In 1891, a Canadian-American physical educator, physician, sports coach, and innovator decided to throw a leather ball through a basket at the YMCA in Springfield, Mass, and called it basketball. This game, which started with only 18 men, has now grown to be played by over 300 million people worldwide,including women. David Meltzer
When basketball first started women did not play many sports, times have progressed and women are going “pound-for-pound” with men in the world of professional sports.
So why is it that the WNBA, a league that started strong, has seen a drop in both attendance and ratings?
During its inaugural season in 1997, the WNBA saw an average attendance of 9,662, which rose +12.4% in 1998. Now fast forward to 2015, and the attendance has dropped to a mediocre average of 7,318. With the exception of the Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury, the other eight contenders seem to be struggling to maintain attendance (especially in San Antonio where attendance has dropped 37.4%).
How does this compare with Lebron, Steph, and the Boys?
In 2015, the NBA sported a 17,757 average attendance. Further, the NBA pulls in $2.6 billion annually compared to the WNBA’s $12 million. Why? Most will tell you there’s a stigma associated with men wanting to watch men more because they’re “bigger and more athletic.” But the bigger issue here is likely marketing.The NBA has proven it pulls in A LOT more money than the WNBA; meaning they can afford to “flash” their teams and superstars. As the old saying goes: “You need money to make money.
However, there’s another issue here, equality for women.
Women have just recently entered the field of professional basketball. Basketball has historically been a predominately male “run and operated” business. However, gender equality has been an ongoing issue in all pro-sports. But, just like we have supported female athletes in most other major competitions, we must now support and encourage the WNBA. Tennis has Serena, Venus, and Sharapova; UFC has Ronda Rousey; NASCAR has Danica Patrick; Soccer has Hope Solo; Track has 6-time Olympic medal winner Jackie Joyner–Kersee. Now it’s time we support and encourage the WNBA and acknowledge ALL the star power in women’s basketball. David Meltzer
Equality for Women is one of the biggest issues not only in sports but in business as well. From Hollywood to Wall Street we need to correct this problem…FAST. For goodness sake, women make up 50% of our population and they need everyone’s support. It won’t happen unless all men and women unite for this equality! Sports are a microcosm of life! The NBA should help promote the WNBA and its superstar. We all need to support these amazing women!
WHO WILL BE THE NEXT LEBRON?…I hope she is playing in the WNBA!
By: David Meltzer
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