– For Third Consecutive Year, WNBA Celebrates LBGT Pride Month –
NEW YORK, June 7, 2016 – For the third consecutive year, the WNBA is celebrating inclusion and equality during LGBT Pride Month with the launch of WNBA Pride presented by Aquafina.
“The WNBA is honored to have such a loyal group of fans,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders. “Our fans are proud of their teams, favorite players and themselves, and with Aquafina as the presenting partner of WNBA Pride, we have the opportunity to celebrate the league’s diverse community and promote inclusion and respect during our landmark 20th season.”
WNBA Pride will be highlighted by four nationally televised games on ESPN2. Each telecast will include in-game Pride-related content and the WNBA Pride logo on courtside signage. ESPN2 will tip off its Pride month coverage when the Los Angeles Sparks host the New York Liberty on June 7 (10 p.m. ET), followed by a rematch of last year’s WNBA Finals between the 2015 WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx and the visiting Indiana Fever on June 14 (8 p.m. ET). To close out the month, the Phoenix Mercury will face the Dallas Wings on June 21 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2) and the Wings will visit the Sparks on June 28 (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Beginning in June and continuing through the season, the WNBA will host league and team Pride events on WNBA.com/pride and share Pride moments on the league’s social media channels with the hashtag #wnbapride. The league will also promote WNBA Pride presented by Aquafina through integrated marketing, media, and grassroots initiatives.
Fans can purchase WNBA Pride T-shirts designed by adidas, the league’s official oncourt uniform and apparel provider, at WNBASTORE.com. Fifty percent of the proceeds will benefit GLSEN, a long time WNBA partner, and the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students.
Throughout the month, teams will offer special ticket packages, in-arena experiences and Pride-themed games. In addition, WNBA teams will have a presence at local Pride festivals and parades, and the league will march together with the NBA and NBA Development League at NYC Pride. Highlights of WNBA Pride presented by Aquafina include:
- On June 11, Seattle Storm mascot Doppler and the Storm Dance Troupe will attend the Seattle Pride Picnic. The Storm will also tip off Seattle Pride weekend by playing the Connecticut Sun on June 24. The game will feature rainbow thundersticks, while the 50/50 raffle and community spotlight will highlight Equal Rights Washington. The Storm organization will again be walking in the Seattle Pride Parade on June 26.
- Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Washington Mystics will participate in the 41st annual Capital Pride Parade on June 11. The team will also host the Phoenix Mercury for its Pride Night-themed game on June 24, when fans can visit the concourse and meet with local LGBT groups.
- During its June 18 home game against the Dallas Wings, the Phoenix Mercury will be joined by special guest Jason Collins, who in 2014 became the first openly gay player in NBA history. The Wings will give away Pride-themed placards, sell specialty PRIDE shirts in the Team Shop and host special events for LGBT groups throughout the night. Additionally, the Mercury was a sponsor of 2016 Phoenix Pride in April, where the team had a booth at the festival and marched in the parade.
- The New York Liberty is celebrating Pride Month presented by Resorts World Casino NYC and will host community activations throughout New York City, with a presence at the Queens, Brooklyn and Harlem Pride Festivals, in addition to the Center Garden Party. This season’s Pride Night game will be held on June 24, against the Chicago Sky. The evening will feature a NOH8 Campaign photo shoot in Chase Square and a halftime performance by Lez Zeppelin.
- In addition to its annual Pride Night game (June 4 against Dallas), the Minnesota Lynx will participate in the parade at the Twin Cities Pride Festival on June 25-26 and sell merchandise and tickets during the festival.
Additional information on team events and celebrations can be found at WNBA.com/pride.