August 18, 2005

President Donna Orender Chat Recap

When WNBA President Donna Orender chatted with fans at the NBA All-Star Game back in February, she had just been named to the job and had not yet gotten her hands dirty. But now that she has been on the job for a few months, Orender has figured out how things work around the office, has visited each city more than once since the beginning of the season and is back to answer more of your questions.

Things could not be more exciting in the WNBA right now. In her short tenure, several new sponsors have signed on with more on the horizon. The playoffs are just a couple of weeks away, the WNBA Finals will expand to five games this year and we are just months away from the Expansion Draft for the new Chicago franchise.

So who does this former college All-America honoree and professional hoopster think are the top candidates for M.V.P. and Rookie of the Year? How does she see these final days before the postseason shaping out? Who are her two sons' favorite players?

Donna Orender chatted on Thursday, August 18 and answered your questions now.

Moderator: And we're ready to get started...


Ophelia (Newark, NJ): Good afternoon, President Orender. I know that you can't show any degree of bias or partiality, but what do you think of these playoff races? How do you see things shaping out?

Donna Orender: I think you would agree that this year's playoff races are very exciting and compelling. Not sure how it's going to turn out, that's why it's so much fun.


Toronto: hey donna how are you ?

Donna Orender: Great, thanks for asking!


Marie, Poughkeepsie: Hi Donna, its great to see that AOL has joined forces with the WNBA. What can we expect in the future from this partnership?

Donna Orender: It is terrific for our fans and AOL users that we have been able to partner with such a great service. TONIGHT AOL will feature the Lynx versus the Storm, in their first webcast at 10:00 p.m. ET. This is a game with playoff implications... can't wait to watch!!


Derrick (Orlando): Do you think the WNBA will ever get paid like the NBA. I would also like to say that I am glad the WNBA is not like the NBA when it comes to attiutdes

Donna Orender: Derrick,
Thanks for your interest and support. I'm not sure where the ultimate pay scale will go, but I can tell you that the women of the WNBA provide a showcase for great values.


andrea(landover md): i noticed that attendance is down this year, what is being done to better promote the wnba for the future and what can i do to help.

Donna Orender: Andrea, Attendance is on par with last year overall, and growing in 7 cities. What can you do... bring your friends to as many games as you can... make new friends and bring them too. Thanks for your support.


roberto bakersfield california: hi donna i was wondering is the job as a president very stressful and how was the visit to each city

Donna Orender: Roberto, The job as president is truly a privilege. With privileges come responsibility and this job has its fair share... but I welcome them in the pursuit of championing success in this great league.


Liz Ott, Stanford, California: The WNBA already has an outstanding list of corporate partners but which other companies would you like to see join the fold?

Donna Orender: Liz, Thanks for your question. We believe that any company that wants to align themselves with the core mission of the WNBA --leadership, inspiration and creating change while supporting affordable and accessible entertainment -- is a great match.


VIRGINIA BEACH : WHY CAN'T WE SEE MORE GAMES ON T.V. IT SEEMS AS THOUGH IF YOU DON'T HAVE NBA T.V. YOU MAY SEE ONE OR TWO GAMES A WEEK. I ENJOYED THE LEAGUE MORE WHEN THERE WERE GAMES TELEVISED ON LIFETIME CHANNEL.

Donna Orender: Sarah, I do hear this issue raised. The facts are that we have nearly 100 televised games. 35 of them are on either ABC, ESPN and ESPN2... the remainder are on NBA TV. We also have had scheduled more than 70 games webcast. AOL feature webcast this evening at 10 o'clock tonight. Lots of viewing opportunities, Sarah, not to mention local market telecasts. We want more too!


Ponchatoula, LA: What is the status on expansion? Is there going to be another expansion city announced soon?

Donna Orender: Expansion discussions are active, with several cities and ownership groups expressing interest in being the next WNBA franchise. Chicago joins in 2006. Stay tuned for 2007.


Donna Orender: Well, sorry I was late, but it's back to business. Thanks to everyone for your interest. It is such an exciting time of our season. Keep watching, keep going... every fan like you matters to us. See you in the playoffs!