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WOMEN’S SPORTS BUSINESS NEWS: Lisa Leslie Joins Los Angeles Sparks Ownership Group

WOMEN’S SPORTS BUSINESS NEWS: Lisa Leslie Joins Los Angeles Sparks Ownership Group

Lisa Leslie has become the first former Women’s National Basketball Association player to invest in a team in the league’s 15-year history. An Inglewood, Calif., native and All-American at the University of Southern California, Leslie starred for the Sparks for 12 seasons beginning with their inaugural campaign of 1997. During that time, Leslie led Los Angeles to back-to-back WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002 and earned three league MVP awards. Leslie  has also won four Olympic gold medals.

“With my investment in the Sparks, my basketball career has truly come full-circle,” Leslie said. “After spending over a decade playing with the Sparks, and then the last two seasons as both a fan and team broadcaster, I couldn’t be happier to rejoin the organization formally as a business partner and team ambassador. I look forward to being an asset to the Sparks in the areas of marketing and community outreach.”

At the recent WNBA all-star game press conference, where Leslie was named one of the top 15 players in the league, Leslie sounded very much like a future owner or even possibly a WNBA executive.  Now the latter has come to fruition, expect more from Leslie in the future.

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BOOST MOBILE® AND WNBA FORM FIRST-EVER
LEAGUEWIDE MARQUEE PARTNERSHIP

– Landmark multiyear partnership will see a comprehensive Boost Mobile presence across the
league including on game jerseys, in arenas, and during national game broadcasts –

– “WNBA Top 15 Moments presented by Boost Mobile” will allow fans to select the top moments in
league history on WNBA.com and include a special program on NBA TV –

NEW YORK and IRVINE, Calif., August, 22, 2011 – The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Boost Mobile, an industry leader in no-contract wireless service, announced a landmark multiyear marketing partnership that will make Boost Mobile the first leaguewide marquee partner of the WNBA.

As the marquee partner of the WNBA, Boost Mobile will be the league’s most prominent marketing partner and will be tied closely to the WNBA brand on a national level. As the Official Wireless Services Provider of the league, Boost Mobile will be featured through WNBA national and local marketing activities throughout the life of the partnership.

As part of this partnership, the Boost Mobile brand will be prominently featured on the front of the game jerseys of ten WNBA teams, including Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Indiana Fever, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty, Seattle Storm, Tulsa Shock, and Washington Mystics.  The jerseys, which will debut in games tomorrow night, will mark the first time the WNBA has had a league partner with jersey branding with multiple WNBA teams throughout the season other than adidas, the league’s official outfitter.  Boost Mobile will also have a strong presence in these ten teams’ arenas, where its brand will be displayed on courts and pole pads.

Additionally, special programming highlighting the “WNBA’s Top 15 Moments presented by Boost Mobile” will be included as part of the league’s 15th season celebration. All 15 moments will be featured during an NBA TV special presentation that will air on Aug. 26. They also will be highlighted during select WNBA national game broadcasts, and will be featured on a special microsite on WNBA.com. Fans will be able to rank their favorite moments from Aug. 23 to Sept. 13. The top five greatest moments will be counted down during the WNBA Finals broadcast beginning Oct. 2.

“The WNBA is the premier women’s professional sports league in the country with a loyal and diverse fan base that is an ideal match for the Boost Mobile brand,” said Steve Gaffney, vice president-Corporate Marketing, Boost Mobile. “The assets this partnership provides are unprecedented, giving Boost Mobile the ability to maximize the value of the partnership and market our nationwide no-contract wireless service to a key customer base in major metropolitan areas across the country.”

“An award-winning and dynamic brand such as Boost Mobile is a great fit as the WNBA’s marquee partner,” said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. “The WNBA and Boost Mobile are two prominent brands and this groundbreaking relationship will provide both our fans and Boost Mobile’s customers a great platform from which to be heard. Our partnership is a watershed moment for the WNBA, one that underscores the tremendous growth of our league and women’s basketball over the past 15 years. ”

Additionally, Boost Mobile will have an integrated presence throughout courtside signage and in-game advertisements during national game telecasts, along with a variety of in-game promotions, prominent exposure on WNBA.com and NBA.com, and inclusion in WNBA social media channels.

Boost Mobile will also be the presenting partner of the WNBA Playoffs and WNBA Finals. Beginning next year, Boost Mobile will be the title partner of WNBA All-Star, the presenting partner of WNBA Tip-Off and WNBA All-Star balloting, an associate partner at the WNBA Draft, and will be prominently featured within the WNBA-specific area of NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas each year.

Boost Mobile, ranked Highest in Customer Service Performance and Purchase Experience among non-contract wireless providers by J.D. Power and Associates, offers no-contract wireless phones and service, including the $50 Monthly Unlimited Plan with Shrinkage, where the longer you stay, the less you pay. For every six on-time payments, a customer’s monthly cost will shrink by $5, eventually getting down to as low as $35 a month for unlimited nationwide talk, text, Web, email, and calls to 411.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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