WNBA: They never go out of style

April 13, 2022
Sports BusinessBasketball
WNBA: They never go out of style

The GIST: Monday’s first IRL WNBA Draft since 2019 — and the most-viewed since 2004 — was about more than just the on-court talent: it was also about the fashion, highlighting the deepening relationship between fashion and sports.

The details: The W’s second most-liked Instagram post on draft day was a carousel of draftees dressed to the nines. The post garnered 32K likes in 24 hours, behind the 50K likes on the announcement of Rhyne Howard as the overall No. 1 pick.

  • ESPN, the league’s longtime media partner, also embraced the growing intersection between sports and fashion. Part of the network’s expanded coverage included social content featuring the night’s best looks.

Zooming out: It’s no secret that trends are driven by Black and queer culture and communities. As a largely Black and queer league, the W’s growing reputation for game-day threads presents a lucrative business opportunity for the league, as well as potential endorsements for its players.

  • And it’s not just in athleisure. Athletes are signing partnerships usually reserved for actors and models. Case in point? Tennis star Naomi Osaka, who became Louis Vuitton’s house ambassador last year.
  • The devil wears Prada…and W players should, too.