WNBA and players’ union agree to landmark deal
© WikiMedia (SusanLesch)
WNBA and players’ union agree to landmark deal

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) announced on Tuesday a tentative eight-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that will increase the average annual compensation for players to six figures.

The new CBA, which will begin with the 2020 season and run through 2027, features significant invests by the league and its teams aimed at “increasing player salary and compensation, improvements to the overall players experience, resources specifically designed with the professional female athlete in mind,” and a commitment to implement an integrated marketing plan league-wide.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said that the league approached negotiations with a “player-first agenda.” Top players will be able to earn cash compensation in excess of $500,000, while the average cash compensation for players will be nearly $130,000, resulting in an increase for all players from rookies to veterans. Additionally, players will be guaranteed full salaries while on maternity leave, are given two-bedroom apartments for players with children, as well as workplace accommodations that provide privacy for nursing mothers.

The deal, which must be ratified by owners and players, calls for 50-50 revenue sharing starting in 2021, based on the league achieving revenue growth targets from broadcast agreements, marketing partnerships and licensing deals.