WNBA players get salary increase, family planning benefits in new agreement

Tanya Simon
June 6, 2020

The WNBA and WNBA players' union have come to a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement that will raise player salaries dramatically, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. "For me personally, I think had something like this been available when I first came out of college, I probably never would have gone overseas". The new contract proposes a 50-50 revenue sharing model by 2021 - if the league reaches revenue growth targets from broadcast agreements, marketing partnerships and licensing deals. Like the last one, there is a mutual opt-out provision after six years.

The WNBA has also announced the formation of WNBA Changemakers, a new business collective created to elevate the player experience and enable the league's business transformation.

Under this new deal, the league's top players will be able to earn cash compensation in excess of $500,000, which more than triples the maximum compensation under the old deal.

- The WNBA will work with its affiliated leagues, teams and sponsors to provide off-season job opportunities created to prepare players for their post-playing careers and will advance diversity in coaching initiatives for veteran players interested in coaching careers.

"As we the players said at the very beginning, we want a league that has fair and consistent working conditions, a league that's committed to investing in the future, and a league committed to investing in the health and the prosperity of professional working women, working moms", she said. We tip off our 24 WNBA season in May, and because of the Changemakers support, we will begin to narrow the gap that exists for women sports, as only 1% of all global corporate sponsorship dollars are directed toward women's sports.

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"With cautious optimism and trusting the league's renewed commitment and investment, the players demonstrated a willingness to "lean in" themselves and show an even greater commitment and investment in the W", described WNBPA Executive Director Terri Jackson.

Engelbert, who became commissioner last July, will be trying to persuade corporate America to lean in to the WNBA at a time when fans are not, at least based on attendance.

- Premium Economy class status (such as Comfort/Economy Plus) for all players for regular-season air travel.

"We're hoping to lift, not just women in sports and women in basketball, but women in society.", Engelbert said.

As the sport released the news of the groundbreaking CBA deal, fans and National Basketball Association players took to social media to congratulate the players and the league on its new deal. Players will receive their full salary while on maternity leave. AT&T, Nike and Deloitte are the inaugural three business partners. WNBA teams generally fly commercial, a cost-saving measure that players say cuts recovery and preparation time and has on occasion led to lengthy travel delays.

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