The new Oakland's women basketball business strategy
Implementation of the business plan
Project forecast budget
WNBA stands for Women's National Basketball Association and it is a women's professional basketball league in the United States of America. At the present moment the league is only made up of twelve teams. It was first established in 1996 as women version of the National Basketball Association (NBA) which is male dominated, and the league hosted its first official match in 1997. The Women National Basketball Association usually holds its regular season in the period of June to September, with the finals being played in the month of October, however, in 2010 the regular league season was held in the period of 15th May to 22nd August due the World Championship that was held in September the same year.
It is important to note that most of the teams in the Women's National Basketball Association all have counterpart teams in the National Basketball Association expect for a few. The Tulsa Shock, the Seattle Storm and the Connecticut Sun are the only three teams in the WNBA which don't share the market with a National basketball association counterpart team. On the other hand the Chicago Sky is the only team in the WNBA that has its own arena which it doesn't share with another team or an NBA counterpart team. The other important issue to note with regards to the WNBA is that before all the teams used to be owned by the National Basketball Association; however this has changed since some of the teams are now independently owned. For example the Washington Mystic, Tulsa Shock, Seattle Storm, Los Angeles Sparks, Connecticut Sun, Chicago Sky and the Atlanta Dream all of which are independently owned.
The focus of this business plan is prove and sell the idea that establishing a women's team in Oakland, California that will be incorporated in the Women's National Basketball Association is a viable investment option which has good prospects and potential to generate high income for the team players and even the entrepreneurs financing the Oakland team.
A women's basketball team as investment option has various sources of income with the first being the revenue collected from ticket sales when the team is playing. The second source of revenue is from the sales of a team merchandise such a branded clothing, cups, shoes, caps, pens and any other item which bears the team logo and is directly associated with the team. Thirdly, a women basketball team can generate revenue from endorsements or companies that advertise their products or services using the team, these could be through using individual players from the team or using the whole team in their commercial advert, a company can also advertise through the team's branded items that includes it uniforms. Fourthly, the team can generate income through prize money that is usually paid during tournaments.
The business plan will first of all begin with an introduction of the Women's National Basketball Association in order to give the reader an overview of the industry and how it operates. Secondly, the business plan will evaluate the business strategy involved in women's basketball teams and it is here that the writer aims at presenting the paper as an entrepreneurial project. The third section of this paper will critically analyse the industry and business environment background using theories or tools such as the SWOT analysis, Pestle analysis and the porter's five forces. After conducting the analysis, the value proposition of the business will also be spelt out including the specific business strategy for the women's basketball team that will be established in Oakland, California. In addition the plan will also include a marketing and financial plan, and also the implementation plan for this proposed business.
Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
On 24th April, 1996 the National Basketball Association approved the establishment of the Women's National Basketball Association and on 21st June, 1997 the league commenced its first season match with a game between Los Angeles Sparks and New York Liberty played at Los Angeles. Originally the league began with only eight teams that included; Utah Starzz, Sacramento Monarchs, Phoenix Mercury, Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, Houston Comets, Cleveland Rockers and Charlotte Sting. However, after the 1997 was concluded four new teams were added to the league brining them to a total of eight teams.
According to Callahan, (2011) when the WNBA league started, the overall quality of play within the league was considerably low, however this changed in 1999 when the American Basketball league folded up facilitating the acquisition of most American Basketball league star players by teams in the WNBA. Some of the ABL stars who joined teams in the WNBA included Jennifer Rizzoti, Kate Starbird who were both standout college performers; Dawn Staley and Nikki McCray who were both Olympic gold medalists. The acquisition of these star players by teams under the WNBA helped in enhancing the overall quality of game in the WNBA league. Since its inception the office of the President of the Women's National Basketball league has only been held by three different presidents who included; Val Ackerman who served in the period 1997 to 2005, Donna Orendestones
Below is a table which shows some of the notable milestones in the Women's National Basketball league.
First player signed
Signed by the WNBA and assigned to Houston.
First points scored
Los Angeles Sparks
June 21, 1997
Scored the league's first points on a baseline jump-shot.
First triple double
July 27, 1998
14 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists
First goaltending call
June 3, 2008
Trying to block a layup by Lisa Leslie.
First slam dunk
Los Angeles Sparks
July 30, 2002
Dunked on a fast break against Miami.
Most career points
Houston, Los Angeles
1997 -- present
Most career rebounds
Los Angeles Sparks
1997 -- 2009
Most career assists
Sacramento, Los Angeles
1998 -- present
Most points in a game
July 10, 2006
July 24, 2007
Most rebounds in a game
May 23, 2003
Most assists in a game
July 29, 1998
Most career wins for a coach
1997 -- 2006
Most points scored by a team
July 24, 2010
127 points in a double overtime win against Minnesota
Largest margin of victory
August 7, 2010
46-point win (111-65) over Tulsa
Largest attendance for one game
September 16, 2007
22,076 in game 5 of 2007 Finals
For all the teams in the Women's National Basketball Association it is not all about winning the league title but rather it is also about generating substantial returns for investors who own the teams. Thus it is imperative that each team in the league have an individual business strategy on how it is going to make the investments made by the owners become worthwhile i.e. generate more profits (Porterfield, p. 45-48, 2008).
The most common strategy which WNBA teams employ so as to become more profitable or attract more prospective investors is to perform better in the league championship. A team which performs better in the league championship and wins more titles is likely to be perceived by prospective investors as a highly valuable team which can offer security of income and capital growth to its investors. And hence it is usually common to see that teams which are ranked highly in the league are the ones which are mostly rich and pay their players high salaries.
A wining team that is ranked highly in the league will not only attract investors but also a high number of supporters who would like to be associated with the team's high ranking and better performances. With a high number of supporters any basketball team is likely to attract additional finances from the corporate world who would also like to be associated with a high ranking and popular team. Companies that want to be associated with such teams end up being their sponsors in the league or using the team to advertise their product and services, this off course comes with great financial rewards for the particular team.
In the history of Women's National Basketball Association the first team to receive a corporate sponsorship was Phoenix Mercury in 1st June, 2009 when it landed a Marquee sponsorship. LifeLock signed a partnership deal with Phoenix Mercury to brand the team's warm-ups and jerseys. The team's jerseys were the first to be branded in the WNBA history and this also offered…