Women’s basketball league joins the NBA’s digital collectibles marketplace. The agreement between the league, its WNBPA players association, Top Shot creator Dapper Labs, and the OneTeam Partners agency will allow fans to purchase iconic digital moments from North America’s premier women’s basketball competition.
The offerings on Top Shot will include in-game moments from WNBA players past and present, headlined by 2020 league MVP A’ja Wilson and Basketball Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie.
The first WNBA pack drop is scheduled for 27th August.
OneTeam, the sponsorship and licensing partner of the WNBPA, facilitated the deal on behalf of the players. The company, which is backed by several other US professional sports players’ unions, is also responsible for leading the overall WNBPA non-fungible token (NFT) strategy.
Caty Tedman, Head of Partnerships at Dapper Labs, told Decrypt the company is working with “a shortlist” of top players and moments for the initial series of WNBA drops, but plans to ramp up the WNBA offering over time. “Our goal is really to have parity between the men’s game and the women’s game,” said Tedman.
According to Tedman, the WNBA to the platform was “always part of the conversation,” even early on in the creation of NBA Top Shot. The WNBA has seen significant viewership growth of late, as evidenced by a 74% year-over-year increase for the early games of the 2021 season across ESPN’s platforms.
The WNBA addition comes during the league’s 25th anniversary season, and arrives with a pair of new Top Shot ambassadors: retired league legend Lisa Leslie and reigning WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson. In addition to expanding the number of WNBA moments released in the future, Dapper also plans to build a more dedicated league-centric experience for fans.
“We’d like to create a really dedicated environment for WNBA fans that gives them the same kind of experience that NBA fans get,” Tedman added, “knowing that there will be some crossover that we can blend together.”