The WNBA announced on Thursday that the league has closed a $75 million capital funding round. It is the first time the league has raised funds in this manner and the largest round of funding for a women’s sports property, according to their release. The funds will be used to accelerate its branding and marketing efforts. Nike, the WNBA’s apparel provider and first “Changemaker,” has also increased its investment into the league and invested in this capital fund.
There is a large list of investors in the fund, including Monumental Sports & Entertainment CEO Ted Leonsis and Monumental partner Laurene Powell Jobs, who is better known as the President of the Emerson Collective. Leonsis is the face of Mystics ownership while Powell Jobs is Monumental’s second-largest investor. Other WNBA team owners have invested into the fund like New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai who also owns the Brooklyn Nets; Dallas Wings owner Bill Cameron; and Seattle Storm owner Ginny Gilder, who also owns the NWSL’s Seattle Reign and Major League Rugby’s Seattle Seawolves.
There are some other familiar faces in the NBA who have invested into the fund, including Micky Arison, the Miami Heat owner. Arison also owned the now-defunct Miami Sol WNBA team. Two former NBA players, Baron Davis and Pau Gasol are also investors in this group.
Leonsis tweeted a statement below.
A first for @WNBA and largest capital raise ever in women's sports - proud to support this multi-faceted growth strategy. The WNBA, and all women's sports, will continue to be a space to showcase the world's most talented women and accelerate the proven popularity for the future. https://t.co/rPzJ9Pm6s9— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) February 3, 2022
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