Behind The Name

When Margaret Stender, President and CEO of the Chicago Sky, began thinking about what the namesake of the new WNBA Chicago team should be, she was huddled around her dining room table with a group of friends and seasoned marketing colleagues, on a February day in 2005.

Naming the team became an important and difficult task, as the group determined that there were three unwavering criteria that the name must represent. First, the name and logo of the team had to be “distinctly Chicago,” something that very clearly could not belong to any other city. Second, the name and logo had to be aspirational. Just like the WNBA as a whole, the Chicago team absolutely wanted to inspire fans and youth to reach high, dream big and accomplish their greatest goals. Third, the name and logo of the team had to be high energy, representing the style of play and fan interaction that the team would bring to the city. (And as Margaret half-jokingly added, the name needed to be six letters or less so that it would look good on the front of a jersey or a hat!)

With those criteria in place the naming of the team began to snowball. Fans of the WNBA began submitting suggestions with responses varying from the Chicago Deep Dishers to the Bull-ettes. As time was ticking away and the perfect name still had not been reached, the recommendation came to just google every animal, especially those with speed and skill and certainly a name could be found.

Then as the group meditated on just about every great Chicago landmark there was (the Sears Tower, the Magnificent Mile, the Hancock Building...) it dawned upon them: the Chicago skyline. The skyline is one of the city’s most distinctive and remarkable features; it towers with confidence and unmistakable character, just like the new WNBA franchise would.

From that point it was a much simpler process in picking the team’s colors as the sky blue and sunny yellow that brightens the entire city was the clear choice. With that, the decision was made and the Chicago Sky was born.