Groundbreaking Week for WNBA

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WNBA Reaches New CBA Deal Which Will See a Raise in Player Salary

For years, WNBA athletes have preached for the need to increase player wages.

Many players continued playing past the end of the WNBA season on international soil to support themselves financially. Some had to get second jobs while others struggled to make ends meet.

This week, the WNBA and the WNBA Players Association announced that they have reached a new eight-year CBA deal which will commence at the start of the 2020 season and will run through 2027. The deal will see a 53 percent increase in total cash compensation, consisting of base salary, additional performance bonuses, prize pools, as well as league and team marketing deals. The league’s top players will see an excess of $500,000 in annual compensation, nearly tripling the prior deal.

“We approached these negotiations with a player-first agenda, and I am pleased that this agreement guarantees substantial increases in compensation and progressive benefits for the women of the WNBA,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.  “I want to thank the players, led by WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike and the WNBPA Executive Committee, as well as WNBPA Executive Director Terri Jackson, for their hard work, innovative thinking and professionalism throughout the process.  I also want to thank the league’s Labor Relations Committee and Board of Governors for their investment, commitment and leadership as we look forward to working together to make the WNBA a sustainable and thriving business for generations of women’s basketball players to come.”

This marks the first time in WNBA history where the average cash compensation for its players will exceed six figures.

“Cathy Engelbert, the first WNBA Commissioner, brought her perspective as a former women’s basketball student-athlete, her experience as a business professional and her passion for the game to these negotiations,” said WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike.  “We found common ground in areas that confirmed the league’s and the players’ intentions to not only make meaningful improvements in working conditions and overall professional experience, but also to improve the business with strategic planning and intentional marketing that will keep the WNBA front and center year-round.”

Outside the financial benefits, the new CBA deal will enhance player experience related to both travel and child care benefits. The WNBA will also expand on its offseason career development opportunities and will make adjustments to the free agency process which will prioritize the players.

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