When the WNBA announced the draft would not be open to the public, they missed an opportunity.
By Matt Hallett
As the WNBA starts to garner more interest, they need to utilize all the events to continue to build on this success.
The WNBA draft is going to be held on the 12th of April in the Nike New York headquarters and the first round will be televised on ESPN2. This is great, even though the next two rounds will move to ESPNU
However, the fact the draft will not be open to the public is an opportunity lost. I dislike comparing the WNBA to the NBA but it is relevant here. When the New York Knicks drafted Kristaps Porzingis, the image of a small child crying because he thought the draft pick was wasted went worldwide.
The story grew and grew until the child met Porzingis after the Latvian showed himself to be more than anyone expected him to be. It was this human side of the NBA which created conversations which is what publicity generation is all about.
This draft has the potential to change the future for many franchises. Players like A’Ja Wilson, Kelsey Mitchell, Diamond Deshields, Kelsey Mitchell, Gabby Williams, Lexie Brown, Maria Vadeeva and Jordin Canada are franchise players for the future.
In order for people to feel personally involved with these stars of the future, why not allow fans to start the journey together. Throw the doors open and start a tradition of people going to the draft. Get reactions of the crowd as each draft pick is made, it makes for good television.
With the level of talent in this draft and probably future drafts, it is time to allow the public to feel more involved. It may start out small but if you involve more people in the periphery events, there will be more interest in games leading to more attendance.
These events need to be involved in growing the league. Sport is about the stories around the games as well as the games themselves. The WNBA needs to grow these events for the league to grow.