– Second Annual In-Season Competition to Feature 61 Games Taking Place Throughout First Half of 2022 WNBA Regular Season –
– Civic Engagement to Serve as Cornerstone for Commissioner’s Cup Social Justice Initiative –
– Championship Game to Take Place in Home Arena of
Team with Highest Winning Percentage in Commissioner’s Cup Play –
– Players to Compete for Prize Pool of Half a Million Dollars in Championship Game –
NEW YORK, May 5, 2022 – The WNBA Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase tips off this weekend with five games taking place from May 6-8 during WNBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax. The second annual in-season competition, which features 61 games, will hold its Championship Game at the home venue of the team with the highest winning percentage in Commissioner’s Cup play for the first time after last year’s contest was held at a neutral site. Players will be competing for a prize pool of half a million dollars in the Championship Game, which will once again be streamed on Prime Video.
This year, the Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase will feature a new platform where the league, WNBA teams, and the WNBPA will work together ahead of the 2022 midterm elections to further promote the work the players have focused on by empowering communities through voter registration and voting rights education and advocacy. Led by the efforts of the joint WNBA/WNBPA Social Justice Council, the WNBA family will implement a series of activations and initiatives that will encourage active participation in the civic process, including voter education, registration, and long-term engagement.
The league and teams have collaborated to select organizations in each market that are tied to voting in the communities and for each Commissioner’s Cup regular season game, the WNBA will donate $2,000 to the winning team’s chosen organization and an additional $500 to the losing team’s chosen organization. To spotlight the Championship Game, the league will also donate $10,000 to the winning team’s organization and $5,000 to the organization of the runner-up. The accumulated donation dollars will be presented to each organization at the conclusion of the Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase.
The 2022 Commissioner’s Cup Hub is now live on WNBA.com, complete with a new Commissioner’s Cup Leaderboard that highlights the teams’ charities and donations, as well as an improved sub-navigation menu that the league will utilize on all future hub experiences.
Launched in 2021 as part of the league’s 25th season, the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase is an in-season competition that designates a portion of regular- season conference games in the first half of the season (10 per team) as “Commissioner’s Cup games.” The event provides added incentive, with a half million dollars on the line for players, and offers fans enhanced conference rivalry competition through which to support their favorite teams.
Here are some quick facts about this year’s Commissioner‘s Cup:
- 1: For the first time, the Championship Game of the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup
presented by Coinbase will be played at the home of the team with the best winning percentage in Commissioner’s Cup play. If there is a tie in winning percentage after Commissioner’s Cup games, cross-conference tiebreaker scenarios will be used to determine the host team:
- First Tiebreaker – Head-to-head record (if the teams have played each other)
- Second Tiebreaker – Highest winning percentage in all regular season games
at the end of games on Thursday, July 7
- Third Tiebreaker – Cumulative point differential (in Cup games), net result of
total points scored minus total points allowed.
- Fourth Tiebreaker – Coin flip
- 5: The opening weekend of the 2022 regular season will feature five Commissioner’s Cup contests during WNBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax:
Date Game Time (ET) Outlet Friday, May 6 Indiana Fever at Washington Mystics 7:00 p.m. Facebook Watch* Friday, May 6 Las Vegas Aces at Phoenix Mercury 10:00 p.m. NBA TV* Friday, May 6 Minnesota Lynx at Seattle Storm 10:00 p.m. Twitter* Saturday, May 7 Connecticut Sun at New York Liberty 6:00 p.m. ESPN Sunday, May 8 Seattle Storm at Las Vegas Aces 10:00 p.m. ESPN2
- 6: Commissioner’s Cup games will be shown by six WNBA media partners – Prime Video, ABC/ESPN networks, CBS Television Network/CBS Sports Network, NBA TV, Facebook, and Twitter – which will combine to present all 61 Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase games, including the championship game, which will once again be streamed by Prime Video on Tuesday, July 26. All Commissioner’s Cup games will also be available on demand on League Pass approximately three hours after the game.
- 10: Ten regular season games per team – 60 in total – will be designated as Commissioner’s Cup games. “Cup games” will be the first home game and first road game each team plays against its conference rivals from Friday, May 6 through Thursday, July 7. The teams from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference with the highest winning percentage in “Cup games” will earn a spot in the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game.
- 12: Donations to 12 charitable and civic organizations, designated by each of the league’s 12 teams, will benefit from this year’s series. These organizations include:
- Atlanta Dream: The King Center
- Chicago Sky: My Block. My Hood. My City.
- Connecticut Sun: League of Women Voters of Connecticut
- Dallas Wings: This Is Project Texas
- Indiana Fever: Indiana Black Expo
- Las Vegas Aces: ACLU of Nevada
- Los Angeles Sparks: Human Rights Campaign
- Minnesota Lynx: ACLU of Minnesota
- New York Liberty: A Little Piece of Light
- Phoenix Mercury: Black Mothers Forum
- Seattle Storm: ACLU of Washington
- Washington Mystics: Alliance for Youth Action
In addition to receiving monetary donations, these organizations will be spotlighted in arena and across the league’s social media platforms throughout Commissioner’s Cup play.
- 61: The second annual Commissioner’s Cup will feature 61 games taking place from Friday, May 6, through Tuesday, July 26. The 61 Commissioner’s Cup games can be found via the special designation herein.
- 2021: The Seattle Storm defeated the Connecticut Sun, 79-57, in the Championship Game of the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup, which took place at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz., on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.
- 500,000: Players will be competing for a prize pool of $500,000 in the Championship Game. Members of the winning team will be able to earn in excess of $30,000 per player. Competitors on the runner-up team will have the opportunity to earn $10,000 per player. An additional $5,000 will be award to the MVP of the Championship Game.
About the WNBA
Tipping off its 26th season on May 6, 2022, the WNBA is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women. Featuring 12 teams, the W is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility. Through its world-class athletes, the in- game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it.
In 2020, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) signed a groundbreaking eight-year CBA that charts a new course for women’s basketball – and women’s sports overall – with a focus on increased player compensation, improvements to the player experience, expanded career development opportunities and resources specifically tailored to the female professional athlete. Key elements of the agreement are supported through the league’s partnership platform, WNBA Changemakers, with AT&T, the WNBA’s Marquee Partner and inaugural Changemaker, as well as fellow inaugural Changemakers Deloitte and NIKE, Inc, and subsequent additions Google and U.S. Bank. During the 2020 season, the WNBA and WNBPA launched the WNBA Justice Movement forming the Social Justice Council with the mission of being a driving force of necessary change and continuing conversations about race and voting rights, among other important societal issues.