By Rashad Miller
Sunday afternoon, the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks announced that they are partnering with the WNBA’s Dallas Wings in a collaboration of historic magnitude. This sponsorship was the first of its kind as this is the first time an NBA team signed a marquee agreement with a WNBA team. The sponsorship will be solidified by a patch centered on the abdomen of the Wings’ home and away jerseys and will not only feature the Mavericks’ horse logo but the GEM insignia.
Founded in 2021, the GEM (Girls Empowered by Mavericks) program was created by the Mavericks “to engage, inspire, and empower young females through the use of physical activity as a backdrop to their development and success.” Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, Dallas Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb, Wings head coach Latricia Trammell, and Mavericks Senior Vice President Greg Nared all joined fans and media, as well as girls who were a part of the GEM program to celebrate the event.
The sponsorship is a seven figure investment and when I asked Greg Bibb how this will be utilized he told me that, “Every dollar that we generate as a business with the Dallas Wings, we think about how to reinvest that in two primary ways. Number one is into the community because we truly are a double-bottom-line business. We want to do well by doing good. Second is, our players. How we invest in them to allow them to be the best basketball players they can be, but even more importantly, how to become better, more successful young women and set them up for later in life when the ball stops bouncing.”
The All Star duo of Satou Sabally and Arike Ogunbowale would also discuss the deal in their pregame presser. Sabally said that, “just the message in general and the action of empowering young girls is so essential for the future, our community to develop females as leaders” which she added was something she learned from playing basketball and to “share that passion and be [a] spokesperson with the [Mavericks] logo on our jersey[s] and being supported by the Mavs and that it’s a “really great step for [an NBA] team to support a WNBA team and leading them into a way where we’re saying, “hey, we’re working together for the future”, as one.”
Ogunbowale added that “getting drafted here, I was hoping that we would have an affiliation with the Mavs, so for it to finally come, it’s going to be a great future for our partnership and connection. We’re just super glad we have this partnership and really, family that we can continue building on.”
The Wings debuted the new jerseys that same afternoon as they took on the Chicago Sky at College Park Center in Arlington.