WNBA to Honor Military Members and Their Families as Part of Commitment to Service Throughout Summer Holiday Celebrations
NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 23, 2014) – The WNBA has combined the summer’s basketball season and summer holidays to honor active and retired servicemen and servicewomen, and their families. Through its multifaceted and comprehensive marketing campaign WNBA Summer Hoops, the WNBA announced Hoops for Troops, which will honor military members around Memorial Day as well as the Fourth of July.
“Through WNBA Hoops for Troops, we are excited to celebrate the courageous men, women and families of our nation’s military,” said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. “We are incredibly proud to showcase this important platform throughout the summer and honor those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom.”
Through the WNBA Hoops for Troops program, the league has made a commitment to service focused on four pillars: Transition, Leadership, Community and Health. This summer, teams and current and former players will honor military and their families with a variety of activations including in-arena nights, military base visits, ticket programs, in-game activation, and meet and greets with wounded warriors. During this initiative, the league will host a doubleheader on ESPN2 on July 6, with the Minnesota Lynx taking on the New York Liberty, followed by the Los Angeles Sparks hosting the Phoenix Mercury. WNBA Hoops for Troops will have a major presence during the national game telecasts, including the new WNBA Hoops for Troops logo appearing in courtside signage and in-game promotions. Teams playing in the July 6 ESPN2 doubleheader will be provided shooting shirts, while Nike will provide red, white and blue footwear. The WNBA will donate a portion of the sales from the authentic WNBA Hoops for Troops shooting shirts to the USO. Shooting shirts can be purchased on WNBAStore.com.
In addition to the overall league platform, WNBA teams and players from around the league will host events to honor retired and active servicemen and servicewomen in conjunction with Memorial Day and Fourth of July:
• The Phoenix Mercury will host Military appreciation night on May 23, as part of Memorial Day weekend. The game will tip off with the anthem performed by a member of the military and a group of servicemen and servicewomen presenting the nation’s colors. Throughout the evening the team will pay tribute to both active and retired military personnel through various in-game recognitions. Additionally, the Mercury will host a military group at the game with complimentary seats.
• For the ESPN2 telecast during Memorial Day weekend on May 26, the Chicago Sky will celebrate Hoops for Troops. Any fan that brings a donation item for Packages 4 Patriots will receive entry to the pregame tailgate.
• On July 5, the Atlanta Dream will host a “Hero Night.” Throughout the evening, the team will honor current and former members of the military and first responders with a series of in-game recognitions. Music and other entertainment at the game will also follow a military theme.
• The New York Liberty and the Garden of Dreams Foundation will recognize four veterans and their families from partner organization, Wounded Warriors. Liberty legend Kym Hampton will join the families at center court to present each Warrior with a commemorative “Challenge Coin” while their children will receive a Liberty jersey.
• Throughout the season, the Washington Mystics will donate 100-200 tickets for every home game to the Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix). Vet Tix provides free tickets to family members of troops killed in action as well as veterans and troops that are home to visit family members.