fervor and generating interest from fans and media." Mercury PR & Community Relations Coordinator Rebecca Clark, President & COO Amber Cox and Communications & Operations Manager Bret Burchard are "monitoring the requests from newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet closely, stemming the constant flow by sometimes saying no." Cox: "We have turned down some things locally, keeping focused on the things that will have the biggest impact. We are all still figuring out what makes the most sense." Smith noted Griner for the most part "remains perpetually willing," as she already has "put herself out in the public eye, openly discussing her sexuality and pledging her commitment to anti-bullying efforts" (ESPNW.com, 6/12).
DRESS FOR SUCCESS: Griner recently appeared on the "110 Sports Podcast," where she discussed her endorsement deal with Nike. She said she is "very, very excited" about the deal, which allows her to possibly model men's clothes. Griner: "That's my style, that's what I like to wear anyway and there's a lot of people like me" ("110 Sports Podcast," FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com, 6/12).