It’s finally happening. It’s the perfect storm in the WNBA. It’s star power, heightened visibility and an audience that’s ready for it. Big brands are finally investing more in these women now more than ever. Most recently, we finally have Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS line becoming the official underwear of the WNBA. In what may seem like a seamless fit (pun intended), several former and current WNBA players became faces of the brand. Not to mention, WNBA finals MVP and the Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson also became the face of Gatorade for the WNBA.

As I’ve mentioned before, these are the optics that have been needed to allow the WNBA and its players to be seen as the stars that they are. It finally feels like they’re selling the league to its fans. We’re showcasing the ladies’ competitive spirit, their beauty and their charm. These are all facets of marketing that have many times helped the NBA promote its league as well. At the very least, this bit of progress raises interest for the casual fan. In time, they too will want to dig into more of what the WNBA has going on.

It’s my hope that what we’re seeing is just the beginning. With brands like Nike doling out more signature shoe deals for women, things look promising. I’ve also noticed the inclusion of WNBA players in State Farm and CarMax commercials over the last few years. It does wonders for cross-promotion. These opportunities are all necessary to continue building the positive energy around the WNBA product.

With record viewership for the WNBA in its opening week, it’s safe to say that these promotions are working. Even each Las Vegas Aces player recently received a $100,000 sponsorship from the Las Vegas Tourism Bureau. It’s a move that is now under investigation by the WNBA, but it shows that these corporations are taking notice.

It’s been a welcomed change, and from the looks of things, the play in the league is the best it has ever been. The intrigue around every Caitlin Clark game is high. As she continues to navigate her rookie year, we’re seeing league veterans test her mettle. We saw Angel Reese joining Megan Thee Stalloine on stage during the Chicago stop of the rapper’s Hot Girl Summer Tour as she continues to bring it on the court too. It’s cool to see how big business has its effects through so many different avenues.

In my lifetime, I’ve never seen the public this locked in with the WNBA product. Locally, the New York Liberty is damn near selling out Barclays Center. Like most things in life, one thing is just an extension of another, to steal a line from Nas. And I hope that corporations continue to see the benefits of their investments. With that, we may soon see salary increases for WNBA players in the league’s next collective bargaining deal. As for now, let’s just enjoy the hoops, at the highest level, as it was meant to be.