The WNBA is a floundering sports league, and its future doesn’t look bright with its All-Star game drawing a mere 0.5 overnight rating on ABC, down 38% from a 0.8 for the ’07 game. It was the lowest overnight rating ever for the WNBA All-Star Game on broadcast (via Sports Media Watch). It has also received tremendous criticism for failing to invite the most recognizable face in the WNBA, Candice Parker, to the WNBA All-Star game to boost ratings. Nonetheless, WNBA teams continue to play, while struggling to attract fans.
This year, the league’s average attendance is at 8,082 fans per game, well below it’s peak of nearly 11,000 fans per game in 1998. They should use promotions to attract more fans. Tonight, the Atlanta Dream play against the Phoenix Mercury and will be holding a “Go Green” theme night and distribute promotional water bottles. They’re sending out a great message by encouraging fans to go green, but they need to find ways to boost attendance quickly, and water bottles aren’t going to cut it. Maybe they should look into the business models of minor league baseball teams with smaller budgets. Most of these WNBA teams play in larger cities, but fun promotional themes every game and lower ticket prices could help boost revenues and keep them afloat a little longer.