This basketball season, the Women’s National Basketball Association has been celebrating its 25th Anniversary. While the WNBA has grown in popularity, this generation of WNBA fans are asking for more from the league. Notably, WNBA fans have voiced their wishes for better clothes and merchandise to wear while rooting for their favorite teams. Upon seeing the fans’ requests, the New York Liberty celebrated their 25th Anniversary with their #OwnTheCrown box.
This influencer box included merchandise and goodies from various partners including shorts by Creative Director Jasmine Baker. The team reached out to Baker about adding a limited pair of shorts to each influencer box and the wheels began to turn. The box was sent to Liberty players and celebrities like Maria Taylor, Va$htie, and Rapsody. Once the players and influencers received their boxes and began sharing on their social media platforms Twitter lit up with tweets from coast to coast asking how they can purchase their very own pair of shorts.
If you’re active on Twitter, then you know #WNBATwitter is just as powerful as #BlackTwitter. #WNBATwitter began tagging their very own teams and asking team ownership if they could partner with Creative Director Jasmine Baker. Baker was overwhelmed by the tags but made immediate note of which team she wanted to work with next.
“The Atlanta Dream is a team that understands our culture and has helped shift the political space through using their voices & platforms,” shares Baker.
While surfing my own Twitter timeline, I kept seeing the same requests for a merch collaboration from Dream fans. I decided to tweet Renee Montgomery, who is a former Dream Player and current co-owner of the team, to drive this fan experience. Once Montgomery received the requests, she reached out to Baker on the same day to make this happen.
Them ain’t it! I don’t like the look of these. I want something made by @WeGotGame2 so can y’all collaborate on that PLEASE?????? Can this happen soon @ReneeMontgomery??? What I gotta do???!!! https://t.co/9q4k4NZvxM
— Dawn (@_dawnmontgomery) May 13, 2021
The creative process took a little while because the conversation about the collaboration began before the Olympic break. Baker wanted to make sure she could deliver a creatively-immersive experience that the Dream fans would love; so talks with Renee became a daily thing for her.
— Renee Montgomery (@ReneeMontgomery) May 13, 2021
“Renee was specific about wanting a 3-piece collection that would include a hoodie, shorts, and socks,” Baker said. “This helps me with the creative process because once it’s determined what will be in a collection then I can work out the other details on my end. This was more than what was offered in the NY Liberty box and this was going to be available for everyone to buy.”
The inclusiveness to allow all WNBA fans to purchase a piece of this collaboration was intentional. Just like New York the city of Atlanta is a melting pot and sports fans tend to remain fans of their home teams. One thing that #WNBATwitter has majorly influenced is pushing all sports fans to watch more WNBA games and to join in on the fan experience. Most of the men who became fans this year talked about how they would support more if merchandise was more appealing to them. This #ATLDREAMxJASMINEBAKER collaboration had unisex sizing and it was all in black and white. As much as the signature WNBA orange hoodie became a staple for new WNBA fans, this particular collaboration had men drooling over the new look.
Social Status a sneaker boutique in Inman Park, hosted the launch of this limited edition collaboration. And yes, the Atlanta Dream fans showed up and showed out! The event began at 7:00 PM and small to medium sizes sold out in less than 30 minutes. Renee Montgomery, Dream forward Cheyenne Parker, basketball analyst LaChina Robinson, Victoria McBryde, Morgann Mitchell, Autumn Johnson, Allie Jest, Steven Dingle, Bre Singleton, Christina “Ms. Basketball” Granville, Lindsay Barnette, Superfan Anraya Palmer and influencer Gene Hunter are among the luminaries that attended the event.
After the event, Renee Montgomery tweeted, “In case you were wondering…We sold out at @TheSocialStatus! Congrats @WeGotGame2 #BookHer.”
In case you were wondering… We sold out at @TheSocialStatus 🥳
— Renee Montgomery (@ReneeMontgomery) September 14, 2021
To say that this was a wonderful experience is selling the entire collaboration short. It was more than that. Atlanta really showed up to support the Dream and to support Creative Director Jasmine Baker.
“Working with this team was a DREAM COME TRUE! I haven’t experienced this type of professionalism with a team yet and it was so encouraging,” said Baker. “I hope Renee puts me on her team because I know this won’t be our last time collaborating together.”
— The Atlanta Voice (@theatlantavoice) September 13, 2021
It must be said that Twitter isn’t ‘just Twitter,’ and when it’s time to shoot your shot you have to be ready. WNBA teams have been tagged and put on notice, as fans of other teams requests a collaboration with Baker.
Atlanta continues to influence everything, and this collaboration proves that whoever doesn’t work with Baker to produce what the fans want, really doesn’t pay attention to their fan base. Now the ball is really in the league’s court and requests have been made for a league-wide collaboration. We shall wait and see.