Engelbert stated on Thursday that “we need to do a better job from the league of placing them in internships, in apprenticeships, in skill sets.”
According to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, the league is still looking for methods to provide players with enough money so they won’t have to go abroad.
In response to the Thursday news that Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner had been released from a Russian prison, Engelbert addressed a press conference. He questioned how the WNBA could stop a situation from occurring again.
Engelbert claimed that she “often” discusses “the economic model” that the WNBA is attempting to establish to increase player compensation. A top athlete can earn up to $700,000, according to Engelbert.
She noted that the league’s youth, in comparison to the NBA or other professional sports leagues, is a hindrance.
“Unlike some of the men’s leagues, we are not 75 or 100 years of age. In order to do that, we are researching the past, creating rivalries, and creating household names.” The league will provide $1.5 million as “part of the player marketing deals,” according to Engelbert.
To focus more on player marketing, Engelbert claimed that the agreements were “something we negotiated in collective negotiations.”
By tying players to businesses and endorsement deals, the intention is to “create more household names in this league,” preventing them from needing to play abroad, as Griner was doing when she was detained in Moscow in February.
“So not only do we pay them to remain in the United States, but they also get to develop their brands, interact with corporate or media brands, and receive endorsements.