The WNBL is set to celebrate the launch of its 40th season on 18 September 2019 at Old Parliament House in Canberra, commencing at 7:30am, ahead of the season tip-off on 11 October.
As Australia’s longest running elite women’s sporting competition, the WNBL has proven itself as one of the most competitive leagues in the world. It has successfully launched the careers of many Australian representative players, including Opals legends such as Michele Timms, Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor, with many going on to star in the WNBA, but also across Europe.
For a league that only recently returned to free-to-air television thanks to SBS Australia, in addition to their FOX Sports Australia deal on pay television, and the fantastic support received from naming rights sponsor Chemist Warehouse, the WNBL needs to embrace every opportunity to increase its exposure and marketability to ensure the sustainability of the league.
So the announcement today that the 2019/20 season will be launched in Canberra, at the early time of 7:30am is certainly puzzling – even more so when you consider it is a milestone year.
Yes, the AFL and NRL bias in the major news outlets will be at their annual peak frenzy in mid September, but there is just no escaping this whether you are in Melbourne, Sydney – or Canberra.
We should be celebrating the WNBL’s momentous milestone – a fantastic achievement for any Australian sport – not least one involving women. Holding the launch in Canberra (at 7:30am) is not the ideal way to go about doing so.
So unless the Federal Government is tipping in a large cash investment to justify the location or a significant sponsor being announced, it is a strange decision to hold the launch in Canberra.
The 2019/20 WNBL season tips off on 11 October in a game where the Adelaide Lightning host the Sydney Uni Flames at Titanium Security Arena.