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Wubble Bubble: The 2020 WNBA Season and the Next Decade

Authors: Yap, Alfonso
Kelly, Daniel
Issue Date: 2022
Abstract: Because of the COVID-19 virus, 2020 was a year of upheaval and change. Few other industries were as impacted as sports. As the virus spread across the world, sports leagues were shut down which left millions of athletes, executives, and staff in limbo. Once it became evident that the virus was going to remain a fixture in people’s lives for the foreseeable future, sports leagues decided to look for ways to continue to complete their seasons. One of the leagues that was able to successfully hold a season in 2020 was the WNBA. It was paramount for the league to have a season in 2020 to build on the momentum that had been generated in previous years. The season proved to be a success, and, in some cases, it was an introduction to the WNBA. For many people, this was the first time they could have seen WNBA games on national television, or it could have been the first time that their social media feeds were full of images of WNBA players doing things such as speaking out against racism and police violence. This project takes that into account and seeks to understand where the WNBA was at the end of the 2020 season and where it could go in the coming years. There is a particular focus on the marketing aspect of the league because it represents the best and most efficient way of growth. In one of the most difficult years the sports world has ever faced, the WNBA and its players were able to execute a successful bubble season that further endeared them to current fans while simultaneously finding new ways to attract new viewers. To understand how they were able to do this, we need to go through and analyze the high points within the bubble, especially the response to social justice, while also taking a critical look at the missteps and potential lessons that can be applied to future seasons.
Rights: Copyright 2022
Appears in Collections:NYU SPS Capstone Spotlight 2021-2022

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