Nike Is Investing in WNBA

Nike Is Investing in WNBA

BYTrey AlstonFeb 03, 2022

Finally, women's basketball is getting the equity it deserves. Nike just announced that it’s made its biggest-ever investment in the WNBA so that it can help shape the next generation of players, fans and aspiring girls who play the sport.

Sonja Henning, Nike’s VP of North American Leagues Partnerships, said in a statement, “Women’s sport is one of the best investments, with great potential to impact and grow the next era of basketball. Nike has always been more than a sponsor with the WNBA — we’re a strategic partner. And we’re proud to be part of a movement that is redefining sport.”

This investment hopefully will impact the league’s popularity and, over time, increase pay grade for its pro athletes. Earlier this week, WNBA star Elizabeth Cambage took to Twitter to talk about pay disparity — specifically the pay gap between players and coaches.

“Ahhh yes the @WNBA, where a head coach can get paid 4X the highest-paid players supermax contract,” she wrote. “Lmao and y’all think imma spend another season upgrading my seat on a flight to get to games out of my own pocket.”

Her tweets were in relation to new Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon signing a new deal with the Aces that’s reportedly worth around $1 million — which is a far cry from the salary of the highest-paid player in the WNBA right now, Diana Taurasi, who’s making just $228,000. Cambage makes several thousands less. In comparison, Stephen Curry for the 2021-2022 season will gross $45,780,966 in the NBA.

Hopefully, things change over time — with Nike’s investment bolstering a sports organization that must do better for its players. The WNBA's latest capital raise, which includes Nike's investment, is the largest in women's sports history.

Change is on the horizon. And it starts with this.

Photo via Getty/ Bob Stowell