Every WNBA Teamโ€™s 2024 Season Rollout Promo, as Ranked by Brittney Griner Dunks

For years, a common lament among WNBA players and fans has been about the league’s marketing. It’s an issue that has, seemingly, confounded much of the WNBA’s leadership, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver. It’s a multi-faceted problem but, for me, one of the central questions that the league has to answer: how does it sustain public interest in a league that plays, primarily, during the summer?

“The hardest part is because we don’t play [a season] as long as the guys, and then when we have an off-season, a lot of us go overseas, we go dormant for like five or six months,” Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell told ESPN earlier this year. “If we could find a way to cultivate [more] marketing expansion for us in the offseason, that would be dope.”

To the league’s credit, Commissioner Cathy Engelbert has been proactive in addressing this issue, developing developing a plan that prioritizes marketing and increased visibility through merchandising. Already, the WNBA offseason has given us the 2024 Draft Lottery and the announcement of changes to the Commissioner’s Cup. But perhaps the biggest assist in keeping the WNBA front and center in the minds of sports fans will come thanks to future WNBA players. We’re already seeing the guessing game around the futures of prominent NCAA players like Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Stanford’s Cameron Brink, LSU’s Angel Reese, UCONN’s Paige Bueckers and South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso gain traction in the media. Each of those players have a decision to make: declare for April’s WNBA Draft or exercise their extra year of college eligibility. It’s probably the most talked about draft class since Elena Delle Donne, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins were part of the “Three to See” in 2013.

Not to be outdone, the teams are stepping up their efforts to keep the WNBA in the conversation. This week, each of the league’s 12 teams dropped their schedules for the 2024 season โ€” and some of them were ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ. Of course, you know we had to talk about it! So I got together with my fellow WNBA obsessive, Carmen, to rank our favorites and discuss which ones were fire and which ones just flamed out.


Atlanta Dream

Carmen: The budget on this!?!??

Natalie: Hands down, without question, my absolute favorite of the bunch. The thing I love most about it is how drenched it is in the culture… black culture generally but also Atlanta black culture specifically. The Clark Atlanta Marching band, the Atlanta Drum Academy… it speaks to a franchise that really is trying to engrain itself into the identity of the city.

Carmen: I agree! And that’s obviously also speaking back in ticket sales, didn’t Atlanta have one of the highest amount of sell outs last year? Especially for a team that still in its growth era.

Natalie: They did!

Carmen: Exactly!! I don’t know if I share in it being my favorite, but I respect what it’s doing to stand on business and hold it down for the Black South.

Rating: 3.5 Brittney Griner Dunks
3.5 Brittney Griner Dunkings


Chicago Sky

Carmen: We’re gonna have to group all these slideshow formats together in their own bottom tier.. because…

Natalie: Right?ย So disappointing.

Carmen: Yes!

Natalie: They just brought a WNBA legend in as head coach and this is all they’re giving?!

Carmen: Teresa Weatherspoon gave more hype in the NY Liberty Player of the Year video for Breanna Stewart last year!! RELEASE THE SPOON!! Give the fans what they want.

Natalie: RELEASE THE SPOON!

Rating: 1/2 of a Brittney Griner Dunk

One Half of a Brittney Griner Dunking


Connecticut Sun

Carmen: This the one team without a video that I am still going to rank high because that graphic is CHILLING. That graphic says “We’re coming for what we are owed.”

And I love it. Let’s put a hurting on em CT!!

Natalie: I appreciate that perspective because I looked at it and thought, “is this orange because the sun want to be playing in October?” (The WNBA Finals, this year, ran from Oct. 8 to 18). Otherwise, what is this Halloween ass schedule release?

Carmen: They’re thing that goes bump in the night!ย They’re under your bed!
(But I like your manifestation approach. If you see it, you can believe it. And I believe in them.)

Rating: 2 Brittney Griner Dunks

Two Brittney Griner Dunkings


Dallas Wings

Natalie: So, I love this one from Dallas… mostly because I love the source material that it’s taken from… but then I wondered if it’d hit differently for people who didn’t know? Did you recognize the homage to the Little Rascals Nike commercials?

Carmen: I was just going to say! This is so nostalgic!!ย But also I grew up in the 90s, the original commercials are iconic to me.ย Plus… SHERYL SWOOPES!

This is one of my favorites, a WNBA promo made for WNBA fans. Truly.

Natalie: But do you think the kids will know? Like Maddy Siegrist and Veronica Burton of the Dallas Wings were born in 2000. You think they appreciate a good homage to those Kyla Pratt led Little Rascals ads?

Carmen: hahaaa, yeah I guess I wasn’t as worried about them (whoops!) But I mean I’m ranking from my POV โ€” but I do see the point that may not have the widest spread appeal…

Natalie: It’s right in my wheel house though. I literally have been asking the WNBA to bring back the Little Rascals commercials for years!

Carmen: So you do get it!!!! Give em their props Natalie! They did the thing.

Natalie: Oh no, I love it for me…. but, you know, I want everyone to get it.

Rating:ย 3.5 Brittney Griner Dunks

3.5 Brittney Griner Dunkings


Indiana Fever

Natalie: So this one was… not my favorite….

For a couple reasons: first, especially when compared to some of the other teams, it just wasn’t that creative. It looked like a video that you might see before the Fever announce their starting lineups on game nights.

Also? It featured a lot of players and, honestly, once WNBA free agency players kicks off in January, some of them might not be members of the team…so that really undermines the whole thing.

Carmen: That’s such a brutally honest fact! Sorry but it made me laugh.

Natalie: AND! They’ve got the #1 pick in the draft… and there’s so much buzz on whether Caitlin Clark will declare for the draft or not… I think the Fever had an opportunity to take advantage of that buzz and missed it.

Carmen: Extremely fair! It’s a very straightforward approach. I saw people saying the voice over hyped them up? But I was… not one of them.

Rating: 1.5 Brittney Griner Dunks
1.5 Brittney Griner Dunkings


Las Vegas Aces

Natalie: So, on the one hand, this is an exquisitely designed calendar… like really beautiful… but I kept wondering where the rest of Las Vegas’ announcement was?

Carmen: I love my Aces dowwwwnnnnnnnnn. You know that. Everyone knows that.

But for a team as charismatic and video-friendly and social media heavy as Las Vegas, every single part of this was a snooze. I wondered… did they not get the memo? Did they not know all the other teams were going with videos? Did someone leave them off the social media manager group chat?

Natalie: Exactly! The Aces have been absolutely killing the social media game for the last couple of years and now, when so many teams are dropping their most creative works, the Aces are just phoning it in. It’s disappointing.

Carmen: I guess there’s an argument to be made that when you’re the first back-to-back champ in 20 years (and have been celebrating as such for months now), you don’t have to hustle for ticket sales and attention.

So I’m willing to give them a pass, but this is definitely not the caliber of what I expect of them.

Natalie: No passes from me! You’re slippin’, Vegas! Don’t let this be a harbinger of what’s to come on the court!

Rating: 1 Brittney Griner Dunk
1 Brittney Griner Dunking


Los Angeles Sparks

Natalie: Apparently Los Angeles was also left off the social media manager group chat?

This is LA โ€” HOLLYWOOD! โ€” and this is all they’re giving? This is disappointing.

Carmen: See how I almost want to give them less credit than the Aces, because… do they even have an excuse? There’s no ring for them to fall back on.

Natalie: They need a new social media team… that’s the excuse…

Rating:ย 1/2 of a Brittney Griner Dunk

One Half of a Brittney Griner Dunking


Minnesota Lynx

Carmen: Ok so! I’ve never played Grand Theft Auto, but even I immediately recognized the video cover, which has got to be a win.

And? Using the opportunity to highlight reel your best moments against the other teams, including the back-to-back champs? That’s gutsy. I like gutsy.

Natalie: Yeah, I wasn’t feeling this one at all… I recognized the GTA iconography right away โ€” there’s a new GTA game coming out soon so the timing is serendipitous โ€” but I’m not sure that the identity of the Minnesota Lynx connects with what I think about when I see Grand Theft Auto.

Carmen: hahaaaaaaa well I guess both are dynasties of their genre?? But I agree, the connection is thin.

Natalie: And Minnesota, as a franchise, has been so good about embracing Minneapolis iconography… like Prince, First Avenue…. that it would’ve been nice to see them tie into something more uniquely them.

Rating: 2.5 Brittney Griner Dunks
2.5 Brittney Griner Dunkings


New York Liberty

Carmen: Ok hilariously, I am not usually a fan of Breanna Stewart personality cult content (I respect her as a baller!! She just always seems a little uncomfy on camera)… so I was so impressed that the Liberty was able to find a way for her to be comfortable! I had no idea she was this funny.

Natalie: I’ve always thought the same thing about Stewie… it feels like we haven’t really gotten to know her personality… but it definitely comes out here. I wonder if this collab got started because of Sabrina Ionescu’s appearance on First We Feast’s Snacked earlier this year. That ended up being my favorite media hit that Sabrina’s ever done โ€” the first where I walked away feeling like I knew her โ€” and we get some of that here with Stewie, too.

And, of course, you know I’ve got to shout out my fellow NC State alum, Ari Chambers, who stands in for Sean Evans at the Hot Ones host. Ari is really EVERYWHERE these days and I love to see it.

Carmen: Yeah I was gonna say! Obviously, the bonus points here are for Ari Chambers being her fine self. (Respectfully!)

Natalie: How would you do on Hot Ones? Could you run through the wings of death?

Carmen: Oh yeah no, I hate hot things. I’m going out in round one. I’m assuming that you, a Southener, would hold your own.

Natalie: Oh, absolutely not. Did you ever watch Loot, the Maya Rudolph series on Apple TV+?

Carmen: hahhaaaaaa yes, I see where you’re going here…

Natalie: I’d be like Maya Rudolph’s character when she appears on the show.

Rating: 4 Brittney Griner Dunks
Four Brittney Griner Dunkings


Phoenix Mercury

Carmen: Well…. since we are ranking by BG dunks… I guess. ๐Ÿ’€

Natalie: I love BG. You love BG.

Sophie Cunningham, though? A choice.

Carmen: I do feel contractually obligated when discussing Sophie Cunningham to bring back my favorite WNBA photo of all time.

Anyway, chubby bunny is a cute game! The fire is cute! Brittney Griner is a joy always! And that’s about all I have to say.

Natalie: Yeah, it’s cute, I guess. The question it left me with is, “does this franchise really not know if this will be Diana Taurasi’s last season?” Because if it is the last ride for her โ€” and I believe it should be โ€” then you start this schedule announcement with her and making sure she has the send-off that her career merits.

It should’ve been the beginning of DT’s farewell tour… with highlights from her best performances against the other franchises..

Carmen: Well Natalie, that would require Diana Taurasi to know in December if it’s her last season, and I think you might be once again asking too much of her.

If that announcement comes, it’s coming at the start of the new season at the earliest.

Natalie: Fair point.

Rating: Two Brittney Griner Dunks

Two Brittney Griner Dunkings


Seattle Storm

Carmen: This one is my favorite, hands down. It’s the reason I started watching all the other rollout videos. It is so so smart, and timely to what the internet is talking about right now, and unexpected โ€” Seattle wears green, not pink.

Every part of this was so phenomenally executed to me, in terms of just pure digital media business saavy. And it comes with a burn book version of the schedule? And then they made individual burn book pages for each of the other teams mascots?

I’m sorry, I know I keep going on and on… this, for me, was the complete package.

I guess I’m a Storm fan now.

Natalie: Which burn book page was your favorite?

Carmen: I think Prowl of the Minnesota Lynx auditioning for Cats and not getting the part is legitimately funny.

Natalie: I agree, 100%. I laughed out loud.

I really liked this one too because, as you pointed out, it’s so unexpected from this franchise and because the timing is perfect. If they can catch the wave of Mean Girls fans who are amped for the forthcoming movie, then all the better for the Storm.

Carmen: Exactly!!

Rating: 4 Brittney Griner Dunks

Four Brittney Griner Dunkings


Washington Mystics

Natalie: You gonna have to take this one because it feels like this announcement was made for the femmes.

Carmen: hahaahaaa.

I think if they were going for a make up approach, they needed it to look more clearly like Fenty โ€” taking some of the Grand Theft Auto approach that we see with the Lynx or Mean Girls with the Storm, or even Hot Wings with the Liberty. I picked Fenty because it’s become iconic to young Black audiences that are also WNBA fans and is seen as “cutting edge” in make up, which… I think (think?) was what the Mystics were going for?

But this comes across as generic, in the bad way. Choosing make up to promote your WNBA team was already a risk! And if you were going to do it, you needed to do it well. This one is super not it.

(Even though I would, personally, wear some of those lipstick colors!)

Natalie: I lived in DC for a while and tried to remember if Lip Lab was a DC institution because that would’ve made sense, at least… but it is not? I’m not sure what the connection is.

It was lipstick, it was not DC… it was not for me.

Carmen: Yeah it just doesn’t hit!

Natalie: I kept waiting for Tina Thompson to pop out. Cause if you’re doing a lipstick ad for the WNBA, Tina Thompson needs to be there, but nope.

Carmen: oooooooooh yes! That could’ve saved it! Or some go-go music.

Natalie: YES!

Carmen:ย That’s what I want for them next year.

Natalie: Also? I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the news from DC but there’s a shift happening in the city: the Wizards (MNBA) and Capitols (NHL) might be moving to Northern Virginia. Leaving the Mystics โ€” who would be moving back to the Capitol One Arena (after moving to a new, smaller venue a few years back โ€” as THEE DC team.

So it was a perfect opportunity to really take that mantle and, instead, we got lipstick.

Carmen: A wash.

Rating: 1 Brittney Griner Dunk

1 Brittney Griner Dunking

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Natalie

A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 376 articles for us.

Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwinโ€™s โ€œFire Next Timeโ€ under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 681 articles for us.

1 Comment

  1. I am a HUGE WNBA fan and still had not peeped these. Thank you so much for compiling and commentating them.

    Atlanta using a marching band – INCREDIBLE. A perfect spot. I’m an HBCU alum so there is nothing you can’t sell me with an HBCU marching band. The only thing that bummed me out is that it makes it seem like you might get to see a marching band at halftime which as far as I know you won’t?? Someone tell me if I’m wrong?? Cause that would elevate games several level for me! Dance teams are great but add a band to that and baby you’ve got yourself a nine-course meal of entertainment. Also the Wings dig kept me coming back to check for other little disses. A+++

    Wings – I did not get the homage at all (and I’m old) and it still totally worked for me on every level. The acting from the kids is spot on, the inside jokes and nicknames are delicious food for true fans, and the Swoopes cameo elevates it to greatness. This one actually made me excited about a possible Wings ring next year. And I’m not even a Wings fan like that, but come on how great would it be to see “Riq” make that game-winning, series-winning shot??? That would INCREDIBLE for the league! Absolute A+ spot.

    Indiana Fever – I actually really loved this spot. Anything that shows women athletes like this, as serious physical contenders in the arena, is just absolute catnip for me. I also liked the restraint, that they went 20 whole second before showing a basket – a lot of these supercuts are just bucketbucketbucket and while that’s cool, this shows the INTENSE level of training and preparation that surrounds every part of being a hooper…it’s not just about buckets, it’s about handles, the weight room, conditioning, boxing out, camaraderie, sweat, magic hands…also, showing them going over Griner, going over Wilson to score is just the right amount of flex. I enjoyed watching it over and over. A.

    Seattle Storm – This was cute but I felt like they could have done even more with it, and they should have done more with Jewel Loyd and how instrumental she has been to the team’s success. Why not make Loyd the Regina George character? Why not make a joke about how you’ve been trying to make “fetch” happen for 20 years now, IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN? So many missed opportunities that could have elevated this from good to great, comedically. The burn book pages about each mascot, are, however, genius. A+ in terms of creating a cohesive and interesting narrative strategy. B+

    Phoenix – Full disclaimer, I am a HUGE PHX fan and can never get enough BG content. This spot made me laugh aloud and feel warm and fuzzy inside seeing BG’s growing fro looking happy and healthy, and just seeing BG get to laugh and joke around with her friend Soph was good food. I agree that it’s a missed opportunity to send off Diana, but I also doubt DT is ever retiring willingly, although that would admittedly be better for ticket sales than slowly heading for a career-ending injury. Fingers crossed and knock wood that DT recovers from her leg thing and is back next year because although she certainly can be super annoying, she is a great villain/anti-hero in the league and her b-ball IQ remains on level 1,000, and her ability to score the ball is not in question, so I and many thousands of fans will watch her any day. Sidebar, this also would have been a great time to tease some good Skylar Diggins-Smith news, if they had any to share……womp womp. B.

    Sun – WTF is going on here? You have AT and DB and this is what you come up with? Honestly hated this, hated the aesthetics and messaging felt lazy. D+.

    DC – I am a femme. I love lipstick. I called DC home and absolutely love the Mystics. I have no clue what this spot is about. It felt like a nonsensical advertising spot in the worst way. No actual basketball content was harmed in the making of this ad. WTF is going on here. Instantly forgettable. F

  2. I’m so hyped for the WNBA season! Seeing each team’s rollout promo has me even more excited for the games to start. I’m rooting for the Storm this year, but I’m also loving the new look of the Mercury. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings! ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’ช #WNBA #SeasonRollout #Basketball

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