Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

WNBA Tests Toronto Market for Expansion With Preseason Clash


On Saturday afternoon, the WNBA will play its first-ever game in Canada in front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 20,000 fans in Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, home of the NBA’s Raptors. The preseason clash between the Minnesota Lynx and Chicago Sky will serve as both preparation for the teams before the start of the W’s 27th campaign and as something of a test for Toronto’s viability as a potential expansion market for the 12-team league.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is an exhibition?
  2. According to this story, this was just the third time the WNBA has ever played outside of the U.S. and the first in more than a decade.  Why do you think that is?
  3. Do you think the WNBA should play more international exhibition (or even regular season) games? Why or why not?
  4. Why might Toronto be a an important market for the WNBA?
  5. What are television ratings?
  6. Why are they important to the WNBA?
  7. Why do you think they played the game just before the start of the WNBA regular season?
  8. Why might it be important for the WNBA to capitalize on the momentum created by the excitement surrounding the NCAA Women’s tournament this year?
  9. What can they do from a marketing perspective to capitalize on that momentum?
  10. Why might the league be interested in expansion?
  11. Based on information from this news story, describe the WNBA’s expansion strategy.
  12. How do you think the league will determine which cities would provide the best as new markets for the league?
  13. What is sponsorship?
  14. Why might a business or brand want to sponsor the WNBA?
  15. According to this story, the exhibition game in Toronto garnered a lot of support from sponsors. What are three examples of businesses or brands that sponsored the event?
  16. If you were a marketing professional working for the WNBA, what would you do to promote the league? Be prepared to discuss your answers in class.
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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