According to the New York Times, "The proposed W.N.B.A. contract, which still must be approved by the league's board of governors and the union's membership, would enable top players to earn more than $500,000, about triple last season's ceiling and far more than had ever seemed possible since the league's first season in 1997".
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said that the league approached negotiations with a "player-first agenda". "I want to thank the players, led by WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike and the WNBPA Executive Committee, as well as WNBPA Executive Director Terri Jackson, for their hard work, innovative thinking and professionalism throughout the process".
We have seen the league's social media push to show the women as more than just players, but also their personality, families, fashion, and other aspects of their lives to connect them with fans as a player and as a person. Former league MVP Breanna Stewart tore an Achilles tendon overseas past year and missed the entire WNBA season. I think we came in understanding that it wasn't just about the top player, it wasn't just about the rookies. In addition to an increased commitment from the WNBA and team owners, the new revenue-sharing plan creates a shared incentive to grow the league.
$750,000 in prize money will be available in special competitions beginning in 2021. A new 50-50 revenue-sharing scheme will be implemented in the 2021 season, based on the league achieving revenue growth targets from broadcast, marketing, and licensing deals. Players also earned improved travel conditions, such as individual hotel rooms and comfort-plus guarantees on flights.
- A collaborative effort to address travel concerns through the Player Advisory Panel. Players will only be eligible for "core" designation two times in 2022.
Workplace accommodations for nursing mothers.
The league is also introducing family planning benefits of up to a $60,000 reimbursement for veteran players for costs directly related to adoption, surrogacy and fertility treatment. Like the last one, there is a mutual opt-out provision after six years.
"When you look at things like what we're able to do with maternity leave and family planning ..."
- A joint Nutrition Council committed to identifying resources and address proper nutrition to optimize athletic performance. It has always been a stigma that the men league is more popular than the woman league.
For years, the WNBA has been under scrutiny, most notably for the substantial difference in player salary compared to its male counterpart, the National Basketball Association.
Congratulations to the WNBA on inspiring, being the change, and paving the way for the future of women's basketball and equality in society! The inaugural partners of the new initiative are sportswear giant Nike, telecommunications company AT&T and professional services firm Deloitte.