WNBA Investigating Aces After Receiving Las Vegas Tourism Sponsorship

Las Vegas Aces

The excitement over a new sponsorship deal was short-lived for the Las Vegas Aces.

Just one day after the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced that each of the 12 players on the team would be receiving a $100,000 sponsorship deal, the WNBA is stepping in to investigate.

The LVCVA Announced A Big Sponsorship For Las Vegas Aces Players

Las Vegas Aces
X | Las Vegas

On Friday, the LVCVA revealed it would sponsor each player with a two-year contract worth $100,000. Tourism Authority president and CEO Steve Hill delivered the exciting news to the players and shared the moment on social media.

"I'm here with leaders around Las Vegas and members of our board at the LVCVA. The Aces have been on a historic run, two-time world champions. We're here to do something historic with them, too," Hill said surrounded by some of the others involved.

The video then skips to Hill in the locker room talking to the players.

"Today we want to do something that is new, something I don't think anybody's ever done before. We want to recognize you individually," he continued. "We want to put some money in your pockets. So, we've got an offer for you."

The LVCVA Told The Players What The Offer Is And Everyone Was Excited!

As the players got more and more excited, Hill explained the offer, saying that it's great for the LVCVA and hope they feel it's just as great for them.

He said they would like to offer each player a sponsorship this year in the amount of $100,000. Of course, that grabbed their full attention and their excitement was evident.

"The offer's really simple. We want you to just play. We want you to keep repping Las Vegas. And if you get a three-peat, that'll be icing on the cake," he said. "So, that's it!"

The players were also told that the LVCVA already talked to each of their agents.

The Aces are aiming for the first WNBA Finals three-peat since the Houston Comets claimed the first four league titles from 1997 to 2000.

The WNBA Stepped In The Following Day


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The agreement raised some eyebrows and red flags for the WNBA who quickly announced they would be doing a full investigation into the sponsorship.

According to ESPN, a league spokesperson confirmed there is an open investigation looking into the sponsorship deal with the Aces players. Alleged additional benefits were part of a league investigation into the Aces last season. This included allegations from Dearica Hamby, now with the Los Angeles Sparks, who claimed the Aces traded her because she was pregnant.

Aces coach Becky Hammon revealed that the LVCVA reached out to the players and their agents and the Aces organization had no part in it.

"I'm going to put it to you real simple like this. Most of sponsorship people go after the top two people. [A'ja Wilson] is taken care of - she's got plenty of stuff going on. [Kelsey Plum] has plenty of stuff," Hammon said.

"In this situation, from what I understand, is they wanted the whole team. So they went and called individuals, agents. I don't know the details. I have nothing to do with it; the Aces don't have anything to do with it. It's just odd, but that's basically what happened."

A'ja Wilson Shared Her Thoughts On The Investigation On Social Media

A'ja Wilson

Star player Wilson said she found out about the investigation after Saturday night's game.

"I don't understand the investigation," Wilson said. "I haven't dived into it yet. I just looked at my phone and was like, 'Oh, wow, just another day in the life of the Aces.' We can't ever start just normal, it's always going to be something, and that's OK."

Wilson also shared her thoughts on X.

"Finding out ya team is under investigation right after a game is OD like huhhhhhh what happened to growing the game?" she tweeted.

Fans also chimed in on this news on X.

"It’s cause the money going to y’all and not them. Most team sponsorship get a patch on the jersey but I ain’t never heard nah we paying the players lol. They just mad. Cut the middleman out," one person wrote. Another said, "Right?! One minute you're celebrating, the next you're wondering if you need a lawyer!"

The Las Vegas Aces Recently Visited The White House


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In early May, the Aces visited the White House to celebrate their second straight WNBA title. This was their second White House visit in just 10 months when they were invited to celebrate their 2022 title.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris welcomed the team in the East Room and congratulated them for their 2023 title.

"Thank you all and the entire Aces organization, especially coaches and players, "President Biden said. "The first WNBA team in over 20 years to win a title back-to-back. I kind of like that back-to-back stuff."

At the end of the ceremony, the team presented both Biden and Harris with custom jerseys with their presidential and vice presidential numbers.