The WNBA and the WNBA Players Association announced an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that would increase player cash compensation and benefits, enhance travel standards, expand career opportunities and provide new child care, maternity, and progressive family benefits. The agreement is pending ratification by the players and the Board of Governors for the league.
The new CBA would go into effect for the 2020 season and run through the year 2027. The new agreement would feature new investments by the league and the team to increase the salary and compensation along with benefiting the entire player experience.
The terms of the deal are a 53 percent increase in cash compensation, consisting of base salary, performance bonuses, prize pools for in-season competitions and league and team marketing deals. The top players in the league will now be able to earn cash compensations over $500,000, tripling the maximum compensation under the deal. Additional top players will be able to earn between $200,000 and $300,000. The average cash compensation will exceed six figures, hitting nearly $130,000, an increase for players from rookies to veterans.
Additional highlights a focus on the player experience and providing travel and child care benefits, along with expanded offseason career development opportunities.
We approached these negotiations with a player-first agenda, and I am pleased that this agreement guarantees substantial increases in compensation and progressive benefits for the women of the WNBA,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “I want to thank the players, led by WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike and the WNBPA Executive Committee, as well as WNBPA Executive Director Terri Jackson, for their hard work, innovative thinking and professionalism throughout the process. I also want to thank the league’s Labor Relations Committee and Board of Governors for their investment, commitment and leadership as we look forward to working together to make the WNBA a sustainable and thriving business for generations of women’s basketball players to come.”
“Cathy Engelbert, the first WNBA Commissioner, brought her perspective as a former women’s basketball student-athlete, her experience as a business professional and her passion for the game to these negotiations,” said WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike. “We found common ground in areas that confirmed the league’s and the players’ intentions to not only make meaningful improvements in working conditions and overall professional experience, but also to improve the business with strategic planning and intentional marketing that will keep the WNBA front and center year-round.”
“With cautious optimism and trusting the league’s renewed commitment and investment, the players demonstrated a willingness to ‘lean in’ themselves and show an even greater commitment and investment in the W,” described WNBPA Executive Director Terri Jackson. “There are significant gains all across the board in this new agreement, and everything is in place for our players and the league to thrive.”
In addition to compenstation and player benefits, the WNBA announced the WNBA Changemakers program, which will bring the values-driven businesses together who lead the way in the advancement of women through sports. WNBA Changemakers will support the WNBA in the journey across marketing, branding, and player and fan experience.
You can learn more about the Collective Bargaining Agreement below.
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