Factors Influencing the Geography of US National Women's Basketball League
Factors Influencing the Geography of the US National Basketball Team (WNBA)
This case study purposely places the spotlight on female professional sport and provides a number of detailed resources and activities that help students examine the geographical issues that influence and impact the location of teams and the WNBA's fan base. The lesson deals with the business politics of sport franchises, gender bias in media coverage as well as the gender pay gap and the factors leading to the 'brawn drain' of American female basketball players. It also examines the demographics of both the players and fans and the challenges of increasing its popularity in a male dominated industry.
What factors influence the geography of the WNBA?
Student Activity - Map of the National Basketball Associations - Patterns, Processes and Places
Study the following maps and comment on the patterns shown.
What surprises you most?
Student Activity - What is a Sports League Franchise - Processes and Places
Watch the following video from up to 1.12 which explains how the NBA operates as a Sports Franchise League
the WNBA is operated in the same way and partly subsidized by the NBA
"Sports franchise" means the contractual right granted to any person or persons to own or operate a sports team in a specified location. State of Virginia
Student Activity - Factors Influencing the Number and Location of Franchises - Processes and Places
Read the following adapted article and identify the factors that influence the number and location of franchises in the WNBA
Student Activity - Comparing the Status of WNBA with NBA - Processes and Places
Study the following table and comment on the key differences between WNBA and NBA?
What factors do you think explains these differences? Consider social, economic and political factors
Read the following news report that explains how the league scores so high in the Racial and Gender Report Card
Note down the reasons why the WNBA scores so highly.
Student Activity - The WNBA Wage Gap - Processes and Places
Watch the following video on the wage gap in the US
Identify the problems that lead to the wage gap in the US game.
Student Activity - The WNBA 'Brawn Drain' - Processes and Places
Study the following flow line map showing the WNBA out migration to international leagues
Read the following Guardian Article, There's no break, which refers to how two thirds of the WNBA players played abroad for a second club through the winter
Student Activity - The WNBA Fan Appeal - Processes and Places
Watch the following promotional video from the WNBA Who are they appealing to and why?
Read the following quotes by Adam Silver of the NBA on some of the challenges of the WNBA. Discuss each one.
Student Activity - Challenges and Geography of the Fan Base - Processes and Places
Study the following photograph, which shows a typical WNBA attendance. Describe its demographic
Conduct a quick search of WNBA fans to see if this photographic is representative of the fan demographic
Study the gallery of graphs and for each graph write a short summary of what it shows. Add data to each short sentence
Use the following resource as a cut, allocate one perspective to each student.
Read the card of information and summarize the issue raised regarding the WNBA fan base.