Sparks become first women's sports team to sign beer sponsorship deal

The Los Angeles Sparks, one of the WNBA's original teams, is headed toward their 25th anniversary with a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal.

The Sparks announced on Monday via Forbes that they've signed an “all-encompassing beverage deal” with Molson Coors, the producer of beer and other alcoholic beverages. As part of the deal, which is a first among women's sports teams, Molson Coors products will be served at Staples Center, and the Sparks will be incorporated into advertising in Southern California. With the popularity of women's sports on the rise, and the WNBA basking in the glow of increased TV ratings, Molson Coors wanted to come along for the ride.

“Sparks is certainly a household name, much like Coors Light, but I think that there's a lot that can be exposed in terms of the powerful women and their talents,” Jessica Owens, a Molson Coors field marketing director, told Forbes. “TV ratings skyrocketed last year, which was rightfully deserved for them, and we think bringing along brands that have the opportunity to grow with them is part of our goal.”

One of the arguments people use against the WNBA and other women's sports teams is that they're significantly less popular and less marketable than men's sports, an argument that holds less and less water by the day. Nothing says more about the popularity and marketability of the WNBA than a major company signing a sponsorship deal with one of its teams.

Team CEO Natalie White told Forbes that she hopes that the deal will expose more people to the Sparks and the WNBA in general.

“This is a great opportunity for us to build on WNBA ratings from last season,” White said, “so when people hear about this partnership, they will be more inclined to say, 'OK, let me see what this team is about, let’s see what the WNBA is about.'”

According to Forbes, Molson Coors is also making a financial commitment to the Sparks, but the details of that are unknown.

PALMETTO, FLORIDA - AUGUST 23: Los Angeles Sparks players react after defeating the Dallas Wings at Feld Entertainment Center on August 23, 2020 in Palmetto, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Sparks had a major 2020 season, and Molson Coors wants to get involved. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

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