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Wilson
06-01-2009, 11:03 PM
NEW YORK -- Following the lead of international sports, the Phoenix Mercury have become the first WNBA team to put a sponsor's name on their jerseys.

Under the three-year deal with LifeLock announced Monday, the identity theft protection company's name will replace the "Phoenix" and "Mercury" across the road and home uniforms, respectively. The team's logo will appear above the "LifeLock" on the left side.

The Mercury are the first team to finalize an agreement under the league's new initiative aimed at increasing revenue and marketing opportunities. WNBA president Donna Orender expects more teams to reach similar deals.

"There are very positive discussions going on in the marketplace right now and I would estimate there could be another one this season," she said.

NBA commissioner David Stern believes such agreements are important to the continued growth and success of the WNBA.

"This groundbreaking deal represents the next step in the financial health of the WNBA," he said, "and it serves most importantly as a blueprint because I'm sure there will be more, for other teams to assure their financial health."

Mercury star Diana Taurasi stressed the confidence the deal showed in the future viability of the WNBA.

"I think it's very important," Taurasi told The Associated Press. "Things are down, people are struggling. You don't have many companies venturing out and doing different things. For LifeLock to step up and recognize the WNBA is something they can invest in and be very positive and productive in women's sports is huge."

In addition to its name on the jerseys, LifeLock's logo will also be displayed on the Mercury's home court and on the team's Web site, and the company will be featured in e-marketing campaigns and on social networking sites.

Also, WNBA season-ticket holders will be eligible for a free one-year LifeLock membership valued at $110.

"I don't think that's ever been done before by a marketing partner, and we really are excited to be the first ones," Mercury president and chief operating officer Jay Parry said.

Existing jerseys with the Mercury's team name on the front will continue to be sold, but once they run out, only ones bearing the LifeLock name on the front will be available.

Phoenix coach Corey Gaines played in Europe for 12 years, so he is used to having corporate names on jerseys.

"Let's take, for instance, the stadiums of baseball, football and basketball," Gaines said in Phoenix after the Mercury practiced. "They changed the names, and I remember everybody was all mad about it. 'We want our old stadium names back.' They forgot about that faster than you could sneeze."

LifeLock CEO Todd Davis said the Tempe, Ariz., based company was looking forward to the unique opportunity.

"It really gives us an opportunity for people to hear our message," said Davis, who is seen in television commercials and on advertising signs boldly displaying his social security number. "And when you understand what we're all about, our mission is to go protect all things personal. This gives us an opportunity to showcase that mission ... And we're doing it not only with the WNBA's fans, with a team, but their most personal and valued assets -- the players themselves.

"We are very proud and honored to be a part of both the WNBA family and our hometown Phoenix Mercury," Davis added. "We expect this to be an extremely successful partnership and a long-term partnership together."

From ESPN (http://sports.espn.go.com/wnba/news/story?id=4222228).

Thoughts?

Do you think this will spread into the NBA? And if so, would you mind?

I know that when I buy Laker jerseys, I want them to have the Lakers scrawl across the chest, not some sponsor name. The counter is that if we do end up with that, then we might not have to sit through so many TV time-outs, which could make the game flow much better.

KB24PG16
06-01-2009, 11:24 PM
i want what the jersey looks like

grega1976
06-01-2009, 11:25 PM
well let me preface this by saying I wish the WNBA would go away for good.. it's a joke... that being said I think it is a smart move for a struggling league. Will it spread to the NBA? NO WAY... NBA has a large enough following to not need to go to such drastic measures...

Anthony Flores
06-01-2009, 11:51 PM
Yeah, it's normally for struggling leagues and international compition the NBA is fine as of now, and yes I would hate it, I don't want to turn on the tv and see the Wizards wearing Viagra tm on their chest.

Becks2307
06-02-2009, 12:28 AM
it works amazingly well it soccer...it becomes a part of the teams identity..but i just cant see it working in the NBA

LakersOrNothing
06-02-2009, 12:30 AM
yeah, it's normally for struggling leagues and international compition the nba is fine as of now, and yes i would hate it, i don't want to turn on the tv and see the wizards wearing viagra tm on their chest.

lmao +1

BlinkManJan02
06-02-2009, 12:53 AM
i dont like this idea. that would suck to see some brand instead of the team name. but you gotta do what you gotta do i guess.

Trouble87
06-02-2009, 12:55 AM
WNBA must really want to generate extra income... don't think that will ever happen to the NBA but in this recession who knows

IversonIsKrazy
06-02-2009, 01:14 AM
its not only for struggling leagues, like look at soccer...

Hellcrooner
06-02-2009, 03:01 AM
it would be a disgrace one of the thing that atracted me about Barcelona FC was the wore NO **** on their *****, just their Logo.

I have forgiven tha fact that they are now using an "sponsor" but only because its UNICEF and they are not getting paid but instead PAYING unicef to wear it .

ProdigyI
06-02-2009, 03:03 AM
im drunk and i saw wnba so

Wilson
06-02-2009, 11:53 AM
Yeah, it's normally for struggling leagues and international compition the NBA is fine as of now, and yes I would hate it, I don't want to turn on the tv and see the Wizards wearing Viagra tm on their chest.

As much as I love Caron Butler, I actually would find it quite funny to see 'VIAGRA' written across his chest :laugh2: Apart from that, no sponsors allowed though....


it works amazingly well it soccer...it becomes a part of the teams identity..but i just cant see it working in the NBA

It becomes part of the teams visual identity, but I don't know about it's whole identity. Fans don't identify with their team through the sponsor from my experience.

Helcrooner mentioned a good one with Barcelona though. It's awesome that they wear a charity on their jerseys for no charge.

TopsyTurvy
06-02-2009, 12:40 PM
I don't think it happens in the NBA, but in the WNBA it may not be so bad. Gives fans something else to look at instead of mediocre basketball and ugly faces. Has anyone else noticed that the best WNBA shots are all stills? It's a win-win scenario!

:smoking:

Kidding aside it's a good move for teams lacking brand identity to make a little more by selling that space. So long as pro-kits don't turn into racing jumpsuits covered in advertisements, I wouldn't mind it so much.

Hellcrooner
06-02-2009, 12:50 PM
It becomes part of the teams visual identity, but I don't know about it's whole identity. Fans don't identify with their team through the sponsor from my experience.

.
Well sometimes it does.

Dont tell me you think Soccer and Eindovhen and your mind does not get
a clear Phillips Picture, or Wolfsburg/Wolkswagen Leverkusen, Bayer.

SandyVI
06-02-2009, 01:13 PM
WNBA needs this. NBA doesn't.

king4day
06-02-2009, 01:15 PM
If it were the NBA, I'd call it a disgrace, but I understand that the WNBA is still trying to establish itself even after a decade. So I'm OK with it now, but if they do get legs and don't need it anymore, then it's pointless.

fire2last
06-02-2009, 01:21 PM
WNBA must really want to generate extra income... don't think that will ever happen to the NBA but in this recession who knows

Not extra income...just income.

How about this...if teams start struggling in the NBA then just lower the salary cap. Guys don't have to be making $20 mil/year when 10% of the nation is unemployed.

Who cares about the WNBA. Let them do what they want to try to survive. It's only a matter of time before the fold. It's not about them supplying what we demand...it's about them supplying and then demand we enjoy it.

xDjEpYOnx
06-02-2009, 01:45 PM
I agree with the majority that its good for the WNBA and I dont think its as big a deal as some have said; I don't like that they're forfeiting the original jerseys with the team name on them because i think that's just something that american sports fan are accustomed to; they wear their fav team and/or players jerseys to support them, not a corporate sponsor. How about just make a small percentage of them so people can at least still have access to them, you want to try and create some star power, just like the NBA, if that can be produced in the WNBA is whole another discussion

jimbobjarree
06-02-2009, 01:55 PM
wow wnba news!....kegger will be pleased

Wilson
06-02-2009, 02:23 PM
Well sometimes it does.

Dont tell me you think Soccer and Eindovhen and your mind does not get
a clear Phillips Picture, or Wolfsburg/Wolkswagen Leverkusen, Bayer.

I don't follow soccer enough to really get too many references like these :o

Anyway, it may become part of a company's identity, but not a team's identity. When I think of AIG, I might immediately think of Manchester United. However, when I think of Manchester United, I don't immediately think of AIG's latest exploits.

jimbobjarree
06-02-2009, 02:25 PM
NBA teams sell their stadium names and it hasnt bothered anyone that much.

Wilson
06-02-2009, 02:34 PM
NBA teams sell their stadium names and it hasnt bothered anyone that much.

That's different though. The fans don't wear the arena. I don't want to wear a giant sponsor name and a tiny Laker logo :shrug:

DenButsu
06-02-2009, 11:11 PM
I think the cold hard bottom line of the situation is that the WNBA doesn't sell itself to the same extent that other sports leagues do, and as a less traditional league it makes sense for them to look to less traditional revenue sources to stay afloat and make the WNBA viable and profitable. But that said, I really hope that the "big four" (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB) will never follow suit. All the endless logo/jersey modifications are bad enough, but the inclusion of corporate logos would be a major turnoff for me.

braveniler58
06-03-2009, 12:23 AM
I'm a Mercury fan, and overall a WNBA fan.

I know how bad the economy is for the league. You know it's bad enough when the team that won the league's first four championships (Houston Comets) folds. I obviously would prefer for us to keep the Phoenix and the Mercury rather than the Lifelock.

However, it's not ugly. It's necessary for the WNBA to survive. This league really needs to survive, for the future of women. I don't care if you hate the WNBA or think it's boring, etc. That's your opinion. Go for it. However, if in the future, you have kids and they're girls -- don't you want them to have something to motivate them? For some girls, that's the WNBA. Guys have the NBA/NFL/etc etc etc etc to work for, the women barely have anything.

This isn't really a big deal as the only thing that changes is the "Phoenix/Mercury" -- the players are the same. I'm going to support the league no matter what. This isn't going to help them earn profit, this is going to help them break even. That's how bad this economy has gotten, and I would like to see the WNBA survive.

The NBA is not even close to resorting to this desperate measure. They will be fine for a long while. However, if this economy doesn't improve soon, they might be joining the WNBA (though I don't think they'd ever go as far as replacing the team/location names like the Mercury has).