Ep. #1 The Story of the WNBA Orange Hoodie
In Ep. #1 of The Business Case for Women's Sports, Caroline interviews Eb Jones to hear the full story of the WNBA Orange Hoodie, and how it came to be one of the most successful pieces of merchandise in the history of women's sports.
In 2020, the WNBA Orange Hoodie made history. The Sports Business Journal named it the “Fashion Statement of the Year”, Opendorse named it one of the top 5 performing athlete influencer marketing campaigns of 2020, and at one point, it was the top-selling item across the entire Fanatics website, and ultimately became the best-selling WNBA item ever sold.
The story begins in February 2019, with a strategic decision by Eb Jones, who was the Head of Content of Influencer Strategy at the WNBA at the time. As the WNBA underwent their most recent rebrand, Eb put together the merchandising & influencer strategy to support the rebranding efforts.
The result? The WNBA Orange Hoodie was born, and selected to be the WNBA's signature item. Eventually, the Orange Hoodie was distributed to all WNBA players and a small group of athlete and entertainment influencers, including A'ja Wilson, Kobe Bryant, Naomi Osaka, Lebron James, Jemele Hill, Gabrielle Union, Shea Serrano, and many more.
Many reports and analysts attribute the recent growth & success of the WNBA in large part to the Orange Hoodie, and the impressions and excitement it generated for the league.