Saturday, January 23, 2010

WNBA Marketing Efforts, Part LXVIII

I'm currently hooked up to one of those NBA polls where I'm asked to fill out surveys regarding WNBA marketing efforts. I was asked to look at five WNBA commercials and give my grades. I managed to get four of the five URLs - I forgot to save the one URL before I moved on to the next question and the survey did not allow backtracking.

I don't know if you can play these, but give it a try:

Video One

Video Two

Video Three

Video Four

They all suffer from the same problems. The survey asked if I had any specific comments; here's what I wrote:

All five videos had the same problem - they all have the same theme, namely "we women can play great basketball, too" - a theme which will convince no one who thinks that the WNBA is per se inferior. None of the videos are particularly clever, nor do any make use of humor. The split-screen video which compares NBA players to WNBA players is particularly annoying; one doesn't compare apples to oranges and the video is guaranteed to please neither side.

WNBA fans don't need to compare their league to the NBA; NBA fans will reject the comparison. I hope the makers of WNBA videos will stop trying to specifically market to disinterested NBA fans and make more videos marketing to those who have been traditionally ignored by sports marketing - more videos on ESPN just isn't going to cut it.

Which reminds me: how come every time I see a WNBA commercial it's always on ESPN2 or on NBA-TV? If you're going to market to people who might become WNBA fans, you need to get out of the male sports ghetto.

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