Investors Including Nike, Condoleezza Rice and Pau Gasol Raise $75M for WNBA

The WNBA raised $75 million during a recent investment round to fuel the continued growth of the league

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The WNBA's future is looking bright.

On Thursday, the league announced it has raised $75 million from investors in the "largest-ever capital raise for a women's sports property."

The added funds will help the WNBA increase its efforts to connect with fans and generate revenue as part of its long-term business plans.

"We are incredibly fortunate to be able to capitalize on the current momentum around women's sports and are grateful to the investors who have chosen to support the WNBA in an unprecedented way and to our team governors who continue to invest in the players and teams," WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a press release.

Engelbert, who previously served as CEO of professional services network Deloitte, said the investments help lay a foundation for the league's continued growth.

"Our strategy is to deploy this capital to continue to drive the league's brand as a bold, progressive entertainment and media property that embodies diversity, promotes equity, advocates for social justice, and stands for the power of women," she explained.

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"Having just completed our historic 25th season, with this access to additional capital, we are setting the WNBA up for a successful future and it represents a sign and signal of the future direction of women's sports as a whole," she added.

The round of funding includes a list of high-profile investors like Miami Heat owners Micky and Nick Arison; Michael and Susan Dell of Dell Technologies; former NBA players Pau Gasol and Baron Davis; former U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice; and Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs.

"Susan and I are excited about the growth opportunity in women's sports and specifically the WNBA," said Michael Dell in a statement. "We also are proud to support a league that is committed to empowerment, and we look forward to supporting Cathy and all the accomplished and diverse women of the WNBA to make a positive impact in the world."

Sportswear giant, Nike Inc., is also listed among investors.

"Women's sport is one of the best investments, with great potential to impact and grow the next era of basketball," Sonja Henning, Nike's vice president of North America League partnerships, said in a press release.

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"Nike has always been more than a sponsor with the WNBA — we're a strategic partner," Henning continued. "And we're proud to be part of a movement to redefine the future of sport for a new generation — for WNBA players, fans and girls."

In its most recent season, the WNBA crowned the Chicago Sky as their 2021 champion. The 2022 regular season will tip off on May 13.

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