WNBA prez has kind words for Minnesota and Indiana
- Blog Post by: Roman Augustoviz
- October 15, 2012 - 7:31 PM
Laurel Richie, the president of the WNBA, was at Target Center on Sunday and talked to the media before the game.
Couple things she like to say. She calls the WNBA the "W" and she calls Minnesota "Minny."
Richie had kind words for the Lynx franchise.
"We all know the story of Minny," she said, "their road to repeat. This is a team that continues to amaze and dazzle and, I think, it is the breadth and depth of that team.
"We have the three Olympians in Seimone [Augustus] and Maya [Moore] and Lindsay [Whalen] and then you add into that mix Rebekkah [Brunson] and Mama Taj [McWilliams-Franklin] and they are just clearly a force to be reckoned with.
"They had the best record in the league [27-7] and at home I think they were 16-1 [correct]. SO we know what's on the court from Minny."
She spoke these word before the Fever beat the Lynx 76-70, taking a 1-0 lead after the opener of the best-of-five WNBA Finals.
"They are up against the Indiana Fever who are going for their first ever championship, led by Tamika Catchings, our reigning defensive player of the year.
"And I don't think anyone in this room every questions the heart, passion and drive of Tamika, joined by Katie Douglas and Briann January. I just think this is a team that we have seen never, ever give up. They have gone all three games in the series, three-game series against Atlanta and Connecticut.
"So I am probably as excited as the fans outside my hotel when I arrived in Minny to see what;s going to happen."
Asked if the league would like a dynasty, say the Lynx if they win multiple titles in a row, Richie said she thinks so.
"Behind a dynasty is a team that is showcasing the best of the best," Richie said. "So I am excited about the possibility for Minny and any other team in the league."
She said from a business standpoint, the league is focused on three things:
1) attendance. "Our goal here is really to build a sustainable fan base." ... She said season ticket renewals and group sales are up, which is encouraging.
2) exposure. The W had 75 games on national TV, mostly on NBA TV. And NBA TV is getting more viewers and ratings for the playoffs are up 13 percent. ... She was happy ESPN covered the draft lottery live.
3) partnerships. This was first full season with Boost Mobile as a league-wide partner. ... Looking at teams and the league, sponsorships are up 7 percent.
* Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore and Rebekkah Brunson of Lynx each had their shots blocked twice by the Fever on Sunday.
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