CASE STUDY: WNBA DRAFT
The WNBA is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women. The “W” is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity and inclusion and social responsibility. Through its world-class athletes, the in-game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it.
A truly global brand, the WNBA is the most successful women’s league in sports, as well as one of the most marketable women’s sports properties in the world, alongside the Women’s Tennis Association, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The league is also experiencing tremendous growth: Social media engagement reached 186 million video views in 2022, up 36% year over year; Web traffic nearly doubling from 2021(5.4 million unique visitors, up 99%), and its’ League Pass, an out-of-market live game package, saw subscribers grow 10% in 2022.
All of this success comes despite the coronavirus pandemic limited attendance at WNBA games and events for the better part of two seasons.
After a pair of virtual drafts in 2020 and 2021, the 2022 WNBA Draft returned as an in-person event at Spring Studios in New York City. This event presented the league with their first chance to capitalize on their recent growth with a high-profile public event, and the WNBA was determined to grasp the opportunity with both hands.
The days and hours leading up to the draft featured a variety of pre-draft activities, including a Hoopbus tour around New York City, a visit by players to the Empire State Building (which shined in orange the night of the draft), as well as an Orange Carpet for draft prospects to walk as they entered the venue. To drive excitement among their fans and the general public around these promotionals events, and especially the draft itself, The WNBA turned to posterGIANT.
In keeping with the league’s bold and progressive outlook, as well as the celebratory nature surrounding the draft, posterGIANT implemented a multi-layered street-marketing campaign that featured colorful walls of posters, eye-catching custom stencils, and an enthusiastic street-team made up of young women.
The women interacted with fans of all ages and demographics – the team posed for pictures, distributed stickers and other materials, and helped bring the excitement of draft night onto the streets of New York City.
By any measure the 2022 WNBA Draft was an incredible success. The event generated the league’s highest ever television ratings, and with its focus on player’s fashion choices and collaboration with up-and-coming designers, also generated considerable press and social media attention. Attention that also extended to posterGIANT’s street-teams in their matching orange hoodies, including a glimpse of our teams at work during ESPN’s live broadcast, and a large number of social media posts featuring team members. Most importantly, posterGIANT’s work contributed to a unique atmosphere around the draft that literally extended past the Orange Carpet and into the city itself.